The 50 top persecutors of Christians

Take a look at this list of the top 50 countries that persecute Christians:  World Watch List Countries | World Watch List.

By my count, 37 of them are Islamic.  8 are Communist or recently-Communist that have kept their persecuting habits.  3 are Buddhist.  1 is Hindu.

The worst is North Korea.  The next worse is our client state of Afghanistan.  Then our close personal friend Saudi Arabia.  Then Somalia.  Then Iran.

Just about all of the Muslim states are somewhere on the list.  I can’t think of a single Muslim nation that doesn’t persecute Christians to some extent.  That includes Turkey, which comes in at #31.

No predominantly Christian society persecutes Christians of different persuasions, with the possible exception of Belarus, where the Orthodox Church is the only one permitted, though I chalk this one up to former Communist habits.

In some of the countries, such as India (#32), the persecution is not legally sanctioned but happens from mobs and cultural practices.

Can you draw any other conclusions from this list?

HT:   Doug Bandow, one of my writers in my old editing days at WORLD, who offers some good discussion of the list at the American Spectator.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • #4 Kitty

    It is difficult, growing up under First Amendment protections, to understand what’s it’s like to be persecuted for simply confessing your faith. However, that might be changing. For example, here’s a church in Pennsylvania that is committed to inculcating a deeper awareness of religious persecution among its youth.

    This list seems somewhat incomplete. I think it would be more telling if it accompanied a comparative graph detailing the persecution of other groups as well~ like homosexuals, Jews, atheists, women, and the like.

  • #4 Kitty

    It is difficult, growing up under First Amendment protections, to understand what’s it’s like to be persecuted for simply confessing your faith. However, that might be changing. For example, here’s a church in Pennsylvania that is committed to inculcating a deeper awareness of religious persecution among its youth.

    This list seems somewhat incomplete. I think it would be more telling if it accompanied a comparative graph detailing the persecution of other groups as well~ like homosexuals, Jews, atheists, women, and the like.

  • Michael B.

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  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Blessed are those who are persecuted for His name’s sake.

    We are pretty fortunate to not have to live with that kind of trouble.

    Or maybe not.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Blessed are those who are persecuted for His name’s sake.

    We are pretty fortunate to not have to live with that kind of trouble.

    Or maybe not.

  • larry

    Steve your later point is more true than often given creedance.

    In the big picture Christians everywhere are persecuted with or without first amendment rights. Persecution comes from the sword and it comes from those things, doctrines and such that basically scoff at or laugh at the faith. Even the former, by sword, is ultimately to strike at the later the faith one holds. To this end Luther identified that faith grows under persecution, but that the worse persecution is no persecution at all. Because it attacks directly the object of faith. We are persecuted its just not by the sword but by the scoffing laughter and false doctrine that pains that which our souls hope for life…the very Word of God.

    One of Calvin’s most brilliant commentaries is in Galatians 4:29 concerning persecution, my emphasis added at key points, Calvin here is simply unmatched:

    29. As then, he that was born after the flesh. He denounces the CRUELTY OF THE FALSE APOSTLES, who wantonly insulted pious persons THAT PLACED ALL THEIR CONFIDENCE IN CHRIST. There was abundant need that the uneasiness of the oppressed should be soothed by consolation, and that
    the cruelty of their oppressors should be severely checked. It is not wonderful, he says, that the children of the law, at the present day, do what Ishmael their father at first did, who, trusting to his being the first-born, persecuted Isaac the true heir. With the same proud disdain do his posterity now, on account of outward ceremonies, circumcision, and the various services of the law, molest and vaunt over the lawful sons of God. The Spirit is again contrasted with the flesh, that is, the calling of God with human appearance. (1 Samuel 16:7.) So the disguise is admitted to be possessed by the followers of
    the Law and of works, but the reality is claimed FOR THOSE WHO RELY ON THE CALLING OF GOD ALONE, AND DEPEND UPON HIS GRACE.

    Persecuted. But PERSECUTION is nowhere mentioned, only Moses says that Ishmael was mtshq, (metzahek,) MOCKING, (Genesis 21:9;) and by this participle he intimates that Ishmael RIDICULED his brother Isaac. The explanation offered by some Jews, that this was a simple smile, is entirely inadmissible; for what cruelty would it have argued, that a harmless smile should have been so fearfully revenged? There cannot then be a doubt that he maliciously endeavored to provoke the child Isaac by reproachful language.

    BUT HOW WIDELY DISTANT IS THIS FROM PERSECUTION? [80] And yet it is not idly or unguardedly THAT PAUL LARGES ON THIS POINT. NO PERSECUTION OUGHT TO DISTRESS US SO MUCH AS TO SEE OUR CALLING ATTEMPTED TO BE UNDERMINED BY THE REPROACHES OF WICKED MEN. NEITHER BLOWS, NOR SCOURGING, NOR NAILS, NOR THORNS, OCCASIONED TO OUR LORD SUCH INTENSE SUFFERING AS THAT BLASPHEMY: “HE TRUSTED IN GOD; WHAT AVAILETH IT TO HIM? FOR HE IS DEPRIVED OF ALL ASSISTANCE.” (Matthew 27:43.)

    THERE IS MORE VENOM IN THIS THAN IN ALL PERSECUTIONS; FOR HOW MUCH MORE ALARMING IS IT THAT THE GRACE OF DIVINE ADOPTION SHALL BE MADE VOID, THAN THAT THIS FRAIL LIFE SHALL BE TAKEN FROM US? Ishmael did not persecute his brother with the sword; but, WHAT IS WORSE, HE TREATED HIM WITH HAUGHTY DISDAIN BY TRAMPLING UNDER FOOT THE PROMISE OF GOD. ALL PERSECUTIONS ARISE FROM THIS SOURCE, THAT WICKED MEN DESPISE AND HATE IN THE ELECT THE GRACE OF GOD; a memorable instance of which we have in the history of Cain and Abel. (Genesis 4:8.)

