Brothers and sisters in Christ:
Whilst all may read this letter, I want to be clear; this letter is not aimed at all the brethren! So, if you are a Christian who cares about the persecuted Christian peoples, or you are new to the issue and are just getting into doing something about it, then feel free to share this letter with Christians who you know have deliberately distanced themselves from, or obfuscated on, or ignored the plight of the persecuted Church. Share this with those who have shown a willingness to put the plight of the persecuted Church behind the curtain because it will cost them too much, or be too controversial, or not serve another agenda, or simply because it is too inconvenient to them – to such a person be in no doubt my words are for you!
To you who are asked to read this, or read this because someone sent it to you – and you have nothing to point to in your discipleship, your walk with Christ, that shows solidarity with the persecuted Church, I want to say this to you!
You who prize community relations and building a multicultural society, who are willing to sacrifice the cause of the martyrs who are slain for the name of Jesus across the Islamic world from Nigeria, Egypt, Pakistan, Indonesia, Lebanon, Turkey, Azerbaijan, the Philippines- you coward! Do you honestly think your petty political posturing is worth but a single drop of one of the martyrs, or that your virtue signalling echo chambers will save you from the guilt you build up for yourselves in being silent about the persecuted Church? Whilst our sisters and brothers are led to their death you remain silent in your inter-faith prayer meetings! You coward! Their souls cry out from under the throne of GOD for vengeance and you cannot so much as raise a whimper of concern for their plight – preferring instead to focus on ‘building bridges’ and using the flesh and blood of the body of Christ as the mortar and bricks of worldly politics! You have ignored the demand of the prophets who have called you:
“Deliver those being taken away to death, and hold back those slipping to the slaughter.”
You who would cover the cross of our Lord so as not to offend whilst our brethren are taken away as captives for their refusal to take them down. You who won’t display them because you wish to show faux respect to others leads you to disrespect the cause of the martyrs. You who are more rooted in a purposeless faith that is more about sentiments over substance, appearances over content! You who betray the martyrs and puff yourselves up with pride over your faux virtue, you wolves in sheep’s clothing! Do you believe that your pretentious dismissal of the glorious image of the cross made sacred by the blood of the Lord and precious to countless saints shall go unnoticed by your judge? Do you have neither fear of the Lord nor tremble at Him? How quickly you dismiss the words of your Lord who said:
“For whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”
YOU WOLVES IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING
You who, for the sake of your ‘business’ church, avoid the issues and the plight of the martyrs and confessors because it is too controversial, too conflictual, too challenging to you. You and your ‘milk and honey’ discipleship, of comfortable Christianity! You who want the church to be a Sunday club for social networking, friendships, and dinner parties – but barely, if ever, mention the persecuted Church – because it would dull the mood! Do you think that GOD is your sugar daddy in the sky, or that when our Lord said to pick up your cross He meant – a pillow? Do you think that the life of a saint is meant to be one of prosperity, comfort, and blessing rather than of picking up the cross and serving the brother or sister in Christ who is in need and crying out to you! How much did you sell our Lord’s body for? What is your price, disciple of Judas? Do you think that all the treasures and comforts of the earth will be worth the loss you face on the day of judgement? How quickly you forgot the words of our Lord!
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
YOU DISCIPLES OF JUDAS!
You who do not see the issue as being the focus of your ministry, or find the whole thought of solidarity too much an infringement upon the precious rhythms of your life, unwilling to include it in your precious time! How I pity you, that you should think that being a disciple of Christ is about you, your convenience, or the idols you have created! Solidarity with the persecuted Church is as central to the Christian life as prayer! Do you honestly think that Christ’s command to love and to serve one another excludes the persecuted Christian? What faith are you following to think that you are so important to be excused from this struggle? Truly, if you do not feel the pain of the persecuted Church, you should ask yourself if you are even part of the body! Hear the words of the holy apostle and tremble:
“If one member suffers, all suffer together…”
How many churches must be bombed, how Christians killed, how many daughters kidnapped, raped, and forcibly converted? How many anti-Christian pogroms, how many wars against the brethren, how many expulsions of Christian communities, how many temples of the Church desecrated will it take before you rend your clothes and cast ashes upon your forehead and repent of your cowardly betrayal of our Lord’s body for the idols and false gods you worship and live your lives for? Free yourselves and turn back from your destruction!
Tremble you cowardly idolaters for you are listed amongst the damned!
“But as for the cowards, unbelievers, detestable persons, murderers, the sexually immoral, and those who practise magic spells, idol worshipers, and all those who lie, their place will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur. That is the second death.”
Flee from your sin! Your failure to stand in solidarity with the persecuted Church is more than a venial sin; it is more than an excusable failing. You have failed to love GOD who said by His apostle:
“The one who does not love remains in death. Everyone who hates his fellow Christian is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. We have come to know love by this: that Jesus laid down his life for us; thus we ought to lay down our lives for our fellow Christians. But whoever has the world’s possessions and sees his fellow Christian in need and shuts off his compassion against him, how can the love of God reside in such a person?”
Can you sacrifice so much for everything else, but not for those in the house of faith who are most in need? Pitiable lost child – save yourself from misguidance! He who does not show his love of the Church does not love the GOD who is in the Church:
“If anyone says “I love God” and yet hates his fellow Christian, he is a liar because the one who does not love his fellow Christian whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.”
Do you see the persecuted Church; do you hear their cries? How then can you justify doing nothing? Do not fool yourself with excuses, that you have prayed for them, for the apostles wrote of such a believer:
“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but does not have works? Can this kind of faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm and eat well,” but you do not give them what the body needs, what good is it?”
They do not need your prayers, they need your words, your actions, your money. They need freedom, a space to call their own, the means to secure their own communities from assault, the ability to determine their own economic future, legal equality, the value of their lives to be increased. They need tyrants to fall and the ideologies and systems of injustice to be toppled and overturned! Your prayers are for you – not for them. Stop kidding yourself because you do not want to do more!
“Announce a holy fast; proclaim a sacred assembly. Gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land to the temple of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord. Repent! “
We Christians must rethink how we respond to this issue. Re-organise ourselves accordingly, establish new networks, and fight the principalities and powers of this world – in this world! Do you want to know how you should be responding on behalf of the persecuted Church? Read the following and ask if you are measuring up:
“No, this is the kind of fast I want: I want you to remove the sinful chains, to tear away the ropes of the burdensome yoke, to set free the oppressed, and to break every burdensome yoke. I want you to share your food with the hungry and to provide shelter for homeless, oppressed people. When you see someone naked, clothe them! Don’t turn your back on your own flesh and blood. Then, your light will shine like the sunrise; your restoration will quickly arrive; your godly behaviour will go before you, and the Lord’s splendour will be your rear guard.”
It is not too late for you, coward, to yet be a saint!
Those who are being led off in chains to death and oppression whilst you do nothing!