Romans 11:33-36

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Martyrs Monday

Acts 5:29

The ominous red seal at the bottom of the page bore the insignia of the district Communist office for that area of Laos. For local Christians, the words were even more ominous.

“If any person, any tribe, any family is deceived to believe in other religions, such as Christianity or others, they must return to the religion in which they believed,” the document stated. “It is forbidden to propagate that religion. On the contrary, those believers will have to move and live in the new areas. If there is any village or family who believes in another religion . . . party committee members must collect the statistics and make a list of those groups of people . . . and send it to the Office for the Front for Construction. We would like to know especially how many believe in Jesus and are Christians in the district.” The document dated July 18, 1996 was signed by the “Standing Committee of the Front for Construction.”

More recently Laotian Christians have been forced, often at gunpoint, to sign a document renouncing their conversion to Christianity. For the atheistic government, it seems that any religion is more acceptable than the worship of Jesus Christ.

Despite the government’s efforts, the church in Laos is growing as Christians boldly share their faith.

When human authority contradicts God’s commands, a line is drawn; a choice must be made. Either we will resign to human authority or align ourselves with God’s commands and risk the consequences. While peace is our ultimate aim, we cannot reorder our priorities around human demands. For example, the United States government has declared prayer as an illegal activity on school grounds. However, they cannot really take prayer away from students and faculty who wish to exercise communion with their God. Others may decree a similar or worse religious restraint. However, God overrides their authority, as he alone is king over the human heart. We can confidently choose to obey God rather than human authority as an act of our will.

Readings taken from
Extreme Devotion: The Voice of the Martyrs


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