For the weak?

There are many quotes out there owing religion to the weak.  Karl Marx said, “Religion is the opiate of the people.”  Jesse Ventura claimed, “organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people.”

I don’t want to argue the technicalities of religion and its power over people.  Certainly “religion” and even organized Christianity have numbed people’s hearts and minds or have wrongly empowered people with numbers of followers.  True Christianity, living as a servant as Christ did, is hardly for the weak.  I would claim that in a sense one must be weak in order to come to Christ…..we must recognize our sin and our worthlessness before the cross can mean anything to us.  We must realize we are in dire need of salvation before we can seek a Savior.

Once we have received Christ, we are often called to walk a path hardly cut out for the weak.  The earliest disciples and believers were killed for their faith.  Stephen, the first “Christian” martyr mentioned in Scripture, was stoned to death.  Others were clubbed to death, beheaded, crucified upside down, hanged, etc. etc.  Hardly a religion for the weak.

A fan of Elisabeth Elliot, I often think of James Elliot and the other missionaries who were speared to death by the very people that they were trying to reach for Christ.  I am moved by their story (I highly recommend watching “End of the Spear” if you haven’t seen it) and I am awed every time I think of the young widow, Elisabeth, and Rachel, the surviving sister of one of the martyred missionaries, going into the tribe and sharing Christ’s love with the very people who killed their loved ones.   Elisabeth Elliot and Rachel Saint would probably not have claimed that they were strong, but would correctly attribute their bravery to Christ, who strengthens those whom He calls.  I cannot imagine anyone arguing that those women were weak or lacking in courage.

Christians around the world are still being persecuted and killed for their faith on a daily basis.  Today, remember our brothers and sisters in Christ who are being killed for their faith.  I encourage you to check out The Voice of the Martyrs on a regular basis to be in touch with what is going on in the worldwide body of Christ.  Pray for the 10/40 window–that Christ may be known and that our brothers and sisters may be strong in the face of danger and threat.

1 John 3 tells us that we should not be surprised that the world hates us.  It also tells us:

16This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 17If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 19This then is how we know that we belong to the truth..

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