What Did the Martyrs Do?

(Note: It was originally "What did great evangelists say?" I couldn't find any clear references about sharing on a timer. This was the next question.)

That question about seems like rigging the game. Maybe it's proof I was leaning in a specific direction. The reason it came to mind, though, is that God often works through people who persevere during persecution. It's often part of His plan. Just having God's Word required a lot of people moving forward through persecution to get it to us.

Before I looked, a few things popped into my mind. People who oppose the Bible are vocal in every area of life, from business to media to courts. That's part of why they're becoming the status quo. Even worse, we have religious freedom in this country but people are silenced. Even worse, cancel culture is increasing as well. I feel like we need to use what freedom we have to fight all of those trends. We don't have to be obnoxious or vicious like they are. We do need to represent our faith in every area they'd suppress it.

The other thing to consider is if it's a test. On one end, it could be a test of whether I'll be foolish. On the other, a test of whether I'll be faithful. God uses what we do with a little to decide whether to assign us with more responsibility. That lead me to a few questions:

Extreme Devotion

A while back, I was more dedicated. Part of it was lots of prayer, Scripture, and sharing. Part of it might have been regularly reading stories about people who proclaimed Christ at all cost. They seemed like they had more of the Holy Spirit, too. They set the bar where I wanted to be.

I still had the book that I used to read daily: Extreme Devotion. I recalled a pastor and his wife who consistently pushed the Gospel despite bans, poverty, and torture. Here's a few examples from my recent reading and praying:

On p.58-59, Varia came to Christ, refused to sing the Communist song, got on stage, told them about Christ, pleaded with them that they repent, and sung a hymn. They took her away. In prison, she didn’t recant. They believed she would be sent to a camp in Siberia.

On p64, Richard Wurmbrand got through much torture with one thought. Paraphrased: "They don’t aim at me. They beat my body but the real being is Christ within. I’m seated with Him in the heavenly places and from here they can’t touch the real person. From this viewpoint, I can look down and see the futility of their efforts.”

On p146, Angela Cazacu. Gave Russian Bibles and New Testaments to Soviets. Wurmbrand was going through winter in jail with one blanket and little food. He was shivering. Looked like a skeleton. She drops off a much needed gift of food and warm clothing.

On p153, Sabina Wurmbrand. She got sick enough that, even at the camp she was locked up in, they put her in a hospital. She kept sharing Jesus. The Communists said you are not to mention the name of your God in this hospital. They sent her back to work to suffer more. God supernaturally healed her. The doctor believed in Jesus as a result.

On p155, Zhang Rongliang made a formal request in China for them to stop harassing unregistered, house churches. Like Paul appealing through Roman authorities.

On p157, Sabina Wurmbrand said: “I will not show a sad face. I owe to God a joyous believer; to the church, an example of courage; and to my husband, a serene wife.” Public encourager to those around her. In camps, "women faced the most humiliating and brutal of all acts of abuse." "She was still a friend to all and always had a kind word."

On p195, Juan in Columbia. FARC and NLA are trying to shut down all the churches in the area. He and his wife are the last ones standing. They refuse to leave or stop serving Christ.

On p228, they're killing Carpus on stage to send a message to other Christians. That messages is to shut up about Jesus. They'll be killing a lot more that day. Agathonica runs to the stage saying that they might as well go ahead and kill her with Carpus. People shout that she should put her children first. She said God will take care of them.

On p232, Andrew in Bangladesh. In hostile environments, many of these people do some things stealth mode. He ran a secret sanctuary over there. Yet, the point is to train people to go into the villages sharing Christ. Andrew has been arrested and beaten many times with threats to his family, too. The results of this boldness: "...saw 749 Muslim converts baptized... distributing more than 3,000 Bibles and New Testaments and over 137,000 Gospel tracts."

On p255, the teachers tell the kids about a special book their parents may have. They get a red scarf if they turn it in. The little girl knew their parents had one hidden. She turns it into them, gets the red scarf, and excitedly goes home to tell her parents about it. They weren’t there. Later, the police showed up to say she was now under the care of the government. She's lived with guilt her whole life because of this. On top of Gospel bans and hunting us down, I think there’s a lesson in state-controlled vs homeschool here.

On p295, Amy Carmichael prayed for God to use her however he wanted. She broke her leg. Complications kept her in her room for 20 years. She sent thousands of letters, wrote thirteen books, and made beautiful poems.

That's all. I was really looking for examples of reactions to bans. I found the underlying attitude these people had was more important. Do we want to be lukewarm, faithful in a way that barely shows it, or courageous like them?

Insanity of God

A brother mentioned the movie, Insanity of God, one night. Great movie. Part of it came back to me which I might be misremembering. The Chinese told the filmmaker something like this (really paraphrasing): "You in America are sharing the Gospel in your religious freedom far less than we are in China when it cost us everything." It came back to me.

I could lose a job. I'll still be free and alive, though. They aren't assured of that. Yet, they're bold. How can they be so bold facing their authorities while we're so... compliant... facing ours? If they were like that, would there even be a church over there? Or maybe it would just be a lot smaller?

Then, I remembered again that God has been working through these tracts, too. We should be using our freedoms. Maybe even fighting employers for them more. Whether we do or don't, we should be bolder about our faith in a country where that's legally protected. I felt like we should be ashamed of how little attention Christ gets in workplaces that talk about every evil under the sun. We should definitely be sharing something in the workplace. Either all out in front of them like Jesus did with the Pharisees or in the shadows until we get driven out like Paul.

So, that's what I decided to do. Keep sharing Jesus. Only question is how openly when under hostile surveillance. Do I do it at all times where they'll see me as directly challenging their authority and kick me out right there? Or more low key where I can stay longer and they might be less aggressive? If confronted, I'm standing up for Christ regardless. It's just a question of whether I should delay that moment any.

(Back to "Should We Share at Work?")