(Reuters) – About 100 million Christians are persecuted around the world, with conditions worsening for them most rapidly in Syria and Ethiopia, according to an annual report by a group supporting oppressed Christians worldwide.
More Christians were martyred in the 20th century than in all previous centuries combined 171,000 Christians were martyred in 2005 [Int. Journal of Missionary Research]
The word assassin is often believed to derive from the word Hashshashin (Persian: حشّاشين, ħashshāshīyīn, also Hashishin, Hashashiyyin, or Assassins), and shares its etymological roots with hashish (pron.: /hæˈʃiːʃ/ or /ˈhæʃiːʃ/; from Arabic: حشيش ḥashīsh). It referred to a group that was part of the Nizari branch of the Ismā’īlī Shia. Founded by the Hassan-i Sabbah, the Assassins were active in the fortress of Alamut in Iran from the 8th to the 14th centuries, and also controlled the castle of Masyaf in Syria. The group killed members of the Muslim Abbasid, Seljuq, and Christian Crusader élite for political and religious reasons. Although it is commonly believed that assassins were under the influence of hashish during their killings or during their indoctrination, there is debate as to whether these claims have merit, with many Eastern writers and an increasing number of western academics coming to believe that drug-taking was not the key feature behind the name. The earliest known literary use of the word assassination is in Macbeth by William Shakespeare (1605). [Wikipedia]
What is a big concern of mine and I put it to you as well, is just how easily Christians assassinate each other and just how public they get and even more so, how aggressive they are. If we read the above, it is clear that there is enough going on against us as Christians so we do not need to contribute to it as well.
What am I talking about? You all know, but let me lay it out for you. Recently I was invited into a group on FB who are passionate and zealous for God and people. BUT, they attack each other something fierce on the page. I will not go into the detail of the group, as it is not important, but I will say this. There was healthy debate, and when I mean healthy debate I mean plain and simple abuse of each other. I was reading a topic that one person posted and was interested in people’s views, MAN o MAN, they slaughtered the person who posted it, he was going to burn in hell and more. To make matters worse, they used Scripture. Great that Scripture was used, but it was SO distorted and used out of context. I stopped reading what in theory was a good message but all the abuse in the message made it very difficult. Here is the thing, the bloke posted, “I have heard some people mention that all Rock Music is Satanic”. Now, I am not going into my thought on this, on this particular text, but with all the respect possible, how does that question lead to “you will burn in hell”, with scripture to validate it. So, I post in the bottom, something that has nothing to do with the topic, but I posted this. “ Hey folks, I am a might confused here, a simple question is asked and the asker gets shouted down quite aggressively by more than quite a couple of people, but I do not see any love in this post at all. I do not see the “BIG 2”. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul AND Love each other as I have loved you. The way I see it, everything we know and do in Christ MUST be able to path through the “BIG 2 –FILTER”.
The very 1st response after that was prefixed with a “MR MOORE, ……” I go WOAH, what has just happened, all I mention is hey, I do not see God’s love in the texts above. Next post “WELL SIR, enjoy your …..”. I am not even paraphrasing here.
Now to the meat of this note; how could I possibly take the message seriously when it is SHOUTED AT ME.. As soon as shouting takes place, the message is ignored and the situation takes precedence, all that will be remembered is “man, I was beat up there” and sometimes this “man I was beat up there, I do not even remember why”. This continued and I read a couple more posts only to find that this is the norm. The direct abuse of anyone that does not WHOLLY agree with EVERYTHING that is said was just sad. On a public forum, we assassinate each other, not just the message, but the character of the person. Statements like “Mr. Smith, you will burn in hell, your views are preposterous and you should not be allowed to publish them and worse”. Come on folks; attack the message if you must but not the messenger.
The problem is, and anybody that has been in a confrontation would know that as soon as the confrontation has started, that is what is important, not the reason for the confrontation.
I put it to you that it is NOT POSSIBLE even for likeminded Christians to agree with each other on all things. The scope of God is just FAR too VAST. God is the Alpha and the Omega AND everything in between, how can a mere mortal understand all that? How can we expect our peers to agree on everything that we say or believe? Now please be aware that I am not talking about the major points that are beyond contestation, such as Christ dying for our sins and such, I am talking about interpretation that says, “If you listen to rock music, you will burn in hell”, Get it?
Peops, if it is not salvation threatening, is it worth destroying the person to get your point across? Is it worth making a mockery out of the REAL MESSENGER , Jesus Himself? I think not. I think not at all. Every single thing that happens in life has a cause and effect process in place, what effects are you causing? You may not even be aware of them, there are very many places in the Bible that will tell you when to keep your mouth SHUT. Now once more, I am not advocating we just smile and wave and let every daft statement out there run its course, not at all. But if I cannot address it without assassinating my brother in Christ, I must find someone else that can.
Myths of Persecution
- The church grows when it is persecuted. Fact: Due to persecution, the number of Christians in Turkey have dropped from 32% to 0.2% this century. In Syria they dropped from 40% to 10%. Iran went from 15% to 2% and Iraq from 35% to 5%.
- Martyrs are church leaders or evangelists. Most Christians who have died have not born direct witness to their faiths. They are sweep away in a flood of ethnic cleansing or trapped in war torn regions. Prison camps have been more common that crosses.
- Christians are primarily martyred because of their testimony of Jesus. The social, economic and political factors listed below have much more to do with Christian deaths than preaching the gospel.
- Martyrs die glorious and victorious deaths, rejoicing to suffer for Jesus. Most are poor and frightened. They are mothers, children, workers and students, just trying to fight for their lives.
- We can stop it. We cannot change the nature of humanity. We can’t change the fact that Christianity threatens the world. We can’t change the word of God that predicts it. This, however, is no excuse to sit idly by and do nothing![http://markmoore.org/resources/essays/acts/persecution.pdf]