    THIS REMINDS US, THAT NOT ONLY OUGHT WE TO BE FILLED WITH HORROR AT OUTWARD PERSECUTIONS, WHEN THE ENEMIES OF RELIGION SLAY US WITH FIRE AND SWORD; WHEN THEY BANISH, IMPRISON, TORTURE, OR SCOURGE; BUT WHEN THEY ATTEMPT, BY THEIR BLASPHEMIES, TO MAKE VOID OUR CONFIDENCE, WHICH RESTS ON THE PROMISES OF GOD; WHEN THEY RIDICULE OUR SALVATION, WHEN THEY WANTONLY LAUGH TO SCORN THE WHOLE GOSPEL. NOTHING OUGHT TO WOUND OUR MINDS SO DEEPLY AS CONTEMPT OF GOD, AND REPROACHES CAST UPON HIS
    GRACE: NOR IS THERE ANY KIND OF PERSECUTION MORE DEADLY THAN WHEN THE SALVATION OF THE SOUL IS ASSAILED. We who have escaped from the tyranny
    of the Pope, are not called to encounter the swords of wicked men. BUT HOW BLIND MUST WE BE, IF WE ARE NOT AFFECTED BY THAT SPIRITUAL PERSECUTION, IN WHICH THEY STRIVE, BY EVERY METHOD, TO EXTINGUISH THAT DOCTRINE, FROM WHICH WE DRAW THE BREATH OF LIFE! — when they attack
    our faith by their blasphemies, and shake not a few of the less
    informed! For my own part, I AM FAR MORE GRIEVED BY THE FURY OF THE EPICUREANS THAN OF THE PAPISTS. THEY DO NOT ATTACK US BY OPEN VIOLENCE; BUT, IN PROPORTION AS THE NAME OF GOD IS MORE DEAR TO ME THAN MY OWN LIFE, THE DIABOLICAL CONSPIRACY WHICH I SEE IN OPERATION TO EXTINGUISH ALL FEAR AND WORSHIP OF GOD, TO ROOT OUT THE REMEMBRANCE OF CHRIST, OR
    TO ABANDON IT TO THE JEERS OF THE UNGODLY, CANNOT BUT RACK MY MIND WITH GREATER ANXIETY, THAN IF A WHOLE COUNTRY WERE BURNING IN ONE CONFLAGRATION:

  • larry

    Steve your later point is more true than often given creedance.

    In the big picture Christians everywhere are persecuted with or without first amendment rights. Persecution comes from the sword and it comes from those things, doctrines and such that basically scoff at or laugh at the faith. Even the former, by sword, is ultimately to strike at the later the faith one holds. To this end Luther identified that faith grows under persecution, but that the worse persecution is no persecution at all. Because it attacks directly the object of faith. We are persecuted its just not by the sword but by the scoffing laughter and false doctrine that pains that which our souls hope for life…the very Word of God.

    One of Calvin’s most brilliant commentaries is in Galatians 4:29 concerning persecution, my emphasis added at key points, Calvin here is simply unmatched:

    29. As then, he that was born after the flesh. He denounces the CRUELTY OF THE FALSE APOSTLES, who wantonly insulted pious persons THAT PLACED ALL THEIR CONFIDENCE IN CHRIST. There was abundant need that the uneasiness of the oppressed should be soothed by consolation, and that
    the cruelty of their oppressors should be severely checked. It is not wonderful, he says, that the children of the law, at the present day, do what Ishmael their father at first did, who, trusting to his being the first-born, persecuted Isaac the true heir. With the same proud disdain do his posterity now, on account of outward ceremonies, circumcision, and the various services of the law, molest and vaunt over the lawful sons of God. The Spirit is again contrasted with the flesh, that is, the calling of God with human appearance. (1 Samuel 16:7.) So the disguise is admitted to be possessed by the followers of
    the Law and of works, but the reality is claimed FOR THOSE WHO RELY ON THE CALLING OF GOD ALONE, AND DEPEND UPON HIS GRACE.

    Persecuted. But PERSECUTION is nowhere mentioned, only Moses says that Ishmael was mtshq, (metzahek,) MOCKING, (Genesis 21:9;) and by this participle he intimates that Ishmael RIDICULED his brother Isaac. The explanation offered by some Jews, that this was a simple smile, is entirely inadmissible; for what cruelty would it have argued, that a harmless smile should have been so fearfully revenged? There cannot then be a doubt that he maliciously endeavored to provoke the child Isaac by reproachful language.

    BUT HOW WIDELY DISTANT IS THIS FROM PERSECUTION? [80] And yet it is not idly or unguardedly THAT PAUL LARGES ON THIS POINT. NO PERSECUTION OUGHT TO DISTRESS US SO MUCH AS TO SEE OUR CALLING ATTEMPTED TO BE UNDERMINED BY THE REPROACHES OF WICKED MEN. NEITHER BLOWS, NOR SCOURGING, NOR NAILS, NOR THORNS, OCCASIONED TO OUR LORD SUCH INTENSE SUFFERING AS THAT BLASPHEMY: “HE TRUSTED IN GOD; WHAT AVAILETH IT TO HIM? FOR HE IS DEPRIVED OF ALL ASSISTANCE.” (Matthew 27:43.)

    THERE IS MORE VENOM IN THIS THAN IN ALL PERSECUTIONS; FOR HOW MUCH MORE ALARMING IS IT THAT THE GRACE OF DIVINE ADOPTION SHALL BE MADE VOID, THAN THAT THIS FRAIL LIFE SHALL BE TAKEN FROM US? Ishmael did not persecute his brother with the sword; but, WHAT IS WORSE, HE TREATED HIM WITH HAUGHTY DISDAIN BY TRAMPLING UNDER FOOT THE PROMISE OF GOD. ALL PERSECUTIONS ARISE FROM THIS SOURCE, THAT WICKED MEN DESPISE AND HATE IN THE ELECT THE GRACE OF GOD; a memorable instance of which we have in the history of Cain and Abel. (Genesis 4:8.)

    THIS REMINDS US, THAT NOT ONLY OUGHT WE TO BE FILLED WITH HORROR AT OUTWARD PERSECUTIONS, WHEN THE ENEMIES OF RELIGION SLAY US WITH FIRE AND SWORD; WHEN THEY BANISH, IMPRISON, TORTURE, OR SCOURGE; BUT WHEN THEY ATTEMPT, BY THEIR BLASPHEMIES, TO MAKE VOID OUR CONFIDENCE, WHICH RESTS ON THE PROMISES OF GOD; WHEN THEY RIDICULE OUR SALVATION, WHEN THEY WANTONLY LAUGH TO SCORN THE WHOLE GOSPEL. NOTHING OUGHT TO WOUND OUR MINDS SO DEEPLY AS CONTEMPT OF GOD, AND REPROACHES CAST UPON HIS
    GRACE: NOR IS THERE ANY KIND OF PERSECUTION MORE DEADLY THAN WHEN THE SALVATION OF THE SOUL IS ASSAILED. We who have escaped from the tyranny
    of the Pope, are not called to encounter the swords of wicked men. BUT HOW BLIND MUST WE BE, IF WE ARE NOT AFFECTED BY THAT SPIRITUAL PERSECUTION, IN WHICH THEY STRIVE, BY EVERY METHOD, TO EXTINGUISH THAT DOCTRINE, FROM WHICH WE DRAW THE BREATH OF LIFE! — when they attack
    our faith by their blasphemies, and shake not a few of the less
    informed! For my own part, I AM FAR MORE GRIEVED BY THE FURY OF THE EPICUREANS THAN OF THE PAPISTS. THEY DO NOT ATTACK US BY OPEN VIOLENCE; BUT, IN PROPORTION AS THE NAME OF GOD IS MORE DEAR TO ME THAN MY OWN LIFE, THE DIABOLICAL CONSPIRACY WHICH I SEE IN OPERATION TO EXTINGUISH ALL FEAR AND WORSHIP OF GOD, TO ROOT OUT THE REMEMBRANCE OF CHRIST, OR
    TO ABANDON IT TO THE JEERS OF THE UNGODLY, CANNOT BUT RACK MY MIND WITH GREATER ANXIETY, THAN IF A WHOLE COUNTRY WERE BURNING IN ONE CONFLAGRATION:

  • Tom Hering

    Calvin shouts a lot.

