6 Mar 2011

Thoughts on the Minority Church...



The physical presence of other Christians is a source of incomparable joy and strength to the believer... The prisoner, the sick person, the Christian in exile sees in the companionship of a fellow Christian a physical sign of the gracious presence of the triune God. Visitor and visited in loneliness recognize in each other the Christ who is present in the body; they receive and meet each other as one meets the Lord, in reverence, humility, and joy... It is true, of course that what is an unspeakable gift of God for the lonely individual is easily disregarded and trodden under foot by those who have the gift every day.


Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Life Together, 8-9
excerpt from Piper's "This Momentary Marriage"

This part of Piper's book really hit me yesterday... mostly after visiting places where being a Christian, a believer in the triune God and the resurrected Christ is either illegal or has the rest of society thinking that you are involved in a cult. Being a foreigner in both of these lands, i don't think i fully comprehend what that is like... but i do know a deep companionship with those who are His abroad that sometimes escapes me (or is it that i take it for granted) on this side of the ocean... 'the minority church' in my mind includes the persecuted church, but extends to those countries where the persecution is social, meaning being ostracized from society because of your faith...

This also made me think of the prayer for the persecuted church that Ben & i helped organize last year @ Dallas Theological Seminary's WEC (World Evangelization Week)... I remember being amazed as i looked for stories of the persecuted church at how recent so much of this news is...

Voice of the Martyrs is a great resource for understanding what some of our brother and sisters in Christ face. Just today I read a story of two pregnant Christian women released from jail, just days before their due dates. These women spent their 3rd trimester in jail after the communist government cracked down on evangelical's in Eritrea. Where is Eritrea you ask? (i wondered the same thing!)... Check it out...

Map of Eritrea
Story: Eritrea - Christian Women Released
(notice the date of the story: February 23, 2011 - a week and a half ago!)

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