Barjona On August - 30 - 2014

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My wife has a soft heart when it comes to persecution.  A day has not gone by in the last few weeks that I haven’t heard about what ISIS is doing to people, particularly Christians, in Iraq.  The other day she lay on me and cried, wondering why all this was happening.  Why were people not raging over all this torture, violence, and murder?  To paraphrase her, “I thought that this would never happen, because if it ever did, so many people would be outraged by it, and action would be taken.  But here we are, and nothing is being done about it.”

What can be done about it?  Do we post it on Facebook, make comments, share them…  and then what?  What makes “public outrage” anymore?  We’ve all heard that there are sins of commission and sins of omission.  You sin by doing the wrong thing, and you sin by failing to do the right thing.  A popular saying is, “Evil triumphs when good men stand by and do nothing.”  By doing nothing, don’t we prove that we are not good men?  What then, do we do?

In our country, the Freedom From Religion Foundation is hacking away at our religious liberties, and the foundation of our nation.  Our morality is being subjugated.  Our ethical standards are becoming necrotic.  America is turning a blind eye to the plight of Christians in Iraq, because we ourselves have become a bloated corpse, incapable of moral action.

However, there is somebody out there, doing the work, and taking the Gospel to where the war wages.  If you haven’t ever heard of them, they’re called “Back to Jerusalem” and they are the mission program of the Chinese house church led by a man named Brother Yun.  Their goal, is to reach the last bastions of Satan’s power, the 10/40 window.  The Gospel has spread West, from Jerusalem, through Europe, America, and across the Pacific Ocean to China.  Back to Jerusalem’s vision is to complete the circle, bringing the Gospel from China all the way back to Jerusalem.  They are bringing the Gospel to the same area that the Islamic State is bringing their death and destruction.

For years, liberals have spouted that radical Christians are just as bad as radical Muslims.  Well folks, here’s your example of what the two look like.  Back to Jerusalem is taking on the Islamic State.  Let me quote BTJ:

“As the IS spreads their brand of hate in the same manner in which hate is always spread, through the sword and death, God is spreading His love, through the same manner it is always spread, the sharing of the Gospel and sacrifice.”

Isn’t it ironic, that a nation which outlaws the preaching of the book of Revelation is sending missionaries into the most horrible conditions in the world, yet America, where people sing “God shed his grace on thee,” people of power sit and twiddle their thumbs in Congress and the White House?

Lord, you are a mighty God.  You will use tools that will stupefy the wisest of us, and use them to do tremendous works for your glory.  We stand in awe before your majesty and sovereignty.  This world is your footstool Lord.  Bless and protect the people that are being hurt, Father.  Bless them with the truth, and set them free.  Show us how to be your hands and feet today, show us how to act on your behalf.  Show us where to go and what to do, that the people we meet, that see who and what we are, would stop and glorify you, Father.  Help us to live our lives for you in ways that stupefy the wisest of us, and blaze forth your truth.

Categories: News, Spiritual

6 Responses

  1. Havalynii says:

    I’d just like to offer two thoughts that I hope won’t give offense:
    1. The concept of the 10/40 window, while easily understandable and thus a concept that has motivated large amounts of money and resources to go towards that region, has some fundamental flaws in addressing the needs of the lost in the world.
    2. There are many, many, many groups involved in the Muslim world that are doing great work, but you won’t know about it until heaven because they are virtually undetectable to outsiders. I don’t think most Western Christians truly understand the risks of that kind of ministry.
    3. What the American church needs most, in my opinion, is not for our politicians to get their act together, but to read their Bibles, pray, and obey, particularly when it comes to the Great Commission and the Great Commandment, and as a bonus, they should get outside of their own borders as much as possible to realize what a microcosm of the global spiritual situation the US truly is. In France, for example, there is on evangelical church for every thirty thousand people. This is pretty typical for Europe. The percentage of lost souls in France is much higher than most of the countries in the so-called 10/40 window. I say all of these things as an American, by the way, not as some anti-American foreigner. :)
    4. Regarding Muslims…have some over! Share your lives with them, learn enough of their customs not to offend them unnecessarily, but you’ll be surprised at the fact that the vast majority of Muslims HAVE NEVER BEEN INVITED OVER BY ANY NON-MUSLIM. EVER. They come from a culture of hospitality and find us cold and unwelcoming, which they then associate with Christianity. But Christianity is a Middle-Eastern religion originally. Jesus was a Hebrew, and thus steeped in a culture of hospitality much closer to the Islamic one.

    Peace to you all.

  2. Havalynii says:

    And by two, I of course meant four. :)

  3. Barjona says:

    No offense at all. I am a veteran of Iraq, so I have first hand knowledge of the everyday people of the Middle East. I’ve seen these people offer food, drink, and their daughters for marriage to my fellow Marines. I understand their hospitality. I’ve held their children, I’ve played with them in the dirt. I’ve seen their eyes light up as I gave them a package of M&Ms. The 10/40 window exists, because it stands out, and it stands out for a reason. It’s the most violent region of the world, because it’s the most Muslim populated region of the world.

