Tuesday, October 31, 2006

What About the Stories of Victory?

I received an email today expressing the concern that our portrayal of the Persecuted Church in our weekly email The Persecution and Prayer Alert tends to be too negative, that we don't tell the stories of overcoming faith and the tremendous growth of the Church in such countries as India.

That would be a fair enough criticism apart from a couple of details that I think might need clarification. First, our weekly email has the specific purpose of sharing up-to-date, even urgent, stories of persecution so that prayer and other forms of support can be mobilized by Christians around the world on behalf of those who are suffering for their faith. This is where email is such a valuable tool. That being the case, it will tend to reflect more of the "bad news" of persecution (although, of course, we must remember that the early church considered it a privilege to suffer for Jesus). If this was all that we told about the Persecuted Church, however, this would be rather one-sided. And we are careful not to do that. And to be fair, we do report in The Persecution and Prayer Alert on answered prayers and other incidents of a more encouraging note. But they are not as prevalent as in our flagship publication, The Voice of the Martyrs Newsletter.

That brings me to my second point. It is our monthly printed newsletter that one will get a fuller picture of the Persecuted Church. It is here that we tell their stories in greater detail. It is here and in our books and video that you get to see their faces and hear their voices. Our weekly email was never intended to stand on it own and it never will. It has a specific purpose and with that, some limitations. The Persecution and Prayer Alert was never intended to take the place of our monthly printed magazine and it will never. You need both, in my opinion, to get a complete picture of how God is at work in the world today through His Church.


Anonymous said...

I agree with you in your two points Glenn, But I also believe there is Victory in persecution even to death! The believe being persecuted finished the race and now is face to face with Christ. He/she died confessing faith in the risen Lord - Their is our Victory! All readers of VOM and their emails could see over and over great examples of faith to be followed. I would venture to say you would agree with me on this also.

In Christ

Glenn Penner said...

Oh, but of course, I do, which was one of my points in this blog. I just wanted to share why it is not always reported in the P+P Alert the way some might expect