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By Bishop J.J. Hairston
In the Washington Times it has been reported that, “Christians, Muslims almost equal in numbers in Africa,” which is the head line today Friday, 16, 2010. This article is bringing out that Christians are fighting for their life basically warring against Muslims. Here is an excerpt from the article; Northern Africa is heavily Muslim and southern Africa is mostly Christian but where the two religions meet in a 4,000-mile belt from Somalia to Senegal has often turned violent, especially in Nigeria, where hundreds of Muslims and Christians have died since January fighting each other.
At least 45 percent of the Christians surveyed in Ghana, Zambia, Mozambique, Cameroon, Kenya, Uganda and Chad - which topped the list at 70 percent - consider Muslims to be violent. Far smaller percentages of Muslims see Christians as violent - Djibouti had the largest percentage at 40 percent, followed by Kenya and Uganda in the low 30s.
“Christians are less positive in their views of Muslims than Muslims are in their views of Christians” senior researcher Greg Smith said, adding that both Christians and Muslims also showed concern about extremism within their own ranks.

The question is should Christians stand up to persecution with fist, and weapons? We read that there in Africa Christians are fighting back with violence and blood shed that is lead to death. How do we feel as Christians in America shedding blood for the sake of standing up for our faith with extremism? In Africa is it because they are used to violence from the Muslims behaviors based on Jihad or because they are just reacting to human nature to stand up and fight? One thing is Mr. Greg Smith and the Washington Times are they creditable to report such a thing as this? I say, “If this report is creditable what ever happen to true martyrdom?

In the book of Acts 7:58-60 the word of God say’s, “And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. 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.”

Can we see the irony in this? Did Stephen pick up a stone and through it back? Did Jesus Christ come down off of the cross or call down ten thousand angels? Did Martin Luther King punch an officer back or hat back with a baseball bat? No to all of the above except for the irony! There is irony in the former because those Christians went down fighting and killing in Africa.

Hence, people believe we should not turn the other check or to go the extra mile because it shows that we are wimps. Are we wimps or weaklings’ when we turn the other check or go the extra mile? Is going the extra mile or when we cover peoples’ multitude of sins with love using us? I say no that is the true Christian Way! We are not wimps for being so bold to stand up to people with peace and love. However, we are not walked over like doormats either are we? No way to the N and Opposition to the O. Why, No way God did not call us to be door mats and Opposition because we stand in opposition to our enemies in spiritual warfare. The battle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12

We are strong and courageous because even Paul used the laws of the land in Rome to stand with his Romans citizenship to keep from going to jail and being beaten, Acts 21:39, 22:25-29, Acts 23:27. We do not have to fight with fist or weapons of war to be kept from persecutions but we fight with God’s power and might in the spiritual realm. Hence, we can use the laws of this land to protect us like Paul did. Amen.

In addition the Word of God say’s to pray for our enemies, “You have heard that it hath been said, Thou shall love thy neighbor, and hate your enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. That you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:43-47 Amen.
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