  • Tom Hering

    Calvin shouts a lot.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    I would say more likely that no persecution at all is more of a seduction than anything. It’s easy to live a “Christian” life in a place that is indifferent to it, and we become so enamored with it that when real trouble starts, it’s far too tempting to hold fast to our comfort zones in self-justification. Now, in and of itself, there’s nothing wrong with comfort (something I wish evangelicals would not overlook in their zeal for holiness), but when comfort becomes an idol or an interference to worship, it must be set aside.

    Granted, we can and do see hostility toward Christianity in various quarters here and there in the U.S., but it’s not a coordinated, systemic attack… at least, not yet. I believe that day will eventually come, and may be on the horizon. That being said, we are called to be faithful to God in both good times and bad.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    I would say more likely that no persecution at all is more of a seduction than anything. It’s easy to live a “Christian” life in a place that is indifferent to it, and we become so enamored with it that when real trouble starts, it’s far too tempting to hold fast to our comfort zones in self-justification. Now, in and of itself, there’s nothing wrong with comfort (something I wish evangelicals would not overlook in their zeal for holiness), but when comfort becomes an idol or an interference to worship, it must be set aside.

    Granted, we can and do see hostility toward Christianity in various quarters here and there in the U.S., but it’s not a coordinated, systemic attack… at least, not yet. I believe that day will eventually come, and may be on the horizon. That being said, we are called to be faithful to God in both good times and bad.

  • Cincinnatus

    LOUD NOISES

  • Cincinnatus

    LOUD NOISES

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @5 He needs to relax and drink some more beer.

    One wonders how people can see these numbers and still think Islam is a nice peaceful religion. Or for that matter see how Hindus are so tolerant of other beliefs.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @5 He needs to relax and drink some more beer.

    One wonders how people can see these numbers and still think Islam is a nice peaceful religion. Or for that matter see how Hindus are so tolerant of other beliefs.

  • larry

    My apologies as I did not mean it to be “shouts” but as emphasis added as I stated. I admit I’m not too savvy with the e-writing genre (emoticons, etc…). I would’ve bolded or italicized the way one normally does for emphasis in writing but again, I’m pretty ignorant in how to do that on blogs.

    J.D. good points. As far as “coordinated” it depends on how one sees spiritual warfare. On the surface, men’s blind involvement it would seem uncoordinated in the US. But sense in realilty all SW is driven by Satan and his legions (as Paul points out, we don’t fight flesh and blood), it’s very coordinated. In fact the tactic of appearing uncoordinated is in and of itself a coordinated effort/tactic. C.S. Lewis captures this well when he said in, I believe it was the Screwtape Letters I cannot recall, that the perfect situation for the devil to coordinate his efforts of deception is to extinguish the idea that there is a devil and the behind the scenes coordination. The fact that doctrine in the broad sense of the Christendom is viewed lowly and all over the maps appears to be chaos, but is fact a quite coordinated attack on the children of the church (not unlike spoken of in Revelation 12 where the beast moves from his attack on the woman to her offspring). And we see this persecuting attack working quite well as the devil has created a spiritual famine among the saints who wish to put their rest in Christ alone. The best way to keep men from the nourishment of the Gospel in Word and Sacrament, is to create doctrinal chaos whereby men do not know where Christ is for them and doubt and despair as they cannot find the food and water (this is the real symbolic meaning of the beast’s forbidding of buying and selling for those not receiving his symbolic/name mark (trying to be like god = antichrist = in the place of, a created spiritual famine as it were).

    If the devil cannot keep the Word out by a persecuting sword, then he will send his false spirits and teachers to deceive (both intend the same goal, to extinguish the hope of the believer, the later is direct while the former indirect). As long as orthodoxy can be scoffed at, belittled and some such, there’s no need for the sword of persecution since the word persecution of other doctrines is working just fine. But if the word persecution begins to fail and the pure doctrine grows dominantly, i.e. the Gospel in Word and Sacrament, one can surely bet the sword is to follow as the rage against the Gospel by the devil and his minions cannot resist. This pattern of sword then false doctrine persecution is constant in the scriptures and history of the church, its very coordinated.

  • larry

    My apologies as I did not mean it to be “shouts” but as emphasis added as I stated. I admit I’m not too savvy with the e-writing genre (emoticons, etc…). I would’ve bolded or italicized the way one normally does for emphasis in writing but again, I’m pretty ignorant in how to do that on blogs.

    J.D. good points. As far as “coordinated” it depends on how one sees spiritual warfare. On the surface, men’s blind involvement it would seem uncoordinated in the US. But sense in realilty all SW is driven by Satan and his legions (as Paul points out, we don’t fight flesh and blood), it’s very coordinated. In fact the tactic of appearing uncoordinated is in and of itself a coordinated effort/tactic. C.S. Lewis captures this well when he said in, I believe it was the Screwtape Letters I cannot recall, that the perfect situation for the devil to coordinate his efforts of deception is to extinguish the idea that there is a devil and the behind the scenes coordination. The fact that doctrine in the broad sense of the Christendom is viewed lowly and all over the maps appears to be chaos, but is fact a quite coordinated attack on the children of the church (not unlike spoken of in Revelation 12 where the beast moves from his attack on the woman to her offspring). And we see this persecuting attack working quite well as the devil has created a spiritual famine among the saints who wish to put their rest in Christ alone. The best way to keep men from the nourishment of the Gospel in Word and Sacrament, is to create doctrinal chaos whereby men do not know where Christ is for them and doubt and despair as they cannot find the food and water (this is the real symbolic meaning of the beast’s forbidding of buying and selling for those not receiving his symbolic/name mark (trying to be like god = antichrist = in the place of, a created spiritual famine as it were).

    If the devil cannot keep the Word out by a persecuting sword, then he will send his false spirits and teachers to deceive (both intend the same goal, to extinguish the hope of the believer, the later is direct while the former indirect). As long as orthodoxy can be scoffed at, belittled and some such, there’s no need for the sword of persecution since the word persecution of other doctrines is working just fine. But if the word persecution begins to fail and the pure doctrine grows dominantly, i.e. the Gospel in Word and Sacrament, one can surely bet the sword is to follow as the rage against the Gospel by the devil and his minions cannot resist. This pattern of sword then false doctrine persecution is constant in the scriptures and history of the church, its very coordinated.

  • CRB

    I’ve heard that Israel does not treat its Christian population all that well, either.

  • CRB

    I’ve heard that Israel does not treat its Christian population all that well, either.

  • CRB

    Another stat that would be interesting: since “the church grows by the blood of martyrs,” it would be helpful to know if the persecutions to death in these countries do prove that axiom. For, if the church is diminishing in number, and Islam is rising in number, perhaps we are living in the last of the last days?

  • CRB

    Another stat that would be interesting: since “the church grows by the blood of martyrs,” it would be helpful to know if the persecutions to death in these countries do prove that axiom. For, if the church is diminishing in number, and Islam is rising in number, perhaps we are living in the last of the last days?

