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Thursday, December 29, 2005

Amazing Quote

I subscribe to an email newsletter and a print newsletter from Voice of the Martyrs. It helps me stay aware of what is going on in other parts of the world where people really know suffering for the cause of Christ.

(As an aside, I get a bit frustrated when people here in America talk about "suffering", because I think that we really know very little about what it means to suffer. Perhaps isolated cases do occur in our country, but by and large, we have it very easy here as Christians.)

At any rate, recently I received a card in the mail from VOM asking me to confirm that I still wanted to receive the printed newsletter and offering me a copy of a book written by the late Richard Wurmbrand, founder of VOM. The card included this quote by Wurmbrand. Read this and think about it. I'll resist the urge to comment too much on it.

"It was strictly forbidden to preach to other prisoners... It was understood that whoever was caught doing this received a severe beating. A number of us decided to pay the price for the privilege of preaching, so we accepted their terms. It was a deal: We preached, and they beat us. We were happy preaching. They were happy beating us, so everyone was happy."

This was obviously not a man who was self-focused in his suffering, moaning about how miserable it was. When I read this, it reminded me very much of the attitude of Peter and John, when they were painfully flogged for preaching the name of Christ:

"They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ." (Acts 5:40b-42 NIV)

Until next time,

steve :)

2 comment(s):

I too received this amazing quote. I have frequently gone back to it. It is almost as if I am seeing a car crash in front of me. However I longingly stare into its beauty. This man has the option and he chose to suffer for Christ. I often wonder how I will respond if I found myself in this kind of situation. Acts 5:41 Sometimes I too am angered by the way Americans claim to be persecuted by being called bigots and dumb bible thumper. I am glad that VOM brings the truth of persecution and that the suffering saints are continuing to move forward despite the confrontation.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tuesday, January 03, 2006 1:06:00 PM  

Excellent stuff... We get the VOM newsletter as well, and weekly print the prayer list for inclusion in our church bulletin. It really helps keep us focused...

I heartily agree -- So many in this country think we are being 'persecuted' when they won't let our children bring candy canes to school... What will happen if/when it truly is life-threatening to be a Christian in the USA?

We work with several indigenous missionary organizations, and to hear what people go through when they accept Christ; everything from being ostracized and alienated from friends and family to beatings and death, makes us realize how little actual 'suffering' the US citizen faces for being a Christian (including me, I can be a whiner at times).

By Blogger Ray, at Wednesday, January 04, 2006 1:50:00 PM  

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