You know the old saying, “Don’t discuss religion or politics in public?”
Well, clearly the latter no longer applies.
Look at your favorite social media feed.
These days, going online is like wading into a river of toxic sludge that flows both ways into a maelstrom.
And that’s good. It’s the American way. Freedom of speech and all.
Except when it comes to expressing one’s faith in God.
That’s when a post becomes the leper of everyone’s feed. No one will touch it, like it, comment on it, or share it.
Why? I’m not sure. But if you are hiding in plain sight and afraid of being known as a Christian, then this post is for you.
Earlier this summer, I inadvertently began a social media experiment. The results, or lack of them, more accurately, led to a disappointing revelation.
After posting two separate news stories about two different murder rampages in two different countries, I can count the emoji/thumbs up responses on the fingers of one hand. Comments were even fewer.
The murder rampages weren’t well-publicized like the atrocity at the Ariana Grande concert, or last year’s Pulse Nightclub tragedy.
These were two different attacks of ISIS against Christians who refused to renounce their faith in Christ and Christianity–choosing on-the-spot execution instead.
- On Monday, May 26, twenty-six Christians on a bus en route to a monastery were ambushed and assassinated by members of ISIS.
- On May 30, nine Christians were assassinated by ISIS in the Philippines–among the dead were children.
Each story had eye-catching headlines and photographs, but most people scrolled on by.
YET, the President of the United States issues a Tweet with a misspelling this same week, and many of my friends and neighbors are all over that one like it’s the end of the world.
And that’s the thing. One never knows…
My posts about benign things like a kid’s birthday or the great service at a new Doc-in-a-Box usually score many, many more responses than anything related to ISIS killing Christians.
Up to this point, I’ve made it a personal policy not to post political things either for or against people in office or running for office. I don’t make posts about my political affiliation. And I still don’t.
But the assassination of Christians for no reason except their faith in God really moves me to want to make some kind of response.
We live in dangerous times. The P.C. Police have run amok and morality is decried as bigotry.
So what can we do?
We can have the courage to say, “I’m a Christian” to the world.
If those slain for their faith had the courage to hang on to it even unto death, then why aren’t we able to make a public statement by writing a comment on a social media post or checking off an emoji?
Why are some of us living as incognito Christians–people who say we believe, but we can’t even be bothered to go to worship?
Those twenty-six Coptic Christians were on their way to worship.
Our biggest problem with getting to church (at present) is rolling out of bed and pushing our other family members to get ready to leave the house on time.
We don’t realize how blessed we are. Notice I didn’t say lucky. Luck implies chance, and this chick believes God is in control.
In closing, I’d like to share a story of another group of Coptic Christians who were beheaded in February of 2015 for refusing to renounce their faith.
This story comes from Dr. David Jeremiah’s research and book, IS THIS THE END?
(I have a forthcoming book review of this book scheduled for September 1–-check back if you’re interested.)
Anyway these twenty men, Egyptian farmers, had traveled to Libya to find work.
Instead, they were beheaded by ISIS. But they were not the only men to be killed that day.
There were actually twenty-one men rounded up by ISIS, and put in statement-making orange jumpsuits like prisoners from Guantanamo Bay.
But the last man to be violently beheaded that day was not Egyptian–he was just traveling with the group in search of work. Wrong place at the wrong time, as some might say.
Mr. Mathew Ayairga was from Chad, Africa.
And so, when the black-hooded ISIS assassins reached Mathew, they asked him, “Do you reject Christ?”
Mathew was not a Christian, but witnessing the faith of the twenty men who died alongside him and never waivered in their faith must have made an impression.
Mathew responded, “Their God is my God.”
Mathew died as a Christian, indeed.