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In Spite Of Intense Persecution, Christianity On The Rise In North Korea

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It’s no secret that the citizens of North Korea endure a life devoid of basic freedoms under the Communist yoke of the Kim family. As North Korean escapee-turned-human rights advocate, Yeonmi Park stated in a speech, “North Korea is the only country that will put you to death for making unauthorized international phone calls.”

It’s of little wonder then that for the last 16 years, Open Doors, a watchdog site dedicated to keeping an eye on Christian persecution, has ranked North Korea #1 as the deadliest place for Christians to live. According to the website, North Korean Christians face a brutal life that is subject to hard labor camps, imprisonment and even execution. The high level of surveillance in the country, it is nearly impossible for small groups to come together in worship, nor do they dare close their eyes to pray for fear of being spotted.

The Blaze’s Brandon Morse wrote a compelling piece regarding the treatment of North Korean Christians. In it he wrote that while North Korea possesses a constitution which asserts a non-discriminatory policy toward religion, it’s all an act. Morse states in his article:

“Foreign diplomats and tourists are wheeled past state-run churches and mosques for various faiths. Each of these churches has the appropriately dressed clergy worshiping at the appropriate alters with congregations of people passing around collection plates.

According to the Korea Risk Group, this is a show performed by hand-picked state workers. The reality is that Christianity is seen as dangerous to the state, according to Fox News. Those caught practicing it face the harshest penalties.”

The piece goes on to say:

“Christians are accused of being imperialists seeking to overthrow the government and those who are caught practicing their faith are arrested, horrendously tortured, imprisoned and [sometimes] immediately put to death,”

Reading through Morse’s piece, I was reminded of an apology (a letter making a defense of the Christian faith) that Tertullian wrote in the second century during  a time when the early Christian church was facing horrific persecution. First and second century Christians were also accused of trying to “overthrow the government” by refusing to sacrifice to the Roman gods who were believed to help hold the empire together.

Tertullian wrote:

“We all pray without ceasing for all emperors, beseeching for
them a long life, a secure reign; that their families may be preserved in safety, their armies brave, the senate faithful, the people honest, the
whole world peaceful, and whatever other things either the people or the emperor can desire and yet the Christians are treated as public
enemies, because they refuse to ascribe vain, and lying, and unauthorised honours to the empe­rors; because, in the spirit of true religion, their services are seated in the heart, rather than displayed in wanton excess.’

He goes on to say:

“If, then, we are commanded to love our enemies, whom have we to hate ? If, when injured, we are forbidden to return evil for evil, lest we should be like our adversaries, whom can we hurt ? And on this point do ye yourselves be judges. For how frequently do ye use violence against the Christians, sometimes at the instigation of private malice, and sometimes according to the forms of law.”

It’s sad to see how, with all our supposed progress, in many cases around the world, not just in North Korea, the character of human beings has changed very little since the second century.

The Blaze’s article concludes by saying, “Despite efforts to eradicate Christians, we have found the church is North Korea is actually growing,”. It’s estimated that currently in North Korea, there are around 9 million Christians and that number continues to grow.

Perhaps there is something to be said about what Tertullian wrote, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.”

Watch Yeonmi Park retell her story of escaping North Korea:

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Culture and Religion

Acts 17:11 – ‘searched the scriptures daily’

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Acts 17:11 searched the scriptures daily

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. – Acts 17:11 (KJV)

We’ve talked before about doing daily Bible study, then we made sure to expand on what we were promoting by reminding people that Christianity itself should not be a task. Now, we’ll go to the source (as we should have done from the beginning) and point to scriptural backing that we are not only supposed to read the Bible, but to search it and use at as the ultimate reference.

This verse is often quoted out of contest. It points to the Bereans as true students of the Word. There are even ministries today who herald to the Bereans and continue in the works that were alluded to in this chapter. The reality is this: the Bereans were Jews who studied fervently and as a result they were easily converted to belief in Yeshua as the Messiah.

If there’s any one takeaway from this (other than the call to continuously study and find truth in the Bible by applying the teachings of the Bible itself), it’s that those who are the most steadfast in their studies, whether it’s of the Bible or of this world, are the ones who are easiest to bring to the truth. Christianity and all religions have gained an unfortunate label of being only for the “weak of mind” or gullible people. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s not necessarily about intelligence. It’s about discernment. Those who see the world through the lens of common sense and an unbiased intellect are the most likely to come to the faith. They simply need a little Biblical worldview prompting.

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Matthew 22:37 – ‘love the Lord thy God’

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Matthew 2237 love the Lord thy God

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. – Matthew 22:37 (KJV)

We’ve all heard this verse, but have we really contemplated it? This is a verse that sits in the middle of many different things happening. The Pharisees and Sadducees were questioning Him. His answers were profound and defining.

This important portion of this message is echoed three times: all. Love thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all they mind. This is the most important Commandment according to Yeshua.

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Scouts BSA: Proof that moral leadership matters in life

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Scouts BSA Proof that moral leadership matters in life

In the Age of Trump, where the Fellowship of the Pharisees and their so-called evangelical followers have given “God’s chosen president” a “mulligan” for his sexually immoral past in exchange for a seat at his table, the damage being done to the Gospel of Christ is obvious.

Another consequence of this kind of hypocrisy has been the destruction of moral leadership in nearly every area of American life. For example, let’s take a look at Scouts BSA, formerly known as the Boy Scouts of America.

In a report by NBC New York yesterday, we learned that nearly 8,000 adults are suspected of sexually abusing more than 12,000 children in the Boy Scouts over the years, and that these incidents have been kept secret according to victim’s rights attorney Jeff Anderson.

“For many, many years there’s been an excavation of what are called the ‘perversion files’—those are files held and hoarded at the Boy Scouts of America headquarters.

“Those ‘perversion files’ that they’ve had reflect that they have removed thousands of offenders of childhood sexual abuse over the years and they’ve kept that in files secretly.”

While the abuse appears to have been going on since the 1940s, recent decisions by the Boy Scouts created an environment that essentially guaranteed it would happen with greater frequency, thanks to the institution of LGBT-friendly changes to their leadership requirements.

In the summer of 2015, then-president of the Boy Scouts and former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates abandoned the organization’s commitment to develop moral character by lifting the ban on homosexuals serving as leaders due to fears of possible lawsuits.

The lawsuit excuse was a lie as the Supreme Court had already upheld the BSA’s right to exclude homosexuals. In reality, Gates, the guy responsible for ending the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, simply wanted to open scouting to the LGBT community, regardless of any consequences. Moral considerations be damned.

Here’s an irony for you. Scouts BSA announced a few months ago it may go bankrupt due to the lawsuits over sexual abuse and declining membership. I guess Gates missed that one.

By the way, Scouts BSA also made a policy change in February 2017 to recognize children by their “gender identity,” and the reason Boy Scouts of America changed the name to Scouts BSA is because it’s now open to girls. How long will it be before we hear about a “straight” leader sexually molesting these new additions to the Boy Scouts?

In the end, however, it’s not an LGBT or straight issue; it’s a moral leadership issue. Unfortunately, morality no longer exists in the Boy Scouts because their first duty to God no longer exists, due in no small part to the rise of the lukewarm church and cheap grace theology.

Moral leadership matters in life; and in politics as well. But we’ll never see it again in America unless something changes in the heart of the church.

Originally posted on StridentConservative.com.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

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