I got a slight reality check today. Well, slight might be an understatement. It was a pretty big one. It came when our pastor’s wife read us an e-mail he had sent to the church from India. He’s been over there for about a month laying the ground work for a pastor’s conference our church is hosting in the fall (or spring there, I guess). Normally, he’s in the middle to southern half of India, which is pretty safe for foreigners in general. However, on this trip, he decided to go and preach in the northern provinces. The north, if you were unaware, is not quite so friendly for foreigners, and especially unfriendly for Christians. Just how bad, you ask?
Well, the only reasons he made it in were, one, he’s black. Two, he’s learned enough of the language to fit in. And three, God must have wanted him there. The churches he spoke at were all “house churches”, held in secret in peoples’ homes. The people that attended had to hide their Bibles in their clothing. Why, you ask? Well, the current bounty on the head of Christians in parts of the north is around $200. Dead or alive. If you get a pastor, it’s more. One of the men he met had his arm cut off by an extremist. He was praising God with his only arm held high today.
I complained about spending $4 a gallon to drive to church today.
When’s the last time someone wanted to cut your arm off for being a Christian? Maybe you’ve been in that situation, but for me, I can’t think of one. But I’ve shied away from sharing my faith plenty. I’ve resisted the Spirit’s urge to testify. I’ve been afraid of what people might say or think.
What they might say or think.
No wonder Jesus said “When the Son of man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8)