    There are many groups working in the region. I wanted to spotlight Back to Jerusalem, because they are doing great work, and going head to head with ISIS. They are showing bravery where our nation is showing indecision. There is a difference between what the American church needs, and what the American nation needs. No matter who or what entity we are speaking of, we can ALWAYS use more prayer, Bible reading, and obedience. That’s a catch all. But we need to get to specifics. I believe that America’s #1 problem today, is narcissism. It’s all about ME. As long as it’s not happening here, then we can ignore the problem, and hope that it goes away. There’s such a massive awareness movement right now for ALS, and so I must ask, how does that compare to the horrors being perpetrated by ISIS, and how much awareness of it is there in the United States?

    Outside of my home, I will give anybody the shirt off my back, no matter who they are, be they Muslim or anything else. But I’d never invite them into my home, because I have a responsibility for the safety of my family. Daniel didn’t invite the lions into his home, he was cast into their den. If it’s just me at risk, I’m okay with that, and if it leads to my death, so be it. Islam is a religion consumed by terror and inflicting that terror on others. It is the very backbone of their faith. To paraphrase a former Muslim that I was speaking to, who is now a missionary to the Middle East: “Look at the radicals. Islam has Osama bin Laden. Christianity has Billy Graham. It speaks volumes.”

    They can find me cold and unwelcoming. I find them horrible and beastial. But I know that they are ignorant of the truth, and held captive by Satan in the lies of the Quran. So I am gentle with those that I speak to, though I remain wary, with good reason.

  4. Havalynii says:

    “I believe that America’s #1 problem today, is narcissism.”

    Totally agree, although I’d expand it to say that that’s humanities problem. :)

    “They can find me cold and unwelcoming. I find them horrible and beastial.”

    I find Islam that way, but I find that Muslims are not universally that way. They’re still just lost sheep living under the Law.

    “I’d never invite them into my home, because I have a responsibility for the safety of my family.”

    I think that this is between you and God. For me, I’m not afraid of them, and I want my children to be willing to open their homes to the lost even at the risk of their lives and that of their loved ones. God doesn’t spare His children from terrible abuse and punishment for His Name, and I am trying to remember that my children are on loan. But again, I think this is something to sort out with our Father personally. I’m not a pacifist, I believe in home defense, but I believe that perfect love drives out fear and that there is sometimes a tension between what is logical or even apparently wise, and that which is what God actually wants me to do.

    For my part, I’m thankful that Christians took the effort to enter into my culture to share the Gospel with me, and many of my formerly Muslim brethren would say the same with even more conviction.

    Peace.

  5. Nathan Johan says:

    I just wish to say that this is an excellent post, and that I can commiserate with your wife in that the persecuted Christians of the world touch my heart as well.

    However, I also wish to say this: we should take action not just to make the world more aware of the plight of Christians in ISIS or anywhere else in the world, but also to pray and consider what we can do within our own borders. I speak of America. We are not a perfect nation, nor do I expect this nation to be so. Nonetheless, I have been praying and fasting that God might pour out His Holy Spirit upon this nation, as truly America has been both a physical and spiritual blessing. The USA has sent more missionaries to carry the Gospel into the world than any other country on earth.

    What I suggest is this. I wholeheartedly am encouraged that Chinese Christians are taking the Gospel to hostile areas. This alone is a relief. However, I also take heart in that people from other countries are coming to the USA to spread the seed of the Gospel. In other words, America casted her bread upon the waters in the eighteenth century; now, some of the bread is coming back. I do pray that people not just within this country but from other nations will feel the burden to come to America to spread the Gospel to those lost here.

  6. Barjona says:

    Nathan: Amen. I believe that today, India is the #1 sender of missionaries to the world. God is working wonders, and will work wonders regardless of what any country does. I thank God that some of those missionaries are coming here, and at the same time, it speaks volumes of the state of our nation, that a place where we once took the truth, now feels the need to return that truth to us. “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love.” I hope and pray that America returns to our first love, Jesus Christ.

    HAVALYNII: Much of what we do is determined by our personal callings. I can go out into the world, and risk myself with no problem. I’ve faced death a number of times, and I do not fear it. I’ve lived in poverty, and I don’t mind it. But I for one, cannot risk the beheading of my children. Myself, yes. My children, no. That will be their decision to make, when they are old enough to make it. For now, we pray together, not just for the Christians that are being hurt, but for the others being hurt, and even for the members of ISIS. They are lost in darkness, and are hiding from the light. We pray that they turn to the light, and see their darkness for what it truly is. I do not fear Muslims, I only take their beliefs and deeds at face value. The Quran is evil, and those that follow it are evil. If they do not follow the Quran, they are not Muslim, just as if we do not follow the Bible, we are not Christian. “Ye shall know them by their fruits.” I’m not putting Islam on the same level as Christianity by that statement, merely stating that we are who we choose to be. They either follow the Quran, making them evil, or they do not. We either follow the Bible, putting our faith in Christ for salvation, repenting of our sins and turning to God, and always testing whether we be in the faith, or we do not.

    “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.”
    2 John 1:7-11

    As iron sharpens iron, brother. I have enjoyed your posts very much. They make me stop and think deeper about my convictions. Thank you. God bless you.

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