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We’ve had some glorious weather recently here in Buckie. I’ve enjoyed it. I hope you have too. I’ve had a chance to take some long walks, soak up some rays, and get some work done for my garden. I want to talk to you a minute about that. I have set up a polytunnel, right between Lidles and the Coop. I’m using it to grow some veggies and flowers. I’ll start putting out plants next week. Then you’ll be able to come by and visit. I’ll also be teaching some classes on growing edibles. I’ll also offer some info on the benefits of eating Scottish Meat. In fact, I’ll just say right now, that our two Butchers in town, offer some of the best meat you can get. It’s local. It’s hand cut. It’s so good. Stop by either shop. I’m a fan of both. But I digress. I know this sounds weird since I’m overweight, but eating right is so important to us. And we have so much good stuff in this country, we’d be foolish not to take advantage of it. So, watch the Radio Free Buckie website, or Facebook page for more information. I want RFB, to become the go to place for great information for your life. So bookmark the page, like the FB page, or look for my Sam Burton page on Instagram and follow. Ok, end of commercials…For now.
Have you seen all the news about the tragic murder of Christians in Sri Lanka? Nearly 300 people were killed. Some in hotels, but many in Churches. I saw a photo of dead young people who were celebration their baptisms and first communions. It made my heart hurt. Then I got a message on FB from a Church Planter I know in India, who was talking about one of the Churches he’s been involved with. 29 people in that congregation were killed.
Since New Year, many hundreds of Christians have also been killed in Nigeria. The number keeps growing, but it gets little media attention. For many news agency it’s not newsworthy, its tribal warfare in a difficult part of the world. But it’s more than that. It’s an actual attack on these villages because they worship Jesus.
When you add in North Korea, China, and the Middle East, there are more Christians being killed for their faith, than at any time in history. What’s going on? It’s especially hard to get our head around it, in Scotland, where worship is so easy, and free, and pretty much church buildings are empty. Most people I know, don’t give a single thought to Christianity for or against. Why is it so hated?
That’s a great question. It pretty much always has been. From the time of Jesus Christ himself, people have wanted to kill the Faith and wipe it from existence. See, Christianity, offers more freedom and hope than any political system ever invented. For many governments, Christianity is seen as a threat, because it offers people something unachievable or uncontrollable. Most governments, most ways of thinking, want to control the way people think. The Gospel teaches that in Jesus we can have a new beginning. We can think for ourselves. We can make our own path. Choose our own future. One of the examples I like to use, is that when the Gospel came to India, it changed the lives of people dramatically. For example, women in many castes, and in many parts of the country were forced to burn themselves to death on the funeral pyre of their dead husbands. When the Gospel came, women were valued like never before. The Christian message gave people hope. But the change was unwelcome to the traditional elders of villages, and they hated Christians and persecuted them. That is still true. In many parts of India, Christians are being killed, and churches are being burned.
In the 1960s, many missionaries were killed in what was known as the New Hebrides. Countries like Papua New Guinea, and islands of Indonesia. I know it’s hard to believe, but in the year before men walked on the moon, there were still practicing canibals. I know of missionaries who were killed
But what about here? There is no outright persecution here, but the name calling and finger pointing is considerable. And some of it is pretty funny. There were some people who were concerned that I might join a local bowling club, and ruin everyone’s fun, because they were afraid I would curtail their language and alcohol consumption. Like I had that kind of power. But to me, I heard, “I’m behaving badly. I know I’m behaving badly. If that preacher comes here, I might not be able to do that. So I don’t know if I want him.”
Many people, won’t attack a christian, but they will look the other way. They will avoid church, or the Bible, and offer pat, but unsubstantiated answers to faith based issues.
I am grateful that we live in a country with the freedom to worship, or not worship, as we like. But it makes me really sad, when people deliberately avoid thinking about Jesus. As if, as long as we don’t think about it, we ‘ll be ok.
Think about those people who are willing to sacrifice their very lives, or the lives of their families for Jesus. What makes a person willing to do that? Why not investigate that for yourself? Come to Church. Read the Bible for yourself. Listen to the stories people tell about how Jesus has changed them. Listen to some of the recent Christian Songs on YouTube or Spotify. Try and figure out for yourself what is so gripping about this Jesus, that would make people want to kill someone who follows Him, or would be willing to die for Him. You’ll spend good money and stand in line for Avengers End Game. What about learning about some people’s real endgame.
Just think about it. We just celebrated Easter. The whole story is so amazing. Jesus is killed by the Jews and Romans. But he chose to die. It’s not just a true crime adventure. He voluntarily gave up his life. Why? Because he was paying for our crimes, our sin. You know, the sins you commit that make you not want me to come to your club. I’m nobody. But Jesus died for all of us. But it only meant anything at all because 3 days later he Rose from the dead. That’s Easter. That’s the resurrection. That’s the event that made sense of the crucifixion. That’s the event that established Him as different than any other religious leader. And he says, “come to Me.” He will take your baggage, your shattered dreams, your broken life, and let you start over, brand new. Some people have been willing to pay a great price for a chance like that. What about you.
Next week, we’re going to get back to the Gospel of John. We’ll look at the first part of Chapter 10. I hope you have a great week. I’d love to see you in Church. But I’ll talk to you next time. But for now…I’m out…