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Always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience (1 Peter 3:15b-16a ESV)

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2/28/2005

The More Things Change ... 

... the more they stay the same. Consider this quote, taken from Andrew Fuller's letter to the chairman of the East Inia Company concerning Christian missionaries in India:
I have observed with pain, sir, of late years, a notion of toleration, entertained even by some who would be thought its firmest advocates, which tends not only to abridge, but to subvert it. They have no objection to Christians of any denomination enjoying their own opinions, and, it may be, their own worship; but they must not be allowed to make proselytes. ... They do not propose to persecute the Christians of India, provide they would keep their Christianity to themselves; but those who attempt to convert others are to be exterminated. Sir, I need not say to you that this is not toleration, but persecution.
This was written in 1807, when the East India Company was protesting the missionaries in India -- accusing them of fomenting revolution and rebellion after some of the company's sepoy troops mutinied. Thomas Twining, of the famous tea Twining family, wrote to the chairman of the East India Company urging him to not allow missionary activity in India any longer. British Baptist missions were under attack, and unjustly so.

But it could have easilly been written yesterday. As long as Christians keep our faith to ourselves, we are allowed to exist. When we start obeying the command of Christ to teach the nations to obey His commands, we need to be eliminated. In many parts of the world, Christians are eliminated in the most precise meaning of that word; they are killed. We have not reached that point in the US yet, though many things I have read on the Internet show me that many people are not opposed to that idea at all. Here, we are told simply that our beliefs have no place in the public forum, since they are religious in nature.

This is not tolerance. This is not simply an issue that Christians should be involved in. This is an issue that people who are interested in true tolerance of all beliefs should pay attention to, and protest against.


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