Wednesday, August 05, 2009

If The Tables Were Turned

This morning I received the last newsletter from a dear friend of ours here at The Voice of the Martyrs.  Malcolm MacLeod served with us for a couple of years as our Volunteer Ministries Coordinator before returning to his native Scotland for the expressed purpose of raising awareness of the Persecuted Church.  We were sad to see him go but wished him well in following God’s leading.  He has since started a new ministry called Steadfast Global (you can reach him at PO Box 9937, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Scotland, U.K., HS1 9AA or by email if you are interested in knowing more).

But back to his latest newsletter.  Malcolm has a great way with words and his editorial this month demonstrates it yet again. I hope you find it as challenging as I did.

If The Tables Were Turned

If the tables were turned and it was me in prison for Christ, would I wonder why no-one seemed to care about me?

If the tables were turned and I was being tortured for Christ, would I wonder if anybody was raising a voice on my behalf?

If the tables were turned and I was facing rape as a means of humiliation for my faith, would I wonder if anyone was outraged over my suffering?

If the tables were turned and it was my wife that lay dead, killed for her faith, would I wonder if anyone else was shedding a tear?

If the tables were turned and my home was in ashes because of my love of Jesus, how would I feel?

If the tables were turned and I was hungry because I had become a Christian, would I wonder why no help was coming?

If the tables were turned and I had a thirst for God’s word but no Bible, where would I look to have my thirst quenched?

If the tables were turned and I was watching my fellow Christians suffer, would I be so consumed by denominational differences?

If the tables were turned... would I ask myself why those who could help seem so quiet?

I know that by posing these questions some will undoubtedly accuse me of trying to emotionally manipulate my readers. Please understand that this is not my intention. All I seek to do is encourage a moment of reflection: what would it be like if the tables were turned and we found ourselves in the place of a persecuted believer? I have no wish to offend, but I make no apology for expressing my fervent desire to see the Christians in the West embrace our individual and collective responsibility to do whatever we can to demonstrate our love for the wider and embattled church in chains.

I love the ‘Church’ and I relish the task that the head of this Church, the Lord Jesus Christ, has given to me; the task to challenge you to step outside of your comfort zone in order to unequivocally show your concern for, and oneness with persecuted

I find myself almost overwhelmed by frustration as I watch a church that is brimming over with resources and gifts major on minors, and all too often enter into disputes that stem from clashes of personality and pride, while those with real and pressing needs go unnoticed.

The one consolation is that we serve an all-seeing God who will never turn away from his suffering people. What was that message given to Esther all those years ago? Oh yes, ‘For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place...’ (Esther 4:14).

Please don’t leave others to do it all when together we can do so much.

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