“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke
A friend of mine put that on Facebook last week and I jotted it down. I thought about it for several days and then I received a newsletter in the mail this weekend called, “The Voice of the Martyrs.” It came from Christianbook.com and it chronicled the stories of persecuted Christians living in Nigeria. As expected, they were heartbreaking. There are Christians who are being killed simply for being Christians and for refusing to convert to Islam. You may remember from news reports, last spring, that this was the same country where Muslim extremists kidnapped 270 school girls with plans on selling them .
There were also miraculous stories too. A man was shot in the face for refusing to convert and was left bleeding all night because his wife had been locked in their house and couldn’t go for help. He survived. Not only did he survive, when he was scheduled for a bone graft, to repair the damage from the point-blank AK-47 shot, his bones had miraculously healed.
There was a pastor who refused to renounce Christ to spare his own life. As the attacker put a knife to his throat, a shot rang out close by and the attackers ran off. Divine intervention?
Christians are still being killed and tortured in Iraq by the terrorist group ISIS, for refusing to convert to Islam.
These are countries on the other side of the world; why do we care? We care because these people are brothers and sisters in Christ. We are supposed to care about what Jesus cares about and we can be sure he cares about Christians everywhere, not just those who have been blessed to live in the United States.
Then, last week, it hit closer to home. Last Friday, September, 26th, a woman in Oklahoma, here in the United States, was beheaded by a recent convert to Islam, for refusing to convert. How could that happen here and why? We are not some third world country with uncivilized maniacs running around.
I think the answer is, evil hates light and evil knows no borders. As Christians, we let the light of Christ shine through us. Extremists can’t just leave Christians alone because we emit light. They hate the light. Evil hates light. Evil loves darkness. The Bible says, “Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear their deeds will be exposed.” John 3:20
Jesus is the light of the world. Evil hates Jesus. But Jesus was very clear about letting our light shine. He said, “You are the light of the world-like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.” Matthew 5: 14-15
So what can we do? First of all, I think we need to be in constant prayer for our fellow Christians. We can pray for their protection and pray for their courage. We can never underestimate the power of prayer.
Next, we need to make a concerted effort to let our light shine. We need to use our gifts and resources to serve and present the face of Christ to a dark world because the answer to darkness is always more light. When we add just the tiniest of flame to a dark area, we light the way for all who are there.
More than ever, we have to let it shine. Are you in?
Have an awesome day!