  • SKPeterson

    Larry – to bold use and . For example “your text” will render as your text. Just remove the spaces. If you want italics, replace the ‘b’ with and ‘i’.

    Kitty @ 1 – Many of the countries on the list would also rank fairly high on the different criteria you mention. Iran is noted for not only persecuting Christians, but Bahais, Zoroastrians, and Sunni Muslims amongst others. North Korea persecutes everyone – its pretty equal opportunity on the persecution front. China isn’t necessarily super friendly to Tibetan Buddhists, Falun Gong, its own Muslim population and other religious minorities.

  • SKPeterson

    Larry – to bold use and . For example “your text” will render as your text. Just remove the spaces. If you want italics, replace the ‘b’ with and ‘i’.

    Kitty @ 1 – Many of the countries on the list would also rank fairly high on the different criteria you mention. Iran is noted for not only persecuting Christians, but Bahais, Zoroastrians, and Sunni Muslims amongst others. North Korea persecutes everyone – its pretty equal opportunity on the persecution front. China isn’t necessarily super friendly to Tibetan Buddhists, Falun Gong, its own Muslim population and other religious minorities.

  • SKPeterson

    Darn. Larry. use to open a bold section and to close. Eliminate the spaces in .

  • SKPeterson

    Darn. Larry. use to open a bold section and to close. Eliminate the spaces in .

  • SKPeterson

    Never mind. Google html code instead. :)

  • SKPeterson

    Never mind. Google html code instead. :)

  • larry

    SK,

    Thanks much, I think I get it, very helpful!

  • larry

    SK,

    Thanks much, I think I get it, very helpful!

  • Tom Hering

    Persecution kills our Old Adam.

    Why, then, should you complain of your suffering or refuse to suffer what your sins really deserve? Indeed, you deserve much more than you receive – even eternal suffering. But God forgives you and remits the eternal punishment for the sake of Christ the Lord, desiring that you patiently endure the lesser suffering for the utter mortification of the sins inherent in your flesh and blood.

    Martin Luther, Sermon for the Second Sunday after Easter; 1 Peter 2:20-25.

  • Tom Hering

    Persecution kills our Old Adam.

    Why, then, should you complain of your suffering or refuse to suffer what your sins really deserve? Indeed, you deserve much more than you receive – even eternal suffering. But God forgives you and remits the eternal punishment for the sake of Christ the Lord, desiring that you patiently endure the lesser suffering for the utter mortification of the sins inherent in your flesh and blood.

    Martin Luther, Sermon for the Second Sunday after Easter; 1 Peter 2:20-25.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @10 Yeah, that is what I hear, too.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @10 Yeah, that is what I hear, too.

  • Tom Hering

    larry, I don’t know if it will work with your browser (I’ve got Firefox) but Google around for the “text formatting toolbar” which allows you to just highlight and click when you want italics, etc.

  • Tom Hering

    larry, I don’t know if it will work with your browser (I’ve got Firefox) but Google around for the “text formatting toolbar” which allows you to just highlight and click when you want italics, etc.

  • larry

    Exactly Tom, it kills all those hidden “trusts” we have and leads us, as it were to Christ alone whereby the cry becomes, “to Whom else shall we go, O’Lord, You alone have the words of eternal life” as we sing every Sunday. It’s the essence of the Psalms, e.g. 130 which is a great Psalm to commit to memory:

    1 Out of the depths I cry to you, LORD;
    2 Lord, hear my voice.
    Let your ears be attentive
    to my cry for mercy.

    3 If you, LORD, kept a record of sins,
    Lord, who could stand?
    4 But with you there is forgiveness,
    so that we can, with reverence, serve you.

    5 I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits,
    and in his word I put my hope.
    6 I wait for the Lord
    more than watchmen wait for the morning,
    more than watchmen wait for the morning.

    7 Israel, put your hope in the LORD,
    for with the LORD is unfailing love
    and with him is full redemption.
    8 He himself will redeem Israel
    from all their sins.

    The third Psalm, “O’Lord how are my foes increased, against me many rise. How many say, in vain for help he on his God relies…”

    And many, many, many others.

    Even as Luther said that the pope made him more the theologian than he would have ever been on his own. The ironic twist of false doctrine and persecutions is that they reduce our fallen “trusts” in other things, drive to despair so that at last the Gospel is seen where it can be found and had.

    It indeed kills the flesh that trusts in anything but Christ alone, though whether by sword or false doctrine it feels as if God has abandoned you. Hence what Luther said is the very true paradox that when one feels forsaken of God, God is never closer savingly. Only faith can see, for it never feels like it. (I think I got the bold right, thanks to SK!). Hence the torment Calvin points out of Christ on the cross, Neither blows, nor scourging, nor nails, nor thorns, occasioned to our Lord such intense suffering as that blasphemy: “He trusted in God; what availeth it to Him? For He is deprived of all assistance.” (Matthew 27:43.) Then at last He cried, “Father into Thy hands I commend My spirit”. What greater faith and worship of God is there than this! Which reflects all the above.

  • larry

    Exactly Tom, it kills all those hidden “trusts” we have and leads us, as it were to Christ alone whereby the cry becomes, “to Whom else shall we go, O’Lord, You alone have the words of eternal life” as we sing every Sunday. It’s the essence of the Psalms, e.g. 130 which is a great Psalm to commit to memory:

    1 Out of the depths I cry to you, LORD;
    2 Lord, hear my voice.
    Let your ears be attentive
    to my cry for mercy.

    3 If you, LORD, kept a record of sins,
    Lord, who could stand?
    4 But with you there is forgiveness,
    so that we can, with reverence, serve you.

    5 I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits,
    and in his word I put my hope.
    6 I wait for the Lord
    more than watchmen wait for the morning,
    more than watchmen wait for the morning.

    7 Israel, put your hope in the LORD,
    for with the LORD is unfailing love
    and with him is full redemption.
    8 He himself will redeem Israel
    from all their sins.

    The third Psalm, “O’Lord how are my foes increased, against me many rise. How many say, in vain for help he on his God relies…”

    And many, many, many others.

    Even as Luther said that the pope made him more the theologian than he would have ever been on his own. The ironic twist of false doctrine and persecutions is that they reduce our fallen “trusts” in other things, drive to despair so that at last the Gospel is seen where it can be found and had.

    It indeed kills the flesh that trusts in anything but Christ alone, though whether by sword or false doctrine it feels as if God has abandoned you. Hence what Luther said is the very true paradox that when one feels forsaken of God, God is never closer savingly. Only faith can see, for it never feels like it. (I think I got the bold right, thanks to SK!). Hence the torment Calvin points out of Christ on the cross, Neither blows, nor scourging, nor nails, nor thorns, occasioned to our Lord such intense suffering as that blasphemy: “He trusted in God; what availeth it to Him? For He is deprived of all assistance.” (Matthew 27:43.) Then at last He cried, “Father into Thy hands I commend My spirit”. What greater faith and worship of God is there than this! Which reflects all the above.

