Friday, February 5, 2010

Til' Death Do Us Part - The Living Sacrifice

In the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake, if you are like me, you had some strong feelings. On one hand there are folks suffering - many have died and not all them quickly - that's torture. All this, while the US plays out Katrina, the Sequel, as its bloated bureaucratic engine inches forward.

The media spends time a lot of time finding the "worst" and the "best" of stories, but on the ground, things stink for Haitians - really stink.

Another story that caught my attention in the midst of the turmoil, was this one: US Baptists charged with Haiti child abduction face 15 years in jail. Wow! A group of nicey-nice church folks go down to do some good, and end up in prison - and even if not convicted, they could spend three months in jail while the Haitian judge makes up his mind regarding their fate.

Let me take a minute to describe what I think is going on here. As previously stated, things on the ground are unbelievably difficult, the media is making money reporting pain and suffering and an occasional "miracle" rescue, while the Christians are going in to help in practical and humanitarian ways; along with a host of others. Hopefully the Christians were there to pray as well as serve. I don't know anything about them.

How are they going to get out of there, back to their families, jobs and American life? I can tell you the media isn't cutting them any slack.

"I believe that religious beliefs have no privileged status in a democratic society." Jonathan Sacks

I have traveled quite a bit on short-term missions, some even after 9/11. Other countries are not the US, that I am sure of. There are a lot of bashers out there who don't like it here in the US. I am not a fan of the present regime, but this is home. I feel safe in many ways.

So will the Haitian government get these folks who were probably not doing anything wrong - stupid - but not with any ill intent - home? I don't know. It's hard to tell in the media because they bash Christians enough where we might not ever see the back story.

Here is what I do know, and Christians of everywhere should be aware of it.

Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.

Let me be cliche - there is no testimony without a test.

It seems rather romantic to head off to another country and do the work of God. As Americans, many of us have those kind of resources. Missions, or any work we do for God, is not just some nicey-nice religious activity. It is an assault on the Kingdom of Darkness. (Matthew 11:12) The people of God are meant to be light in a dark place - and dark places are sometimes dangerous. Missions are not vacations - yet, we may enjoy many things about them. God has a plan.

Satan? He plays for keeps. You should remind yourself of that fact.

Prison, although not a normal part of life for American Christians, is certainly part of the deal.

Acts 16:25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody's chains came loose.

Will you pray for those in prison for the sake for the Gospel? Or maybe you'll join me on a trip.

What do you think, would you be cool with God if you ended up in prison as a living sacrifice - well, long enough for you to lose your job, possibly your home and end up in ruin?


photogr said...

When in Rome do as the Romans do. I you are in a foreign country, you pretty well must know what their customs and laws are or you could end up in trouble.

As far as the Baptist group doing what they did in Haiti, they through their stupidity are to blame for their problems. What they had said they were going to do could have easily been carried out in Haiti with out any snags. If the y did this in the USA with American children, they also would have been locked up.

"What do you think, would you be cool with God if you ended up in prison as a living sacrifice - well, long enough for you to lose your job, possibly your home and end up in ruin?"

I doubt if many good Christians would be willing to do that even if it was a just cause as a warroir for the Lord. Sadly that is exactly what is going to happen for those that profess being a follower of the Lord in the future times. How many will be willing to become warriors for the Lord and fight back against the oppressors in the ending times?

I doubt

Anonymous said...

And that is exactly the situation, Dave: stupide (that's the French spelling!), but well-meaning folk just trying to help. Also can't underestimate the fact that the enemy is always looking for a way, any way, to discredit the Gospel and those whose hope is in Jesus. Plus, God is going to receive glory from this, no matter how the one-sided media (or corrupt Haitian politicians and judges) portray things. They (and we) may be called to suffer for real so that others can be saved. I hope and pray that one day it will be said of us that we "did not love (our) lives lives so much as to shrink from death."

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