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Friday, November 22, 2013

Why The Church Is So Silent

The following is by our friend Darrow Miller, co-founder of Disciple Nations Alliance, from his blog, Darrow Miller and Friends, reprinted by permission: 

Jihadists have a slogan: “First the Saturday People, then the Sunday People.” That is, "First we will kill the Jews, then we will kill the Christians."

Today, Christians are being persecuted from Nigeria through North Africa and the Middle East into Asia. Their places of worship are being destroyed, their girls and women are being raped, their homes and villages are being savaged and shattered. Christians are being targeted for mass killings as well as individual assassinations.

And all the time, the world seems to care very little. Influenced by cultural relativism, the West too often denies Islamist evil, pretends there is no clash of civilizations. “We must not critique another culture,” they say. Because of the West’s dependency on oil, governments are loathe to condemn Saudi Arabia’s promotion of their own militant form of Islam known as Wahhabism. The Saudis have spent $2-3B a year since 1975 to build mosques, Wahhabi schools (madrassas) for children, and Islamic institutes at major Western universities. All of this is funded by oil money. Money spent by the West to buy oil is seeding the West’s own destruction.

But it is not just the cultural relativists and Western governments that are silent. The church in the West is virtually silent about the persecution and decimation of our brothers and sisters in Christ in much of the 10/40 window. (See Kirsten Powers’ condemning article in The Daily Beast titled A Global Slaughter of Christians, but America’s Churches Stay Silent.)

The Jihadist vision is one of externally imposed law, legalism, and tyranny. They hate the Judeo-Christian worldview and the civilization of freedom it produced. I understand why Jihadists are opposed to Christians and Jews. What I do not understand is why the church is so silent. Why doesn’t the church in the West stand with her suffering brothers and sisters in Muslim countries? Indeed, we should side with Jews and moderate Moslems—our fellow sons and daughters of Abraham—who are being slaughtered by the Islamists. Even more, we should uphold and defend our fellow Christians. If we cannot stand with them in their hour of need, against what injustice will we ever stand?

Maybe Western Christians are silent because we are too comfortable.  Francis Schaeffer said that the two primary values of modern life are personal peace and affluence. Perhaps the church has been discipled by the culture. Perhaps personal peace and affluence have become the culture of the church. To challenge injustice and oppression might disrupt our comfort. Perhaps the church is silent because we want to be comfortable.

May God raise up a new generation of Christians whose god is not comfort.  May it be a generation concerned about injustice and oppression, a generation that will stand in word and deed with the suffering church.

In response to the question "What do we do?" see Darrow's follow-up post here.

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  1. When individual Christians read about what the Church is not doing that it should be doing, I wonder if we don't feel helpless, because what can I do as an individual Christian? It seems like only the Church as a larger body has any degrere of clout to confront these forces against it. But where is the larger body using its clout? Maybe if there were stories of how individual Christians have been effective against these enemy forces the rest of us could be inspired to do something within our own ability.

  2. It's a sad sign of our times that the modern Christian feels powerless as an individual when God's Word clearly illustrates how He works through ordinary, sinful humans. Why do we doubt God's ability? He is the Holy, Awesome God who spoke all of creation into being!

    I can't help but wonder if many Christians have exchanged the voice of the Holy Spirit for the voice of a collective church "country club".

    Perhaps our comfort comes from having made ourselves comfortable through hiding behind a church building entity which supplies all our needs. And we are terrified to upset that or we will be "on our own." I fear that many of us have tuned out the Holy Spirit and are just following the crowd, rather than listening to how God wants to use us individually.