  • larry

    Thanks Tom I’ll try it.

  • larry

    Thanks Tom I’ll try it.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “For, if the church is diminishing in number, and Islam is rising in number, perhaps we are living in the last of the last days?”

    Islam is an interesting case because once it reaches critical mass among the ruling class, then following islam becomes less optional and more compulsory. I know atheists from islamic countries that will tell you they were atheists back home but would never say that to friends or family. Of course, now safely in the US, they are honest about their atheism with friends and acquaintances. Basically in free countries you get better numbers from the self identified strategy of polling. So, the rise of islam may not be that strong. A better indication sometimes is to look at answers to questions that correlate with islam like “should apostates from islam be killed?” if you get a lot of yes answers to that kind of question, you are dealing with the real deal, if you don’t well then they are moderate or even disinterested. World values survey asks similar kinds of questions that kind of fill in the gaps of understanding.

    http://www.worldvaluessurvey.org/

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “For, if the church is diminishing in number, and Islam is rising in number, perhaps we are living in the last of the last days?”

    Islam is an interesting case because once it reaches critical mass among the ruling class, then following islam becomes less optional and more compulsory. I know atheists from islamic countries that will tell you they were atheists back home but would never say that to friends or family. Of course, now safely in the US, they are honest about their atheism with friends and acquaintances. Basically in free countries you get better numbers from the self identified strategy of polling. So, the rise of islam may not be that strong. A better indication sometimes is to look at answers to questions that correlate with islam like “should apostates from islam be killed?” if you get a lot of yes answers to that kind of question, you are dealing with the real deal, if you don’t well then they are moderate or even disinterested. World values survey asks similar kinds of questions that kind of fill in the gaps of understanding.

    http://www.worldvaluessurvey.org/

  • larry

    What Tom said and following answers the “growth” question. It’s not necessarily numbers, the church grows when its numbers decrease but the Word/doctrine becomes increasingly pure. Hence, God often grows His church, which is Word dependant only, often when the numbers reduce to nearly nothing.

    We see this in the old and new testaments a lot. Even Luther pointed out that under the arian heresey the church was reduced to three (I recall) faithful bishops and that often the church has been reduced to nothing but baptized infants who had not grown to age whereby they were deceived by false doctrine. This is the remenant like the 7000 in the OT where the prophet lamented that he thought he was the only one.

    While this is reoccurring constantly in church history, toward the end as someone just pointed out, we see it predicted one last drastic time too. Whether that’s now or 10000 years from now we cannot know.

  • larry

    What Tom said and following answers the “growth” question. It’s not necessarily numbers, the church grows when its numbers decrease but the Word/doctrine becomes increasingly pure. Hence, God often grows His church, which is Word dependant only, often when the numbers reduce to nearly nothing.

    We see this in the old and new testaments a lot. Even Luther pointed out that under the arian heresey the church was reduced to three (I recall) faithful bishops and that often the church has been reduced to nothing but baptized infants who had not grown to age whereby they were deceived by false doctrine. This is the remenant like the 7000 in the OT where the prophet lamented that he thought he was the only one.

    While this is reoccurring constantly in church history, toward the end as someone just pointed out, we see it predicted one last drastic time too. Whether that’s now or 10000 years from now we cannot know.

  • Jon

    Who knew? Now I feel so emboldened! :-)

  • Jon

    Who knew? Now I feel so emboldened! :-)

  • kerner

    A few problems with the list.

    Ethiopia is about 62% Christian and Eritrea is about 50% Christian. At least statistically. The oppression in those places comes from totalitarian regimes that oppress everyone. While Eritrean Christians who are not members of a “registered church” are persecuted, so are Christians who cross the government for any reason, and so is anybody who does so. Also, the website says that Eritrean evangelicals can avoid persecution by joining one of the sanctioned churches, which probably puts Eritrea in the same catagory as Belarus.

    Israel did not make the list, but its treatment of Arab Christians hasn’t been great. But this appears to me to be largely because Christian Arabs seem to want a Palestinian state as much as the Muslims do, and they want Israel to basically get out of it. I don’t know whether it is strictly fair to call this persecution of Christians per se, because it is more complicated than that. But if you go strictly by numbers of Christians, who are of a minority faith, who have had their freedom restricted or have left the country due to government crackdowns (as the list seems to do), then Israel should probably be on the list. I say this because the Palestinian territories are on the list, and to my knowledge, Palestinian Christians get along a lot better with Palestinian Muslims than they do with the Israeli government.

    I don’t know what it says about Islam or Zionism, but I think it ought to be noted that Christians had a lot less trouble in predominantly Muslim countries before the state of Israel was founded, hostilities broke out, and Christians got caught in the middle.

    Kazakhstan is on the list. And my church supports a mission there (David and Rachel Baker). There is also an Evangelical Lutheran Chruch of Kazakhstan which was started by LCMS. As far as I know they are not having any significant problems, but if there is something we here in the US don’t know, I’d love to hear from anyone who has any information.

  • kerner

    A few problems with the list.

    Ethiopia is about 62% Christian and Eritrea is about 50% Christian. At least statistically. The oppression in those places comes from totalitarian regimes that oppress everyone. While Eritrean Christians who are not members of a “registered church” are persecuted, so are Christians who cross the government for any reason, and so is anybody who does so. Also, the website says that Eritrean evangelicals can avoid persecution by joining one of the sanctioned churches, which probably puts Eritrea in the same catagory as Belarus.

    Israel did not make the list, but its treatment of Arab Christians hasn’t been great. But this appears to me to be largely because Christian Arabs seem to want a Palestinian state as much as the Muslims do, and they want Israel to basically get out of it. I don’t know whether it is strictly fair to call this persecution of Christians per se, because it is more complicated than that. But if you go strictly by numbers of Christians, who are of a minority faith, who have had their freedom restricted or have left the country due to government crackdowns (as the list seems to do), then Israel should probably be on the list. I say this because the Palestinian territories are on the list, and to my knowledge, Palestinian Christians get along a lot better with Palestinian Muslims than they do with the Israeli government.

    I don’t know what it says about Islam or Zionism, but I think it ought to be noted that Christians had a lot less trouble in predominantly Muslim countries before the state of Israel was founded, hostilities broke out, and Christians got caught in the middle.

    Kazakhstan is on the list. And my church supports a mission there (David and Rachel Baker). There is also an Evangelical Lutheran Chruch of Kazakhstan which was started by LCMS. As far as I know they are not having any significant problems, but if there is something we here in the US don’t know, I’d love to hear from anyone who has any information.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    The 50 top persecutors of Christians

    Secular Political Liberals on the list?

    How about the theological liberals who aid and abet and enable the Secular Political Liberals?

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    The 50 top persecutors of Christians

    Secular Political Liberals on the list?

    How about the theological liberals who aid and abet and enable the Secular Political Liberals?

  • Tom Hering

    larry @ 22, the thought that there have been times in the history of the church when the faithful remnant has been entirely composed of baptized infants is a fascinating one.

  • Tom Hering

    larry @ 22, the thought that there have been times in the history of the church when the faithful remnant has been entirely composed of baptized infants is a fascinating one.

