Recently I had reason to do some reading about the April, 2014 abduction of 276 Nigerian school girls by the Islamic group known as Boko Haram. Apparently, most of the girls were Christians and suffered greatly at the hand of the terrorists. Although at least 57 of the them managed to escape, the remaining secondary school kids were forced to convert to Islam, made into slaves and sexual objects, whipped routinely and many were martyred.
To date, we cannot account for all of them. In fact, UNICEF states that in the recent past, over 1000 school kids (mostly girls) have been kidnapped in that region.
I have been thinking about what opposition looks like in our “neighborhood.” What form should we expect that opposition to take? How will it affect our families? Our work? Our relationships?
In the context of the kidnapped kids in Nigeria, does opposition come in the form of murdering our people? Or are Christians currently being “mugged” by a society that is running headlong in the opposite direction? Are the laws of the land actually stifling our ministries? Or in reality are we just getting “muzzled a bit?”
Regardless of how we answer my question, the challenge before us is to be prepared. Likely American Christians will not be gathered up into a football field and beheaded in the near future (like somewhere recently in Mozambique).
But we are taking a “beating” in the courts of public opinion. And we are definitely facing the trauma of being muzzled for what we believe.
An extreme, reactionary position is not what we need. What we need are reasonable Christian men and women to go do what the angel told the apostles to do in Acts 5:20. He said, “Go stand in the temple courts (out in a public arena where people can see you) and tell the people all about this new life.”
So, this week, let’s consider the forms of opposition that might occur. Let’s thank the Lord for His protection to date, and then, let’s get going. Find a public moment (perhaps in your back yard during a BBQ, or in your work’s break room, or at the checkout counter at your favorite store) and be bold. Tell the people standing there all about your new life in Christ.
We don’t have to be rude to be bold. We just have to be brave. The Holy Spirit will do the rest!
P.S. Please pray for the persecuted church (see voiceofthemartyrs.com or opendoors.org for information)