In the Light of the Sri Lankan Suffering

What’s the real story of the Sri Lankan bombings?

Is it that Christians are being persecuted around the world in great numbers? That’s certainly true. More Christians have died as representatives of our faith in the last hundred years than in the rest of the Christian centuries put together.

Is it that the Western news media, reflecting the attitude of certain Western elites, generally refuses to acknowledge that massive, bloody fact? That’s certainly true. The Received Narrative among right-thinking people in our culture is that Christianity doesthe persecuting: Crusades, Inquisition, and all that. What doesn’t fit the paradigm isn’t news that’s fit to print.

Is it that ISIS hasn’t gone away but has been driven out of the Middle East in its own nasty diaspora, spreading its toxic version of Islam to angry people at the ends of the earth? That’s certainly true. With no country on the planet willing to welcome ISIS fighters or their families, they will go where they can, but now fueled by new resentments against a world they hate and who hates them in turn.

I wonder, though, if at least one of the most basic stories here is that Christians are not exempt from the suffering and death that afflicts everyone else. Despite the heresy of the “prosperity gospel” hucksters, Jesus never promised his followers that life in the Spirit would somehow insulate them from life in the world.

So Christians get cancer. My mother did. So Christians die in car accidents. Friend Gerry Sittser’s wife, mother, and daughter did—all in one horrible crash. So Christians get unjustly fired, get injured, get sued into bankruptcy, get raped—or see their loved ones suffer so.

Why doesn’t a loving Jesus protect his own?

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