For this present moment, our meditation has been excerpted from the book entitled, Bound to Be Free (With the Suffering Church), compiled by Jan Pit. In the following short quotation from Andres Noriega (pseudonym for this Cuban pastor and Bible distributor, with a tremendous task in spreading the Gospel), there is fodder for reflection and perhaps application:
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm. (Psalm 20:7-8)
We live in a time where materialism is defended, where being an atheist is normal, and being a Christian is abnormal.
Many people criticize our faith saying it is a remnant of the past, of colonialism, and exploitism. They conclude that the Church is for the weak, a shelter for the defeated.
According to their philosophy, our faith is a failure and the Christian race will soon become extinct--to make place for a new, perfect society.
Communism nevertheless, has lost its grip. They are the ones that have failed. The new, perfect society turned out to be a utopia. The Church, on the other side, has grown. The weak Christians turned out to be so strong that all atheistic teaching could not destroy them. The so-called faint-hearted, turned out to be people full of hope, joy and power.
Today's society is in a bad shape, while the Church of Jesus Christ awaits the return of the King of kings--Jesus our Lord.
'They are brought down and fall--but we rise and stand firm.'
Trust in the name of the Lord our God and stand firm with us.
A moment of introspection: Do we defend materialism*? Do we look around us and, seeing atheists, think them normal and Christians abnormal? Do we act as if our faith is a remnant of the past--a place for the weak, a shelter for the defeated? Do we tacitly agree that the days of Christianity are numbered? These are indeed questions for which we must have serious answers. For we know the truth; we know better. Pastor Noriega perhaps speaks for us in averring that "the Church of Jesus Christ awaits the return of the King of kings--Jesus our Lord." As Christians, we rise and stand firm. Increasingly in our country and elsewhere, atheists are growing emboldened--taunting, accusing, calling for limits on the expression of Christ's presence in America and in countries around the globe.
Several examples now confront us:
* 10/09/07 According to U.S. Representative Marilyn Musgrave, our nation’s legislators are now prohibited from using references to God in certificates of authenticity accompanying flags flown over the Capitol and bought by constituents. Such references include: "under God" in the pledge, "God bless you," or "in the year of our Lord, 2007."
* 10/08/07 H.R. 2015, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2007. This legislation seeks to provide employment protections similar to those of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but specifically directed to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees. An immediate concern is that ENDA violates employers' and employees' Constitutional freedoms of religion, speech and association. This act forces certain businesses and organizations to sacrifice their overall mission in the name of political correctness. The federal government should not force private businesses to abandon their moral principles.
* 10/07/07 Palestinian Bible Society Bookstore manager Rami Ayyed martyred. One of the Bible Society Bookstore team members, Rami was kidnapped and murdered this past weekend. (He leaves behind a pregnant wife and two children).
Shall we look the other way and abandon our moral principles? What do we stand for? What are our principles, as Christians? Can we stand firm with Christian brothers and sisters who suffer for the sake of the cause of Christ? What would it mean to "stand firm"? Where would we draw the line in the sand and say "no farther!"? How far shall we allow non-Christians to go in eroding the rights of Christians, without being challenged--without our confronting them and standing firm for what we believe and we know? How politically active should we become, on behalf of Christ and His Kingdom?
Let us seriously consider our Christian walk, in light of biblical Truth. Know what we believe; trust in the name of our God and stand firm with the worldwide Christian Church. The Psalmist phrased it as some trusting "in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm." (Psalm 20:7-8)
* Remember Paul's words in the letter to the church at Philippi; these are words to live by. (Philippians 4:11-13) Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.