Imagine you have gone to visit your pastor at his home and there’s blood splattered over the walls. The pastor’s kitten is limping across the back garden and the assailants ask you, “Are you one of them?” It dawns on you that you have just unwittingly stepped into a raid on Christians in the area. One church youth group seems to have found itself in a similar rude awakening :
North Korean in prayer
A church tried to teach its youth group a lesson by staging a raid in which unsuspecting teens were ‘kidnapped’ at gunpoint, forced into a van and made to watch one of their pastors being assaulted in his house.
The ‘lesson,’ according to pastors at the Glad Tidings Assembly of God in Middletown, Pennsylvania, was meant to teach them about what Christian missionaries are subjected to in other parts of the world.
However, at least one girl, 14, was bruised and battered after the object lesson, and has now filed a complaint with the police.
The girl, who has asked to remain anonymous, described her terror to abc27.com: ‘They pulled my chair out from underneath me, and then they told me to get on the ground,’ she told the station.
‘I had my hands behind my back. They said, `Just do as I say, and you won’t be hurt.’’
The girl said she and about 17 other teens were taken to the pastor’s house, where it appeared he was being assaulted, covered in what looked to be blood.
Eventually, she said, the adults in charge revealed it was a staged event.
Persecution of Christians is a reality and for many it is a daily horrendous routine. Many churches living in the comfort of religious liberty will not mention the suffering church nor even pray for those in chains. This is a tragedy since history shows that even the Apostles were not spared suffering for Christ as almost all of them were either beheaded, boiled in oil, crucified upside down or brutally torn apart. Should this church have gone this far to shake up their littluns? I will leave that for you to ponder on in the middle of the night.
However I can still remember the words of the Late Richard Wurmbrand in his book Tortured for Christ and I hope it encourages you to pray for the persecuted church:
“When Christians in free countries win a soul for Christ, the new believer may become a member of a quietly living church. But when those in captive nations win someone, we know that he may have to go to prison and that his children may become orphans. The joy of having brought someone to Christ is always mixed with this feeling that there is a price that must be paid.” ~ Tortured For Christ
I had the opportunity to meet Richard Wirmbrand in Berlin and hear first hand his testimony. Persecution, which wears many faces, is a reality and counting the cost an integral (but mostly forgotten) part of our gospel message.One need only read Foxe’s Book of Martyrs to get the true measure of what it means to be persecuted, not undergo ;shock’ treatments.
Foxe’s book is a highly recommended read. It actually has a free online version.
That’s good to know!