"If you had known what these words mean, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the innocent" (Yah'shua - in Matthew 12:7, NIV).
Christians of all stripes have been honestly and dishonestly criticised throughout the ages by those of other beliefs, both theistic and atheistic. And since the time of the Seleucid struggles, the 'People of the Book' have been relentlessly persecuted.
The association of witness and suffering began as early as the second part of Isaiah and was taken over by Christians. Despite official toleration of their religion by Rome, Jewish cohesiveness, non-cooperation, and uncanny financial success won them widespread hatred and spasmodic persecution especially outside the Holy Land: pogroms were common in Alexandria. This legacy was taken over by the Christians/Messianics. Their willingness to face suffering was intensified by the example of Yah'shua and by the association of persecution for the longed-for end of the age (Mk.13:7-13). Not until a much mutated Roman Christianity syncretised with paganism and became the official state religion did persecution subside.
As a people, though tiny in number, NCCG has attracted not only criticism but in recent times open persecution for our uncompromising stand on Biblical truth. We do our best to live at peace with all people, as the Bible admonishes us, and to embrace everyone. Today, as in all ages, this desire to live at peace is not reciprocated but openly opposed. There have always been people driven by dark forces and a totalitarian mindset who wish to oppress and destroy, for whom co-existence is unthinkable.
From time to time such people come along accusing, distorting the truth, outright lying, and openly persecuting. Most come and go when there is nothing more for them to feed on and people get tired of their ranting. Some are more persistent than others and must be countered so as not to poison the minds of those who are either disinclined to research the truth for themselves or simply don't have the time to. This can be a time-consuming exercise for us that takes us away from valuable ministry and the crying needs of the spiritually wounded and hurting. The critics are not usually interested in people but in getting an audience for themselves.
Since mid-2005, and coming to a head in the summer of 2006, another calculated attack to discredit and destroy us has been made by various enemies. This has taken a lot of our time up which would have been better spent constructively elsewhere. Upon the advice of friends and after much prayerful consideration, we decided to use our resources of time and energy where Yahweh has called us to use them and leave the answering of our critics to others. We have a responsibility to edify rather than descend to the level of our opponents who are more concerned with destroying than building.
The honest in heart will see through the mental acrobatics and discern the hearts of those who have lied and sought to discredit us. In the words of Solomon:
As dead flies give perfume a bad smell,
so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honour.
The heart of the wise inclines to the right,
but the heart of the fool to the left.
Even as he walks along the road,
the fool lacks sense and shows everyone how stupid he is.
May Yahweh bless you in All Truth.
This page was created on 24 September 1999
Last updated on 20 November 2007
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