  • larry

    Tom, it is. It gave Luther great comfort when opposed by the external and internal trial of “do you alone know”. An anfechtungen Luther faced a lot.

    It reminds one of the simplicity and childlike nature of saving faith, like when the secular atheist in the frmr. USSR were attacking the church laity with evolution and so forth. Their answer reportedly was not an elaborate well argumented philosophical defense but a simple, “but He has risen”. During such internal and external struggles for the faith whether they be trials and persecutions inwardly by the devil or persecutions outwardly this gives one great encouragment that one need not an elaborate defense but may be reduced to a simple confession no bigger and maybe smaller than the very apostle’s creed – maybe nothing more than “but He is risen”, “I am baptized”, “but I have eaten His body and drank His blood and therefore a rightful heir”, or some such. When faith is put on trial its witness is often and should be very simple. Argumentation is the devil’s home turf.

  • larry

    Tom, it is. It gave Luther great comfort when opposed by the external and internal trial of “do you alone know”. An anfechtungen Luther faced a lot.

    It reminds one of the simplicity and childlike nature of saving faith, like when the secular atheist in the frmr. USSR were attacking the church laity with evolution and so forth. Their answer reportedly was not an elaborate well argumented philosophical defense but a simple, “but He has risen”. During such internal and external struggles for the faith whether they be trials and persecutions inwardly by the devil or persecutions outwardly this gives one great encouragment that one need not an elaborate defense but may be reduced to a simple confession no bigger and maybe smaller than the very apostle’s creed – maybe nothing more than “but He is risen”, “I am baptized”, “but I have eaten His body and drank His blood and therefore a rightful heir”, or some such. When faith is put on trial its witness is often and should be very simple. Argumentation is the devil’s home turf.

  • Grace

    larry @ 22

    “We see this in the old and new testaments a lot. Even Luther pointed out that under the arian heresey the church was reduced to three (I recall) faithful bishops and that often the church has been reduced to nothing but baptized infants who had not grown to age whereby they were deceived by false doctrine.”

    Can you prove the two (2) points you made above?

    1 Did Luther KNOW each and every Christian leader in the world?
    2 Where would one find only “baptized infants” and no adult Believers?
    3 How would Luther know whether every Believer was decieved?

    Are you aware that the LORD is the only one who knows the hearts of men? – it would be impossible for a mere man, such as Luther to know these things, only God knows. The world 500 years ago, was much larger then Germany, France, Italy and Switzerland.

  • Grace

    larry @ 22

    “We see this in the old and new testaments a lot. Even Luther pointed out that under the arian heresey the church was reduced to three (I recall) faithful bishops and that often the church has been reduced to nothing but baptized infants who had not grown to age whereby they were deceived by false doctrine.”

    Can you prove the two (2) points you made above?

    1 Did Luther KNOW each and every Christian leader in the world?
    2 Where would one find only “baptized infants” and no adult Believers?
    3 How would Luther know whether every Believer was decieved?

    Are you aware that the LORD is the only one who knows the hearts of men? – it would be impossible for a mere man, such as Luther to know these things, only God knows. The world 500 years ago, was much larger then Germany, France, Italy and Switzerland.

  • Tom Hering

    There’s no need to back up Luther’s speculations with proof. He was making theological points, and having fun doing it.

  • Tom Hering

    There’s no need to back up Luther’s speculations with proof. He was making theological points, and having fun doing it.

  • Grace

    Tom @ 29

    “There’s no need to back up Luther’s speculations with proof. He was making theological points, and having fun doing it.”

    What point is there in making up such a story for fun? As larry stated early on We see this in the old and new testaments a lot.

    – using the New Testament as a backdrop for “having fun” ?

  • Grace

    Tom @ 29

    “There’s no need to back up Luther’s speculations with proof. He was making theological points, and having fun doing it.”

    What point is there in making up such a story for fun? As larry stated early on We see this in the old and new testaments a lot.

    – using the New Testament as a backdrop for “having fun” ?

  • Tom Hering

    I didn’t say Luther was making it up for fun.

  • Tom Hering

    I didn’t say Luther was making it up for fun.

  • Tom Hering

    And I’m sorry to hear your faith is 100% serious, 100% of the time. Would you like me to pray for you as I perform a laying-on-of-hands? I promise not to tickle you. Honest.

  • Tom Hering

    And I’m sorry to hear your faith is 100% serious, 100% of the time. Would you like me to pray for you as I perform a laying-on-of-hands? I promise not to tickle you. Honest.

  • Grace

    Tom,

    I do take the Scriptures seriously, it’s sacred. Laying on of hands when someone is very ill, is a time of praying for the one who is either sick or in need of help, it’s serious.

    I love to laugh Tom, in fact I got in lots of trouble all through school by making others laugh as well. In one of my math classes, I had the entire room laughing so hard the teacher was unable to control anything,…. he turned to the blackboard, and as we all watched, his shoulders were going up and down, as he had been caught up in the act. It was at that point the whole class fell apart.

    My own mother used to put up with my antics, and my fathers, we were both alike. But having said all that, twisting in any way what the Scriptures say is not profitable, they are sacred.

  • Grace

    Tom,

    I do take the Scriptures seriously, it’s sacred. Laying on of hands when someone is very ill, is a time of praying for the one who is either sick or in need of help, it’s serious.

    I love to laugh Tom, in fact I got in lots of trouble all through school by making others laugh as well. In one of my math classes, I had the entire room laughing so hard the teacher was unable to control anything,…. he turned to the blackboard, and as we all watched, his shoulders were going up and down, as he had been caught up in the act. It was at that point the whole class fell apart.

    My own mother used to put up with my antics, and my fathers, we were both alike. But having said all that, twisting in any way what the Scriptures say is not profitable, they are sacred.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides
  • Truth Unites… and Divides
  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Why would they bother to come up with a ranking methodology that attempts to quantify a fairly abstract concept like this, and then nowhere report the actual scores the countries got, much less the answers/facts behind those scores? Doing so doesn’t exactly invite serious analysis, does it?

    I mean, how much worse is North Korea than Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia in terms of persecuting Christians? World Watch List quantified this answer for themselves, but they won’t tell us. I don’t get it.

    Anyhow, Veith said:

    No predominantly Christian society persecutes Christians of different persuasions, with the possible exception of Belarus…

    Kerner (@24) has already knocked a couple of holes in that claim (Eritrea and Ethiopia).

    And then, of course, there’s Cuba, which World Watch List says is 57% Christian, and which forces churches to register, particularly harrassing the unregistered house churches.

    Kazakhstan, as well, appears to be equally split between Muslims and Christians, at least according to the CIA World Factbook. And their persecution appears to involve forced registration as well, again impacting smaller church groups disproportionately.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Why would they bother to come up with a ranking methodology that attempts to quantify a fairly abstract concept like this, and then nowhere report the actual scores the countries got, much less the answers/facts behind those scores? Doing so doesn’t exactly invite serious analysis, does it?

