Tuesday, February 05, 2013

The Blood of the Martyrs

In the late fourteenth century a man named John Huss began a missionary movement which became known as the Moravians. They were located in central Europe and their calling was worldwide evangelism. All over the world there are believers who can trace their original roots to Moravian missionaries.

In the early 1700’s the Moravians established missionary outposts within the American colonies. It was through their witness that the Delaware Indians were reached with the gospel and many came to faith in the Lord Jesus. Because of the hostility between the Americans and the British the Delaware Indians became somewhat confused over which side to take. But those Indians who became believers slowly realized they should take neither side and true to Scripture they were neutral pacifists who lived by following the teachings of Jesus.

But some of the unconverted Delaware Indians sided with the British while some sided with the Colonies. But the British and the Americans were suspicious of the Indian converts and in 1781 the Americans forcibly removed them from their camps and moved them to a camp that they established. The white Moravian missionaries were tried for treason and found not guilty. By 1782 the Delaware converts began to starve and approximately 100 returned to their former villages and began to harvest the crops they had been forced to leave. But the Americans wanted to destroy those camps in an effort to keep the British from getting the food.

But the Indian converts had relocated and were once again living and working in those camps. The American militia told the converts that they had come to protect them and that they should gather together with their belongings. But they had lied, and although these Indian believers were well know as pacifists, the American militia made plans to annihilate them. Here is a short account:

On the evening of the 7th, the Indians spent their last hours praying and singing, knowing that their spirits would soon be in the presence of their God. They did not resist, they did not struggle. The next morning the slaughter began. The women were killed in one building, the men in the other. The old, the young and the infants were all massacred. The lists of the victims contain the names of infants and toddlers who were killed. As the victims were brought into the slaughter houses, many sang hymns, others prayed. The word of God was on their lips as the mallet or tomahawk crashed into their skulls. (source)

It is stories like this one that are recorded in heaven and which make all the modern church wrangling seem like sacrilege. Where oh where are believers like that today? These Moravian converts from the Delaware tribe were faithful to the Lord Jesus even unto death. But today’s believers must demand their rights and become entangled with the secular cesspool. But brothers and sisters, we have not learned that from Christ. And lest anyone be deceived, this nation was never formed as a Christian nation. The blood of these Indian believers still stains the ground where they were massacred.

May their martyrdom redound to the glory of God, and may it be a challenge to us all to serve the Lord with contrition and humility. He who would be first must be last, and he who is abased will one day be exalted. Amen.

FYI - In 1810, Tecumseh reminded William Henry Harrison, "You recall the time when the Jesus Indians of the Delawares lived near the Americans, and had confidence in their promises of friendship, and thought they were secure, yet the Americans murdered all the men, women, and children, even as they prayed to Jesus?"


Cherie c. said...

Dear Pastor Rick,

With each passing day, I feel the grip of fear stronger and stronger. Information such as this hurts my heart and causes fear. Still trying to identify the source pf the fear because one is Godly and the other is not.

I was reading about the martyrs of the Roman Church and there was one man who because of pain renounced Jesus even though his fellow brothers and sisters encouraged him not too. He was spared but later died. He was told not to recant his salvation for a moment of relief. This is what I am afraid of; failing Jesus. I have dealt with many health issues, surgeries and illnesses that caused pain and I am a coward when it comes to pain. My fear isn't of death, but the manner in which it comes. The Lord knows this as I have brought this to Him in prayer but I have not been given an answer. I need His strength everyday to just live, cannot imagine how much of His strength I will need if and when faced with such an occurrence.

I do not want to be like this man, nor do I want to fail my Lord.

I know about the American government trying to do away with Indians in history, but did not know about these dear brothers and sisters. Proof positive that this country is no better than any other country killing people who they think are a danger to them.

I know hard times must come, I pray for strength and mercy, and grace. Sometimes I thing He will take me home before as perhaps the measure of grace He has given me may not carry me through. What ever He decides, I pray I do not fail Him. He is all I have, and all I want and need.

