This week, the 24th May 2022, after being sentenced to 6 years in prison in Russia Denis Christensen was released from a Russian prison.
His offence? he was labelled an extremist and dangerous to the State of Russia, I enjoyed reading one description of him a “passive terrorist”, call it what you will this is a contradiction in terms.
He had paid his taxes, kept the laws of the land, however, his faith made him an enemy of the state. This stance was promoted by the Russian Orthodox Church leaders.
Why is this simply echoing the position of other religious movements? Jesus taught his followers to love one another, although singled out for persecution by the religious leaders of his day he didn’t say to his disciples campaign to stop them, or become involved in the political system to protect your own interests.
The principle that guides Jehovah’s Witnesses globally reflects the words of the Apostles who are recorded as saying at Acts 5: 29 “In answer Peter and the other apostles said: “We must obey God as ruler rather than men”
At Jesus death the religious leaders aligned themselves with the state and the same applies today. Religions and the Political infrastructure are linked. For example in China the Communist Party now have a say in the appointment of Catholic Bishops.
In the UK Parliament Religious Leaders sit in the House of Lords, spend time criticizing the Government but what did Jesus advocate? Matthew 6: 33 “Keep on, then, seeking first the Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these other things will be added to you.
Which Kingdom? Matthew 6: 9 “You must pray, then, this way: “‘Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified.10 Let your Kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also on earth.11 Give us today our bread for this day;12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.13 And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the wicked one.’” God’s Kingdom.
Religions around the world fail to point to this the only hope of salvation. Using their political influence to silence and obstruct those who make it plain, we are not in control of our destiny we need external support and Jesus died for us to get that support.
So remember the words James 4: 4 “Adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God”
We are no part of the political system as Christians because we promote God’s Kingdom ruled by Jesus Christ. The countries we live in are just places to be, and supporting the religious movement of nationalism is evidence of Religion forming and alliance with those who will battle against God’s Kingdom. Religion is described in Revelation as a Harlot riding on a wild beast who will be destroyed by that beast. It is really worth examining whether we are part of the wild beast, the harlot or those whom they wage war against.
Prayerfully consider where we want to be on God’s side on going down with the billions of followers of false religion.
Jesus made it clear when he said at Matthew 7: 13 “Go in through the narrow gate, because broad is the gate and spacious is the road leading off into destruction, and many are going in through it;14 whereas narrow is the gate and cramped the road leading off into life, and few are finding it.“
If we find it easy to be a Christian today, if we discover our views are popular with those around us then we need to examine which gate we have accessed and turn around if we need to.
This means everlasting life – getting to KNOW God and Jesus Christ
The time left is very short so examine the bible for ourselves and don’t let religions drag us into a war with God by opposing those who serve him faithfully.
We rejoice in the release of someone faithful and remember all of those who continue to be persecuted by the state supported by the religious leaders, this include Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Communism and Nationalism
Let the truth of the Bible set us free and may we live forever because of the sacrifice that Jesus made on our behalf.
“The undeserved kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ be with the spirit you show, brothers. Amen.”