    I mean, how much worse is North Korea than Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia in terms of persecuting Christians? World Watch List quantified this answer for themselves, but they won’t tell us. I don’t get it.

    Anyhow, Veith said:

    No predominantly Christian society persecutes Christians of different persuasions, with the possible exception of Belarus…

    Kerner (@24) has already knocked a couple of holes in that claim (Eritrea and Ethiopia).

    And then, of course, there’s Cuba, which World Watch List says is 57% Christian, and which forces churches to register, particularly harrassing the unregistered house churches.

    Kazakhstan, as well, appears to be equally split between Muslims and Christians, at least according to the CIA World Factbook. And their persecution appears to involve forced registration as well, again impacting smaller church groups disproportionately.

  • larry

    Precisely Tom, Luther was making a theological point and making it well. In fact the “searching of men’s hearts” makes the point all the more for men’s hearts are deceptive above all things (Jer.). And as Christ the Lord Himself said “forbid not the children and infants to come to Him, for of such belongs the kingdom of God…” and by the way adults, “if you don’t become like them (not them like you), you will in no way enter the kingdom of heaven.” So even Christ testifies to this fact.

    This fact is even real today, because baptized infants, due to the very nature of faith and nature of adults with higher reasoning power, are the highest pure group of believers that exist for they have not reached the heights of adulthood where reason takes over and the faith begins to be more warred with and thus denied at various levels.

    Put another way if you had room full of baptized infants and another room full of baptized adults, it is at least very likely due to the testimony of Scripture that the later room has at least some false believers in it, and the former room has none. So much that if everyone in both rooms where to pass away instantly in the same time, none would be lost in the infant room and the false believers in the other room would.

  • larry

    Precisely Tom, Luther was making a theological point and making it well. In fact the “searching of men’s hearts” makes the point all the more for men’s hearts are deceptive above all things (Jer.). And as Christ the Lord Himself said “forbid not the children and infants to come to Him, for of such belongs the kingdom of God…” and by the way adults, “if you don’t become like them (not them like you), you will in no way enter the kingdom of heaven.” So even Christ testifies to this fact.

    This fact is even real today, because baptized infants, due to the very nature of faith and nature of adults with higher reasoning power, are the highest pure group of believers that exist for they have not reached the heights of adulthood where reason takes over and the faith begins to be more warred with and thus denied at various levels.

    Put another way if you had room full of baptized infants and another room full of baptized adults, it is at least very likely due to the testimony of Scripture that the later room has at least some false believers in it, and the former room has none. So much that if everyone in both rooms where to pass away instantly in the same time, none would be lost in the infant room and the false believers in the other room would.

  • Grace

    Larry @ 36

    “And as Christ the Lord Himself said “forbid not the children and infants to come to Him, for of such belongs the kingdom of God…” and by the way adults, “if you don’t become like them (not them like you), you will in no way enter the kingdom of heaven.” So even Christ testifies to this fact.

    Jesus Christ never mentioned “Baptism” in the passage of Scripture, you refer to. This has been distored

    13 Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.

    14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

    15 And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence. Matthew 19

    Verse 13 makes clear the children had been brought so that Jesus could put HIS hands on them and pray. That doesn’t mean Baptism, it means touching them and praying. The Scripture is crystal clear. It is man who chooses to change the clear meaning of God’s Word.

    Jesus Christ’s silence regarding Baptism of infants and children in this passage of Scripture is obvious, it didn’t happen “he laid his hands on them” he didn’t baptize them, nor did HE suggest that they receive Baptism. No where is it mentioned that Jesus suggested baptizing children.

    Usage of this passage of Scripture (Matthew 19) is distorted when you try to change the meaning from “laid his hands on them” to baptism.

    Again we see very clearly in Mark that children were brought to Jesus so that he could touch them – HE took them up in HIS arms and put HIS hands on them and blessed them. Many of us who are affiliated with Evangelical Churches bring our infants to be dedicated, to ask for God’s blessing upon their lives, very much the same as in this passage of Scripture below:

    13 And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.

    14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

    15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

    16 And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.
    Mark 10:14

    We come to the Gospel of Luke – it doesn’t mention Baptism, but instead makes clear that they brought infants to Jesus so that HE might “touch” them, that isn’t Baptism.

    15 And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them.

    16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

    17 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein. Luke 18

    It’s imperative that people read and understand the Scriptures, as to what Christ actually did, not what someone else uses as a directive which doesn’t exist in the Bible.

  • Grace

    Larry @ 36

    “And as Christ the Lord Himself said “forbid not the children and infants to come to Him, for of such belongs the kingdom of God…” and by the way adults, “if you don’t become like them (not them like you), you will in no way enter the kingdom of heaven.” So even Christ testifies to this fact.

    Jesus Christ never mentioned “Baptism” in the passage of Scripture, you refer to. This has been distored

    13 Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.

    14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

    15 And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence. Matthew 19

    Verse 13 makes clear the children had been brought so that Jesus could put HIS hands on them and pray. That doesn’t mean Baptism, it means touching them and praying. The Scripture is crystal clear. It is man who chooses to change the clear meaning of God’s Word.

    Jesus Christ’s silence regarding Baptism of infants and children in this passage of Scripture is obvious, it didn’t happen “he laid his hands on them” he didn’t baptize them, nor did HE suggest that they receive Baptism. No where is it mentioned that Jesus suggested baptizing children.

    Usage of this passage of Scripture (Matthew 19) is distorted when you try to change the meaning from “laid his hands on them” to baptism.

    Again we see very clearly in Mark that children were brought to Jesus so that he could touch them – HE took them up in HIS arms and put HIS hands on them and blessed them. Many of us who are affiliated with Evangelical Churches bring our infants to be dedicated, to ask for God’s blessing upon their lives, very much the same as in this passage of Scripture below:

    13 And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.

    14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

    15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

    16 And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.
    Mark 10:14

    We come to the Gospel of Luke – it doesn’t mention Baptism, but instead makes clear that they brought infants to Jesus so that HE might “touch” them, that isn’t Baptism.

    15 And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them.

    16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

    17 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein. Luke 18

    It’s imperative that people read and understand the Scriptures, as to what Christ actually did, not what someone else uses as a directive which doesn’t exist in the Bible.

  • SKPeterson

    Grace – Where did Jesus say “Go and baptize all nations except for the children, who must first reach an age of accountability and declare their personal allegiance to me so that they can then have the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, but you may provide for them a blessing to tide them over until such a time?”

    I also challenge you to find a passage where Jesus says women can be baptized.

  • SKPeterson

    Grace – Where did Jesus say “Go and baptize all nations except for the children, who must first reach an age of accountability and declare their personal allegiance to me so that they can then have the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, but you may provide for them a blessing to tide them over until such a time?”

    I also challenge you to find a passage where Jesus says women can be baptized.

  • Grace

    SKPeterson

    “I also challenge you to find a passage where Jesus says women can be baptized.”

    14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.

    15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

    16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
    Mark 16

    Take NOTE:

    Jesus die not state male or female, but HE did make clear that He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;

  • Grace

    SKPeterson

    “I also challenge you to find a passage where Jesus says women can be baptized.”

