Ready Aim Fire

James Washington  By James Washington – I ask you just how hard is it to be a card-carrying Christian these days?  I mean we’ve got card carrying Democrats and Republicans.  You can get a membership card for every organization from the NAACP to the ACLU.  The more I study the more I’m moved to realize that being a professed, in the spirit card-carrying man or woman of faith, is tantamount to putting a bullseye on your back and inviting a artillery barrage on your location.  Scripture tells us that accepting Jesus Christ as a way of life was no easy task for early practitioners of faith.  Being criticized,thrown to the lions for fun and games, beheaded or ostracized were all very real possibilities for those who believed and then lived according to  the Word of God.  Is today so different?  Once you take up the standard of revolutionary thinking, once you commit your life to Christ, once you decide to live humbly in mercy and love and forgiveness isn’t it interesting the kind of attention you attract.  “Be self-controlled and alert.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout  the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” 1 Peter 5:8-9

Looking around the world today, it is ludicrous not to recognize that religious persecution is still the number one cause of war and man’s inhumanity to man.  CNN will attest to the fact that people all over the planet are being systematically annihilated.  We sometimes take for granted the religious freedom we have in this country and I believe it has lulled us into a sense of being a Christian is somehow easy.  Well it’s not and it never has been.  It’s empowering.  It’s enlightening.

It’s eternal but it is not easy.  The good news is we are not alone and never have been.  Living for God is probably the quintessential reality of human existence.  Its reward is an inner understanding of the working of the universe that affords us to take physical life for granted in favor of life everlasting.  Many of us believe in life after physical death.  Christians have some insight into what to expect.  Life as we know it is imperfect and cruel.  Eternal life as we have come to believe is just the opposite.  Rationalizing the difference is where faith resides.  Is it any wonder then that belief in a deity that invites humility, demands love and recognizes mercy is cause for ruthless and radical reaction among those who would live otherwise?  Is it any wonder that love for Christ Jesus invites the wrath of Lucifer in all of his forms?  That target, that bullseye  on your back should indeed be worn like a red badge of courage, because courage is what it’s going to take to withstand first the ridicule of the world and next the scorn of those who would tempt you with the weakness of your passions.  And lastly, courage is the prerequisite for the certain death that will befall us all.  If life after death is a fact that most of us agree upon, then I belive it stands to reason that that badge Christians wear is most certainly a ticket into a kingdom blood bought and faith preserved for believers; the same believers who are shunned and persecuted and murdered today and yesterday in the name of God.

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