Friday, June 20, 2014
Ethics - How Long will We the Westerners Be for Ourselves Only?
"If I am not for myself, who is for me? And when I am for myself only, what am 'I'? And if not now, then when?" *** Hillel the Elder - If you've received Voice of the Martyrs, you will realize that many of us Christians are risking our lives in Islamic and in atheist countries for Jesus Christ. We don't want to face what they face and for now, many of us are indeed safe - for now? But for how long will this "for now" period last us? We sit with folded arms and thousands of Christians get tortured, maimed, murdered. How and Why are Christians Being Persecuted in the World Today, in 2014? According to the website of http://www.statista.com/statistics/271002/persecution-of-christians-worldwide, you can see that North Korea, an atheist Communist nation-state in East Asia and Somalia, an African Muslim nation-state top the list of nations that persecute Christians inside their territories. There is a companion post regarding the proclaimed order by the North Korean dictator to have killed 33 Christian missionaries in North Korea. this occurred in March of this year, three months ago. According to this article, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/01/13/the-new-age-of-christian-martyrdom.html, enemies of the Christian faith are using "firing squads" and "concentration camps" such as those used by the Nazis. The article goes into more detail than this post as describing this horrific trend. Now, why is this happening? It was indeed prophesized by Our Lord Jesus Christ And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? 4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. 10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. According to an article in Wikipedia, it is speculated that the Book of Matthew was written sometime between the years of 70 AD and 110 AD. So Jesus Christ was able to prophesy during the period He walked on the earth during His Ministry between 30 AD and 33 AD, approximately, that this would be happening. And it is happening. According to His words, it happens because of iniquity that the love of many waxes cold. According to the definitions of iniquity as provided by Wiktionary, see link http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/iniquityIniquity - iniquity is defined as "1.Deviation from what is right; wickedness, gross injustice." But the definitions for iniquity continue. Another definition is "3.Absence of moral or spiritual values, lawlessness." The last and most serious would account for the wrongdoing and that is "4.Denial of the sovereignty of God." So the more wicked or evil people get, the colder their hearts get and the less able to love that peoples' hearts get as a consequence. In countries such as North Korea and Somalia, the political and social establishments are then to be considered to be composed by persons who deny the sovereignty of God and whose spiritual values and moral values are lacking. Since the Christian faith is based on the reverence for the sovereignty of God, for the forgiveness of sins, for the recognition for salvation through Jesus Christ only, then those who worship God through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ - constitute a big thorn to the side of those who work iniquity. And those of us in the West who do not raise our voices to the matter? Why is this happening? To the credit of the Huffington Post, I salute Media & communications consultant Joop Koopman for his article, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joop-koopman/why-the-silence_b_4159345.html. Mr. Koop reviews the book, The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution by Catholic journalist John Allen. According to this article, John Allen provides a number of reasons that are quoted in this piece. One of them is that there is ignorance about religious matters. Another is hostility to institutional religion in the secular world. Still more: Western Christians are said to be too squeamish to confront this cruel mistreatment of Christians. Another is that they are too foreign, too far away to really impact us. How long will Western Christians be safe in our Western World while this is going on overseas? Personally, I don't know. But I speculate with certainty that this safety will not last forever, especially if history is any guide. Remember this one? "First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me." By Martin Niemöller. Martin Niemöller according to a caption under a photograph of him in the website http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007392, he is said to have spent the last seven years of the Third Reich as a concentration camp inmate. According to the Holocaust Encyclopedia at http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007391, Martin Niemöller was incarcerated at Sachsenhausen, an SS concentration camp. Then there is one more quotation, a more serious warning that I am including here to sum up my warning. "The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crisis maintain their neutrality." ― John F. Kennedy