I'm reading Acts 8:1-13 this morning, about the early Christians being persecuted. I can't imagine. I can't imagine what it must be like to live in a place where people are not just disdainful toward your religion, but hunting you down because of it. I just don't even get that mentality that brings one person or group to have that kind of fear and hatred toward another - - whether it's about faith, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, or whatever other defining characteristic has been used throughout history to wrongly justify persecution. I don't get it.
But at the same time, I'm sure I do get it in some way that I'm not willing to recognize. There's the Calvinist in me - - I'm sure I sin in this way somehow. It may not be to the degree of stoning and destruction, thank God, but I'm sure in some way I am biased against people who are different from me. My honest confession is that this is the case for me with people who are less educated than I am. I think it also bleeds over into a socio-economic bias, too. I don't go looking for these folks and try to punish them, but in a way I sort of overlook them. Forgive me, God. Forgive my own form of discrimination and persecution.
Give me eyes like Jesus', a heart like his, that watch for those who are overlooked and focus intently on their lives and needs. Amen.
This reading also reminded me of a video whose title I have seen a lot lately, but that I had not yet viewed. Now I watched it and here it is:
(Video has been removed)
I can't personally back up any of these stories or claims, but I can pray the prayers and hope beyond all hope that they will not be needed.