Is it a privilege to be persecuted?

By May 27, 2011

USA (MNN) — More Christians are being persecuted for their faith than ever before. Christians are beaten, forced from their jobs, imprisoned, tortured and even killed for their faith in Christ. Churches are also being destroyed. There is hardly a week that goes by where Mission Network News isn't talking about suffering.

Suffering shouldn't surprise us. Jesus told us that we would suffer for loving Him. Interestingly, as Christians suffer, the church grows. And those who face persecution develop such a veal for Christ that their evangelistic efforts are almost unstoppable. The question is: how can this type of zeal invade the church in North America?

President of Open Doors USA Carl Moeller has co-written a book with Pastor David Hegg called, "The Privilege of Persecution."

In an interview with MNN, Moeller compares the church in the West to the persecuted church. As it relates to the Bible, Moeller says, "They love the Word of God. They revere it in a way that we've forgotten. Remember the word that used to be on ALL our Bibles — the word 'Holy.'" Perhaps it's forgotten because Bibles are readily available in the West.

In terms of courage, Moeller says, "I'm afraid to go talk to my neighbor and invite him to Christ. I've seen Christians through the persecuted church who are willing to go to jail and to suffer torture because they won't renounce the faith."

According to Moeller, persecuted believers think differently about persecution than Western believers. He told the story of an Iranian man recently released from three weeks of torture. "I had to know: what was he really thinking? He just smiled the biggest smile I've seen him smile. And he raised his fist with a thumb up and said, 'I was counted worthy to suffer for my Lord Jesus Christ.'"

Moeller added, "That faith challenges me, overwhelms me, and inspires me to stand strong in the midst of my struggling."

The question is: how can Western Christians have this kind of faith without persecution? "Take daily steps of small courage. If we want to have the same faith that the persecuted have, we've got to do what the Chinese church does: 'Get in a little trouble for Jesus.' Let's do some things that challenge the enemy."

Quoting Brother Andrew, founder of Open Doors, Moeller says, "If the enemy is not shooting at you, you have to ask the question — are you worth the bullet?"

You can listen to the entire interview with Carl Moeller by clicking here.

To get a copy of "The Privilege of Persecution" and help Mission Network News at the same time, click here.

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