“Pastor Katar Singh and Pastor Rameshwer, along with Sister Subha, the wife of our licensed minister, Pastor Ramnivas, were martyred as they were working in the mission field …
Eating my oatmeal
“Pastor Katar Singh and Pastor Rameshwer, along with Sister Subha, the wife of our licensed minister, Pastor Ramnivas, were martyred as they were working in the mission field in Haryana State in northern India.”
This message came across in my email yesterday from the headquarters of The Church of God. I sit here, crying over the horrible news that these three people were killed because they were Christians. They are not some unknown persons who were in possession of Bibles in India. They have names.
And we protest the “persecution” of Christians in America. This morning I ate my bowl of oatmeal on my deck. I can have my Bible there as I have my morning devotion. No one is watching me to see if I have violated someone’s religion, and therefore, have to be killed. No one is setting a bonfire on the courthouse square to burn every Bible in Cleveland.
There are three families in Haryana State in India without a father. Wives are without their husbands. Three churches are without a pastor. And I can sit on my deck eating a bowl of oatmeal without worries that someone may kill me in the next few minutes. These “fallen warriors” were my brothers in the Lord — fellow Christians serving Jesus Christ and killed for being Christians. Their families are my families and your families.
So what is my response? Pray, of course. But it also makes me weigh the trivial concerns of my life against what’s really important. Which way do the scales go? Would I be as faithful in India as in the United States? Am I taking the protection of being a Christian here for granted? When people in places like India take on the name of Christ, they have to be serious … and not only in India.
We balk at giving up worldly pleasures and life’s comforts. Those things are not even in the vocabulary of those who are threatened with death for their belief in Christ Jesus. So I ask myself these questions and trust I have the courage and honesty to answer before my God.
My oatmeal doesn’t taste good anymore. The plans I made for today are not important anymore. I hear the rain falling on my tin roof, but that is not a comforting sound anymore. Can I continue in the same daily routine? I don’t know.
“And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep” (Acts 7:60 KJV).
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