3rd in series DYING FOR THE CHRISTIAN FAITH (in America)
- What do these three maps have in common? They are three locations where Christians have died for sharing their Christian faith or speaking out to the values that they believe are part of the Christian faith. I will take them one at a time and elaborate on the one closest to my home in Florida. I will leave names out except for the home towns and states they represent.
In Boynton Beach, Florida, two young men were sharing their Christian faith with another man. Both men were in their 20’s and the man they spoke to for a brief period of time was 18. A phone call came in to the 18-year-old and he walked away. Just as suddenly as he had left, he returned. The two young men started to greet him and this is when he pulled out a gun and shot the one. The other began to run and was shot in the back. The young man then shot him through the head execution style. This was according to the Boynton Beach police who arrested the shooter and charged him with two counts of first degree murder.
A grandfather stood in front of his granddaughter’s high school holding a pro-life sign in Owasso, Michigan. He was shot.
A minister of the gospel was murdered while preaching in his own pulpit in Maryville, Illinois.
The media has said little about these assault on Christians. Some churches have had to resort to security systems for the staff while they work in the church during week days. Security has always been an issue here in the United States for the Jewish synagogues. Now, it seems that Christians are having to take many of the same measures.
How do Christians hold up under extreme persecution and murder? I know personally of one story that happened a few years ago in Eustis, Florida. A mother and her two daughters were coming out of a grocery store. They were abducted by two young men; taken to an isolated area and the two little girls were murdered. As the mother prayed and begged for her life, those assaulting her mocked her prayers. The mother was shot and left for dead. By a miracle, even though she was shot in the face, she was able to crawl to get help.
It would be understandable if this woman had crumbled under such an ordeal. With Christ as her strength, she went back to college and finished her degree. She continued as a Christian minister and shares her faith and story with many people. She also continues to recover from her numerous wounds and surgeries. What an inspiration she is to others!
In other writings on those who have died for the Christian faith, I have researched the drawing on God’s strength that these martyrs possessed. It may be that our modern day generation with its freedom of religion, that we have enjoyed ,will be severely tested. Are you as a Christian ready to be counted and not to flinch? I ask myself the same question.