I am a fan of The Fast and Furious movie series, so the news that Paul Walker, one of the stars of the series, was killed in a car wreck is sad. If you are online at all, and this is the first you are hearing of his death, I would be completely shocked. Facebook, Twitter, and major news feeds alike blew up with this news, and with people stating how much he would be missed. It happens almost every time a celebrity, whether it be an actor, athlete, well-known business man, or a politician dies or is injured. Don’t get me wrong, death is sad and hearing about it is hard sometimes. What is bothering me with this one, and all of the celebrity death coverage for that matter, is the famous are not the only ones that are dying. They are not the only ones that are leaving loved ones behind, or that are making a difference in people’s lives. I mean no disrespect to Paul, his family, or the others that were effected with this. My condolences, sympathy, and most of all my prayers go out to his friends and family.
I want to know, however, why people aren’t mourning in mass the death of any soldier that has died for this country. I want to know why children that are dying of cancer and other major diseases aren’t being covered by all the media. I want to know why, as the Pope recently suggested, the death of a homeless man doesn’t get covered on the evening news. And honestly what I want to know from Christians more than anyone else, is why the persecution of our brothers and sisters around the world isn’t being talked about more than it is. This country has recently failed one of our own citizens, who is now in a prison in Iran, simply for sharing his faith. Some in Congress have called for his release, but our government just made a new deal with Iran, and Saeed’s freedom was not even discussed in these negotiations. This is not just a question that I am posing to others, it’s one that I’m having to take a long hard look at myself.
I know there are brother’s and sisters’ in Christ that are being persecuted and killed every day around the world. I just don’t know their stories. Some of that is because the stories are being hidden by those that are persecuting them. At the same time, it’s because I’ve fallen into the apathy that I loath to see in other people. It’s like I only care about my self and the hardships that I am going through currently, and I don’t do enough to become aware of what is going on around the world. I’m not suggesting that we need to know all the details of everything going on around the world. That would be nearly impossible. What I am suggesting is that we need to quit focusing only on ourselves and caring about our fellow Christians. We need to be in prayer daily for those around the world facing persecution. Persecution is going to come when we are living the way that Christ calls us to live.
Jesus taught his disciples that they were to expect persecutions. In fact, he stated that they would be persecuted because the world had persecuted and would continue persecuting him. John 15:18-25 states, “‘If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. 24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’” Persecution is going to happen. But those of us in the position of being able to do anything about it, should. We can be silent no longer. If this country is in an uproar when a celebrity dies, where is our (the Church) uproar when we are made aware of a brother or sister in Christ being killed or persecuted. Saeed is one of many. One was just released from North Korea, but there are more. Rise up Church and quit being silent.
Note: For my thoughts on why we are not being persecuted in America as much as some around the world are, read http://crosseyedjesusfreak.wordpress.com/2013/09/30/outrage-2/