Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Freedom isn't Free
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not
submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1 ESV)
As I write this, it is Memorial Day, when we remember all those who
have fought and died to preserve and protect the many freedoms we
enjoy in this country.
I once heard a pastor tell a congregation about driving around with a
recently-returned missionary in the car. The pastor glanced over at the
passenger to see that she had been looking out the window with tears
in her eyes.
“It’s good to see churches again,” she said. “There is so much darkness
Later, they sat down in a public place to eat and bowed their heads
in prayer over the meal. The missionary couple related that a simple
prayer over a meal in public is not something they had been able to do
in this way for some time.
The missionaries mentioned above are stationed in a country where it is
illegal to tell someone about Jesus.
That’s right, illegal.
Speaking the truth about Jesus is called “proselytism” and can result in
heavy fines, imprisonment, torture, and even death in many countries.
In the events above, the pastor, the church, the missionaries, and the
country where they do their work have been omitted because it would
endanger them. That’s how real the persecution is.
Voice of the Martyrs lists over 50 countries and regions that persecute
Christians on its website: Cuba, Columbia, Chiapas in Mexico, Morocco,
Mauritania, Libya, Nigeria, Mali, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea,
Ethiopia, Somalia, Comoros, Yemen, Oman, United Arab Emirates,
Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Jordan, Gaza and the West
Bank, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Iran, Pakistan,
Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan,
Kazakhstan, Tibet (China), Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bhutan,
Bangladesh, Burma (Myanmar), Laos, Malaysia, China, Viet Nam, Brunei,
Indonesia, Mindanao, and of course, North Korea.
So, despite all the issues and problems that this country has, let us
not forget and never be without genuine and sincere gratitude for the
freedom we have to worship the One True God and witness to the
power of the love of Jesus Christ.
And, thank a veteran.
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:36 ESV)