Thursday, March 08, 2007

Now THIS is NOT Persecution

Every now and then it is worth being reminded that Christians do not always suffer because of righteousness. Peter warned us that this might happen (see 1 Peter 2:20). A case in point is the story of South African pastor, Reverend Piet Mnisi, as reported yesterday by Agence France-Presse:

Elderly worshippers at a church in South Africa beat up their priest after he told them to hand over part of the increase in their pension announced in a recent budget. Reverend Piet Mnisi said in his sermon on Sunday that congregation members should give him the 50-rand ($7.95) increase announced by Trevor Manuel, the Finance Minister, claiming it was "a blessing from God." He also warned that their relatives would die if he didn't start receiving the money, starting next month. Dozens then turned on the pastor, attacking him with rods and even a Bible. "It was strange to see people who pray every day behaving in such a w ay," said an eyewitness. Rev. Mnisi jumped out of a church window and locked himself in his house.

While I can't condone the violence, I can't help but respect the discernment demonstrated by the congregation. Makes you wish that some of the supporters of some of today's television evangelists would exhibit similar judgment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I Just had a very hearty laugh after reading the story. But on another level is sad when we see and hear people using God and His word to serve their selfish interests. Yes, this is far from persecution. Indeed, it is suffering for unrighteousness! But I still pray for mercy, healing and blessings upon the misguided priest and his angry congregation who took matters into their own hands to punish their priest. Well, I think you were generous the commend the "discernment" of the members. I guess it was a partial discernment as they recognized the wrongness of the priest's approach but were also wrong in their response to it, as you rightly pointed out in not condoning their act. I do enjoy reading you blogs. God richly bless you!