Thursday, July 14, 2011
I don't know what it feels like to be persecuted for my faith. As an American living a comfortable life in a quaint small town, churches abound. In fact, the town of Greenwood has more than 100 churches to choose from. That means that whether I am a practicing Catholic, Lutheran, Protestant, Presbyterian, Fundamentalist, Pentecostal, Baptist, Free Baptist, Southern Baptist, Assembly of God, or Jew I have a place of worship.
And yet as much as "church" feels like home, I take for granted these glorious privileges that American believers have here on our own soil. If I lived in Kenya for instance, I might have to walk 5 miles or at least 5 kilometers to get to a church meeting. Then I might have to catch a bus another 5 kilometers. If I lived in China, or India I might still be forced to find an underground church service that was secretly being held in the basement of someone's home or business. I would probably live in some kind of fear that my faith would be discovered.
I guess am pondering what persecution was like for the disciples, and those living in countries other than the USA. Would I be able to handle this loss of freedom--the freedom to pick and choose where I attend church? Or the freedom to start up a conversation in Walmart with someone wearing a Christian t-shirt? Here, I can freely share my faith. Here, I can church hop, not that I wholly approve of that practice.
But really, we've got it made people. We are not often faced with any real persecution. Yeah, we might catch some flack from our friends or family members who see us as religious or Jesus Freaks. That's cool, but it's certainly not persecution until we are forced to defend our faith and our freedom. Yeah, we have more freedom than we realize, and a boatload of Good News to share.