It was announced this morning in church that this is the international day of prayer for the persecuted Church worldwide. We prayed a prayer of gratitude that we in America can worship without fear. That we are even given a tax exemption as a church and we prayed for those in other countries who choose to risk everything rather than denounce Christ. To tell you the truth... it seemed empty and cold. Here there is no real place for pain. We take pills for everything from headaches to hot flashes. Surely there is some kind of persecution prevention pill available isn't there? Oh Father open our eyes to really look at what is going on around us.
I don't in any way want to diminish the cost that is being paid by Christians all over the world. But here, in America, there is a different persecution going on. I am thinking of Daniel 8:25 where it says,
"Through his cunning
He shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule;
And he shall exalt himself in his heart.
He shall destroy many in their prosperity.
He shall even rise against the Prince of princes;
But he shall be broken without human means."
The line that jumps out at me is, "He shall destroy many in their prosperity." It reminds me of Rome which fell partly because of it's successes. People became complacent and passionless.They lost sight of that point of their government system.
I'm sure mine isn't the conventional way of understanding this passage but it says to me that prosperity isn't always a gift, much less from God. As I look over the crowds of wealthy, overfed, under nourished religious people in this country I wonder if it is our prosperity that is destroying us. I wonder if instead of thanking God for the lack of violence in this country towards Christians we might consider praying that His people here might be saved from the things that are killing us.