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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Christians helping Christians?

Jack Kemp

Dennis Prager, an observant Jew, has a column today that asks a poignant question: Why don't Christians help...Christians?

Here's a quote:

Over time, the plight of the Soviet Jews awakened me to the plight of all Soviet dissidents, whether secular ones -- such as that great man, the physicist Andrei Sakharov -- or Christian.

The latter were particularly persecuted. Though my work was with Soviet Jewry, I had no trouble acknowledging that Soviet Christians often had it worse. Few Soviet Jews were killed or locked away in dungeon-like conditions by the Soviet authorities, but Soviet Christians were.

At some point in my early years, it dawned on me that I had not seen a single church with a "Save Soviet Christians" sign. Even more amazingly, I encountered Christian clergy -- Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox -- at every one of the scores of Soviet Jewry rallies at which I spoke. But while these wonderful Christians were outspoken on behalf of Soviet Jews, they were nearly all silent regarding -- or even simply ignorant of -- the dire plight of Soviet Christians.



I made the following reply to Jack:

You know, Jack, that's a terrific point, and one I am somewhat at a loss to answer. It may be this self-deprecating thing that has had Christians back into a corner with the onslaught of Secular Humanism. Many Christians may fear being accused of only caring about other Christians. It IS a bit odd, now that Mr. Prager brings it up.

There are many Christians who cannot seem to seperate different circumstances. They will allow the enemy to twist certain words of Jesus to their purposes. All liberal Christians advocate a social welfare state based on Jesus' command to feed the hungry and whatnot. They don't understand that this isn't charity but redistribution of wealth at gunpoint. What we have here may be a similar effect; turning the other cheek so it too may be struck may be translated into allowing Christian bretheren to be tormented in silence. It's not what Jesus meant, but it's what His words have been twisted into.

At the very least Christians should be documenting the persecutions of Christ's Church so that the world will know of it. The persecutions of the early Church by the Romans was a powerful recruiting tool, because it suggested that there was something serious happening, and if people were willing to die horrible, painful deaths, it meant they were part of something greater than just a few flakes practicing a wierd cult religion. The Church gained legitimacy by being persecuted. Had the Romans any sense they would have just left Christians alone.

It's a truism of life; suffering makes us stronger. The Jewish faith has survived so long because Jews have always been persecuted, and to my mind it is a form of proof that Judaism is true. Human nature being what it is, it would be far more seductive to surrender than to suffer. Suffering for one's faith just isn't the natural response, so it must be a SUPERNATURAL response. Jews have suffered plenty. So have Christians. That doctrine is anathema in Islam and many other faiths. Which is right, and which is wrong? I would bet on the Judeo-Christian side in this.

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