Thursday, July 21, 2005

# 27: Prayer and Oppression

First Thessalonians 5:17 says, “. . . pray continually. . .” This Bible verse may be one of the most difficult to adhere to. Is it a command or a suggestion? The Bible is not a book of suggestions as some would have us believe. The New Testament is a book of commands. I would add the word “concentrate” along with “pray.” Why and how could a person pray or concentrate continually on the things of God? There is only one way: to have dire need for God, and such a strong love for Him that one can’t take Him off her or his mind, the same way we felt toward our first puppy love. This attitude of need is not found in America. And the love most Americans have for God and His Christ is superficial. Just to say, “I love Him” is all that is needed as long as one is “good.” Ha, ha.

Indeed, there are many ingredients needed to make up a genuine Christian. When even one of those ingredients is missing, the end result could be cosmetic “Christianity.” One vital (though negative) ingredient is oppression. When Christians are a threat to the status quo (having supernatural powers, not just mighty-sounding words), they will be oppressed by the religious hierarchy and totalitarian, tyrannical, and dictatorial governments. With that oppression come persecution and hatred. That type of attitude, to my knowledge, is not available in America. This type of oppression, out of necessity, brings people close to God and to each other.

What reason do we in America have for getting close to God? Why do we need God in the first place other than for “eternal life”? When a people’s mere existence is threatened because of their vibrant worship of Christ, then one must draw close to God out of necessity.

The main way to get close to God is through constant prayer and a desperate need to understand what this frigging—excuse my French—world is all about. I don’t have to mention most of the other necessary ingredients because they have been, and will continue to be, mentioned in this blog.

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