Today we are praying for people to enjoy religious liberty. Everyone should have the right to approach God as they see appropriate. I was shocked when I opened the newspaper and saw the headline about the churches in Egypt. 44 people killed, a larger number wounded. Blood on the pews. Men, women, children murdered without discrimination because they were worshipping God differently than someone else.
The hardest part for most of us is understanding how an individual or group could worship a God of love and use that love to eliminate other worshipers whose understanding of God is different. Its a retreat to the Middle Ages when the Roman Catholic church brought persecution and even death on anyone who disagreed with their understanding of the Bible.
This “agree with me or die” religion is so far removed from the God of heaven and earth as to be reprehensible in his sight. God’s call is a call of grace. His son died for all men regardless of their religious beliefs. He is the God who teaches, even demands that we love one another. The world needs the testimony of Christians to show what God is truly like.
What should a God fearing person do when he encounters someone who has strayed from the way of God? What should be done with those who bring persecution against others? God tells us, “Love your enemies…” Paul suggests that those who are spiritual should approach a fallen brother with a spirit of gentleness. Pray! Yes pray for those who misuse us, and pray for those whose hatred is so deep that murder is the only answer they can see. Pray for the Christians in Egypt and other Muslim countries. Pray for those who are leaders that they may bring an end to such attacks.