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Quaker by conviction, mother by default, Celticst through love, Christ follower because I once was lost but now am found...

Monday, June 25, 2012

And they stoned Stephen, calling upon the Lord, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.

And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep. ~ The Book of Acts

Some things stay with you long after you've forgotten everything else.  Some things stay with you even though it was not, never was, the main point.  The Heavenly Man was like that for me.  It's a book that's like reading a modern day version of Acts ~ a book I've never been particularly fond of.  *sigh*  I know.  I should be.  I mean it's chock block full of the impossible, the improbable & the fantastic ~ right down my alley you would think, but No.  It wearies me.

I read this, oh, maybe 18 months or more ago.  And promptly forgot it.  It's very forgettable.  Except for one thing.

If you haven't read it it's partly the story of China's Home Churches & the persecution of Chinese Christians by their own government;  a story that has been repeated over & over again in every nation under the sun.  But somewhere in there Brother Yun made this statement [my paraphrase]: Do not pray for the freedom of Christian prisoners; Pray that they have grace to endure.  

Coupled with that rather outrageous statement is this one: China sends more missionaries into Muslim nations than any other Christian peoples because these nations cannot do anything to us that our own government has not already done! They understand deeply, realistically, that they could perish for their belief in the Muslim nations.  They also understand that whether they live or die they live & die unto the Lord.

It makes us look like wimps in the West, doesn't it?  It's like a thorn in my flesh.  I do not want to be matryed for my faith ~ but if that should ever be the case I do pray for the grace to endure & to say with Stephen & Christ:  Forgive them; they know not what they do.

What do you think?


Jeanne said...

It's a huge challenge isn't it? We don't know what being persecuted means here in the west.

I bought this book back when everybody was talking about it and then couldn't bring myself to read it. What do you think? Worth a try? I taunts me sitting there on the shelf unopened.

Ganeida said...

Jeanne: It is not graphic about the persecutions ~ as I remember. It is, sadly, rather poorly written. [Why does the devil get the readable stuff?!] It is full of Acts like incidents so if you believe in the cessation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit you might find a lot of this rather hard to swallow. As I said, completely forgetable but for 2 things: Persecuted Christians see their persecution as an opportunity for Christ from which they do not wish to be released except by Christ Himself & it makes them strong witnesses in the hard to reach countries. I already feel guilty enough but go for it!

Julie B. said...

I have read this book twice, Ganeida. I felt ruined by it, and was happy to be ruined. I also remember how startled Brother Yun was by how Western Christians live and pray. I think a little of the ruinedness wore off, and that makes me sad. Lord, please ruin us for you. He knows what I mean by that prayer, and I suspect you do too, my friend....xxoo

Ganeida said...

Ah, Julie! Indeed, but that is not for public perusal on this blog! ☺

How are the Halleluija Hounds coping?

seekingmyLord said...

Oh, boy. A Christian can of worms. Whenever we had discussions in Sunday School class about how Christian are being persecuted in the United States, I cringe. We do not know persecution here...yet. Some may argue it is a relative thing, but I just cannot make such comparisons when we have mega churches advertising openly to a huddled few secreted away in hiding to share and learn of God.

Joyfulmum said...

I haven't read this book yet! Hubby has. Its on looooong list of books to read and I just havent got there yet:(
Coming from India yes there are things about the western church that saddens me, one eg being lack of prayer. Whenever I talk about it I'm put in a box of that it's just me and my gift :( saddens me.
As for persecution, yes, we don't know how good we have it here! The worst persecution we will have to face is mocking in our society, nothing compared to china or some other countries. Is it any wonder why the church is as big as it is n china. We have a lot to learn from them!

Ganeida said...

Seeking: Is it? We have a lady in our class from Hungary; went through the persecution of the Eastern block churches, who has some interesting things to say about what takes place when a Christian is under that sort of persecution. There is a grace...

Rosemary: I don't suppose you'd do a post along those lines? I have a Sri Lankan friend who also has some interesting observations about the differences ~ & she's a prayer warrior also!

We have been sheltered for a long time in the west & it has made us spiritually lazy & self~indulgent & it literally makes me sick on occasion ~ not because I want to judge my brethren but when I think what we could achieve if we just got over ourselves & got on with establishing the kingdom ~ I can't believe us.

It is lovely to hear you being so vocal & voicing a nice strong opinion. Now I am intrigued to hear more ~ because that has come from somewhere & sounds like such an interesting journey! ☺ Indulge me...yes? ☺

Joyfulmum said...

Lol! I think I have expressed my opinions before on your blog haven't I? :)
Don't have the time or head space to do many posts on these matters atm. But to indulge you:
I think our society is too materialistic and too "comfortable" to need God. This creeps into the church!
Yes we say we need God but how much?
Is He our first port of call ? Eg, when we get sick do we pray first or see a dr? I could go on.....
About seeing his kingdom advance, look at the churches in China south America, Phillipinnes etc They pray and pray and pray, any wonder they are seeing revival.
Ok I'll stop now lol.
Besides I also fight the same things and have to be on guard, it's the spirit of the age we live in:(

Ganeida said...

Rosemary:lol Of course you have expressed your opinion it's just this one seemed to spark something. I thought that was worth chasing! I love seeing a problem through a different set of eyes!