Christians in Indonesia ponder retaliation, self control

(Image courtesy Wikipedia)

(Image courtesy Wikipedia)

Indonesia (ODM) — An Open Doors colleague who recently spoke at a Standing Strong Through the Storm seminar in Indonesia shared an unexpected message.

(Photo courtesy Voice of the Martyrs Canada)

(Photo courtesy Voice of the Martyrs Canada)

Most of the 800 pastors attending were victims of attacks by Muslims on the island of Ambon. They had lost homes, churches, and even family members during these attacks. They were hurt, devastated, and needed answers to the challenges they faced.

As soon as the Open Doors colleague began preaching, one pastor stood up and interrupted, “Must we accept the persecution from the Muslims, or should we retaliate? We are tired of forgiving just to be attacked again. We believe it is time to defend the honor of God and retaliate. What must we do?”

Then another pastor interrupted, “No, Pastor, tell this brother he is wrong. The Bible tells us to accept our suffering. We will dishonor God if we retaliate. Seventy times seven we need to forgive. Isn’t this true?”

(Photo courtesy AMG International)

(Photo courtesy AMG International)

“The Bible is clear,” said the speaker. “You MUST retaliate!” The group was stunned into silence; division filled the room. “Wait, brothers!” the speaker continued. “Let me finish my sentence. Luke 6 teaches us clearly to retaliate, but in doing so, we need to choose our weapons. When someone curses you, you don’t just accept it. You retaliate by blessing him. When someone mistreats you and persecutes you, you don’t just accept it. You retaliate by praying for him. When someone slaps you in the face, don’t stand for it. Retaliate! Turn your other cheek.”

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“When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous will stand firm forever.” Proverbs 11:25

Ask God to strengthen Christians living in Islamic nations to retaliate in incomprehensible ways, not with angry words or guns, but with the love of Christ and prayer.