    14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.

    15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

    16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
    Mark 16

    Take NOTE:

    Jesus die not state male or female, but HE did make clear that He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;

  • Grace

    39 should read:

    “Jesus did not state male or female, but HE did make clear that He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;”

  • Grace

    39 should read:

    “Jesus did not state male or female, but HE did make clear that He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@40), and what does the Bible tell us about little children believing?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@40), and what does the Bible tell us about little children believing?

  • SKPeterson

    Well, Todd – it’s not as if little children are born with original sin. I mean they can’t rationally repent of sin, so original sin and its compatriots in just plain old sin must come later, maybe with the loss of their baby teeth.

  • SKPeterson

    Well, Todd – it’s not as if little children are born with original sin. I mean they can’t rationally repent of sin, so original sin and its compatriots in just plain old sin must come later, maybe with the loss of their baby teeth.

  • Grace

    SKPeterson @ 42

    YOU WROTE: ” it’s not as if little children are born with original sin.”

    Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. Romans 5:12

    YOU challeneged me in post 39 – “I also challenge you to find a passage where Jesus says women can be baptized.”

    I answered your challenge in post 39.

    I challenege you to show me a passage of Scripture that tells Believers to Baptize their infants.

  • Grace

    SKPeterson @ 42

    YOU WROTE: ” it’s not as if little children are born with original sin.”

    Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. Romans 5:12

    YOU challeneged me in post 39 – “I also challenge you to find a passage where Jesus says women can be baptized.”

    I answered your challenge in post 39.

    I challenege you to show me a passage of Scripture that tells Believers to Baptize their infants.

  • Grace

    SKPeterson @ 42

    ” it’s not as if little children are born with original sin. I mean they can’t rationally repent of sin, so original sin and its compatriots in just plain old sin must come later, maybe with the loss of their baby teeth.”

    No they cannot as infants repent of their sin, anymore than they can be Baptized without repenting as infants.

    Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. Romans 5:12

  • Grace

    SKPeterson @ 42

    ” it’s not as if little children are born with original sin. I mean they can’t rationally repent of sin, so original sin and its compatriots in just plain old sin must come later, maybe with the loss of their baby teeth.”

    No they cannot as infants repent of their sin, anymore than they can be Baptized without repenting as infants.

    Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. Romans 5:12

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;”

    There is nothing in that context about women or babies specifically. However, if someone is baptised and has received the gift of faith, he can believe. So, a baptised baby can believe. He just can’t prove it to the satisfaction of some.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;”

    There is nothing in that context about women or babies specifically. However, if someone is baptised and has received the gift of faith, he can believe. So, a baptised baby can believe. He just can’t prove it to the satisfaction of some.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said (@43) to SK:

    YOU challeneged me in post 39 – “I also challenge you to find a passage where Jesus says women can be baptized.” I answered your challenge in post 39.

    You most certainly did not! The passage you quoted (@39) says nothing about women! In fact, it only uses a male pronoun: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” What makes you think that applies to women, Grace?

    Anyhow, you also said (@44) that:

    No they cannot as infants repent of their sin…

    Which is strange. Because Jesus tells us that the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as infants and little children, and urges us to change and become like them. And yet you tell us that they can’t repent. Are you saying Jesus doesn’t want us to repent? Are you saying the kingdom of heaven belongs to the unrepentant?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said (@43) to SK:

    YOU challeneged me in post 39 – “I also challenge you to find a passage where Jesus says women can be baptized.” I answered your challenge in post 39.

    You most certainly did not! The passage you quoted (@39) says nothing about women! In fact, it only uses a male pronoun: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” What makes you think that applies to women, Grace?

    Anyhow, you also said (@44) that:

    No they cannot as infants repent of their sin…

    Which is strange. Because Jesus tells us that the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as infants and little children, and urges us to change and become like them. And yet you tell us that they can’t repent. Are you saying Jesus doesn’t want us to repent? Are you saying the kingdom of heaven belongs to the unrepentant?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG said (@45):

    So, a baptised baby can believe. He just can’t prove it to the satisfaction of some.

    Good point. To hear Grace tell it, repentance only counts if one can communicate it to another human being. Which is odd, since I thought we were supposed to repent to God. Does repentance only count if we vocalize it, or is it a function of our inner heart?

    Following Grace’s reasoning, we would have to assert that the comatose are likewise unrepentant. And those who are severely mentally disabled. And, it would follow, anyone who doesn’t speak our language and lacks an interpreter — they may be able to convince their own that they’re repentant, but unless they can speak English, Grace must necessarily conclude they are unrepentant.

    I guess this makes Grace the judge of all?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG said (@45):

    So, a baptised baby can believe. He just can’t prove it to the satisfaction of some.

    Good point. To hear Grace tell it, repentance only counts if one can communicate it to another human being. Which is odd, since I thought we were supposed to repent to God. Does repentance only count if we vocalize it, or is it a function of our inner heart?

    Following Grace’s reasoning, we would have to assert that the comatose are likewise unrepentant. And those who are severely mentally disabled. And, it would follow, anyone who doesn’t speak our language and lacks an interpreter — they may be able to convince their own that they’re repentant, but unless they can speak English, Grace must necessarily conclude they are unrepentant.

    I guess this makes Grace the judge of all?

  • Grace

    - – - He, being, male or female –

    Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
    John 6:47

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
    16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
    Mark 16

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.
    John 14:24

    Don’t confuse yourself, “he” means male or female, in all three passages.

  • Grace

    - – - He, being, male or female –

    Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
    John 6:47

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
    16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
    Mark 16

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.
    John 14:24

    Don’t confuse yourself, “he” means male or female, in all three passages.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said (@48):

    Don’t confuse yourself, “he” means male or female, in all three passages.

    On what basis do you make this claim? The text quite clearly says “He that”. It’s masculine in the original Greek, as well.

    You still have yet to answer SK’s challenge (@38). You seem to think that any Bible passage that clearly and explicitly only mentions men can likewise be applied to women as well.

    I think you’ve missed the entire point of this exercise.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said (@48):

    Don’t confuse yourself, “he” means male or female, in all three passages.

    On what basis do you make this claim? The text quite clearly says “He that”. It’s masculine in the original Greek, as well.

    You still have yet to answer SK’s challenge (@38). You seem to think that any Bible passage that clearly and explicitly only mentions men can likewise be applied to women as well.

    I think you’ve missed the entire point of this exercise.

  • Grace

    Again, you’ve confused yourself, good luck.

  • Grace

    Again, you’ve confused yourself, good luck.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@50), we both know that this “confuse yourself” non-answer you’re throwing my way indicates you don’t have anything of value to say in reply.

    Whether that’s because you simply don’t understand the direction of the conversation, or because you do understand it and simply refuse to deal with the implications of it, only you know.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@50), we both know that this “confuse yourself” non-answer you’re throwing my way indicates you don’t have anything of value to say in reply.

    Whether that’s because you simply don’t understand the direction of the conversation, or because you do understand it and simply refuse to deal with the implications of it, only you know.


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