Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Why Read About the Beheading of Christians?

The following article, written by Pastor John Piper of Desiring God Ministries, is reprinted in its entirety, with the permission of John Piper and Desiring God Ministries.

World Magazine received a two-minute video of Islamic militants beheading a man for becoming a Christian. The article is called "Brutal Beheading." I hope many of you read it.

Why?

Because we can’t get into the reality of most of the Bible without some real emotional connection with terror. Every book of the New Testament has terror in it, something like a beheading. The situation in the first century, when these books were written, was more like Afghanistan than America.

Without the help of horrific news we will likely romanticize the New Testament. Some of you they will kill (Luke 21:16). Be faithful unto death and he will give you the crown of life (Revelation 2:10).

We are soft. Mentally and emotionally soft. The thought that we might one day be beheaded with a knife, not a sword, or might have to watch someone beheaded, is itself so traumatizing that we can scarcely allow ourselves to think about it.

The miracle of the peace of Jesus (John 14:27) that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7), will appear as miraculous as it really is, when we experience it not by escaping this news, but by preparing for it, and trusting God in it.

Including when our own time comes.

~End of Article~

I agree with Pastor Piper. The American segment of the Body of Christ is, by and large, "mentally and emotionally soft." I think not only should the above article be read, but also the video watched, by American Christians, beginning with "youth groups."

Let those churches mired in mediocrity replace recreation with reality, and pizza parties with portraits of persecution. Yes, attendance may drop. But better that professing Christians in America be given the reality check of what it means, what it costs to deny one's self, take up their cross, and follow Christ than to let them to further deteriorate into a mass of people ill-prepared for the coming persecution.

Only an American Christian imitating an ostrich with its head in the sand would fail to see that the persecution of Christians is slowly making its way to the land of the free and the home of the brave--the country where television networks can now intentionally alter our nation's pledge to remove the mention of God, under the auspices of artistic patriotism.

While we may yet be some distance away from reaching the point of seeing Christian beheadings in this country, only intentional cultural blindness and comfortable societal ignorance would facilitate the intellectually dishonest perspective that Christians are not being or will not be persecuted in the United States.

Yes. I agree with Pastor John Piper. American Christians should read about the beheading of their Christian brethren in other parts of the world, before this level of persecution is brought to their doorsteps.