His Word says to not be afraid, but some days I am. Do I need to repent of this fear? Some would say I am not saved, could that be true? I was told once that in China, brothers and sisters in the Lord are praying for us to be persecuted. I do not believe this. How can a brother or sister in the Lord pray for something like that? I pray that if persecution happens that the Lord give strength to endure it, or reduce its severity. I would never pray for someone to be persecuted. Is this wrong too?

your sister in Christ Jesus,
Cherie C.

Anonymous said...

Cherie- in Luke 12:12-"for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say."

This gives me peace. I too have a fear that I will disappoint our Lord but I am comforted that when the time comes I will know what to do/say.

I feel awful about the injustices done to people in history and today like you.


Reine Gnade said...

Paul suffered persecution because of the offense of the cross. As the world finds the cross more and more offensive Christians will face increased persecution. Be of good cheer, for persecuted Christians will not be forsaken by God.

I'm encouraged, consoled and emboldened by Paul's witness. Paul, blessed by God, had an amazing response to persecutions. He took pleasure in them for Christ's sake, for when he was weak, Christ was strong! (See 2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

Cherie c. said...

Thank you Noel and Reine for your words of support for they give me peace. God has blessed me with such loving brothers and sisters in Christ I am humbled.

I don't care if someone makes fun of my faith, it is the tough stuff that is to come that I fear. Not afraid of death like I used to be, it is failing Jesus. I am going to make Luke 12:12 the Scripture I meditate upon today. Let it dwell richly in my heart.

God Bless you all here at Pastor Rick's Blog. As Victoria said recently, "like church". Amen, true church. God has truly blessed me with brothers and sisters in the Lord for such a time as this.

your sister in Christ Jesus
Cherie c.

Anonymous said...

God Bless you my brothers & sisters :) - Noel

Anonymous said...

Cherie. I love your honesty and I think more christians feel the same as you do than they are willing to admit.

If that's true about people praying for others to be persecuted, I would say it's not biblical, nor is it right. I remember in John 21, where Peter "turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper, and said, "Lord, who is the one who betrays You?" Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, "But Lord, what about this man?"
Jesus said to him, "If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me." Then this saying went out among the brethren that this disciple would not die, but, "If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you?"

When I used to read that, I always surmised that it meant that each one of us have commissions, some of us are strong, others weak, yet the weaker ones have strengths that the young and strong don't have. I suppose Jesus doesn't want us comparing ourselves to one another. Some are willing to die freely, and others would run. Some are persecuted, some aren't. In my church experience, many good elderly good Spirit-filled christians died in a time of peace, where they never endured hard persecution. Possibly in the last days, we will see it, but, if we were to dwell on being persecuted all the time, we'd be weary and tired and lacking in spiritual strength.

Another thing about christians supposedly always talking about the coming persecution. They don't know who God will chose or won't chose. In Jesus' time, he didn't send out middle-aged women to preach, nor did he sent out poor widows, or disabled women with afflictions and arthritis and chronic pain (I don't remember reading it). In the early church He sent out the young, the strong, and those who could make headway.

This post showed that wicked men killed babies, toddlers and women and men (dear Lord, when I read about the Moravian Delaware Indians, I'm baffled), and I wish I could answer these things myself to have an answer, any answer. All I know for myself at this time, is it says in the OT, God shows himself pure to the pure, and shows himself merciful to the merciful and froward to the froward. froward(can't remember where, will google it).

Just know you are not alone in these same thoughts and worries. I just try to remember to everything there is a season. Eccl. 3: A time to be born, and a time to die, A time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted, A time to kill and a time to heal, A time to break down and a time to build up, A time to week, and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a time to dance, A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones, A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to gain, and a time to lose; A time to keep, and a time to throw away; A time to tear, and a time to sew, A time to keep silence; and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; A time of war, and a time of peace."

Whenever I worry, I remember, "Do not fear". May God comfort you.

Your sister,

Unchurched Anon.

Anonymous said...

This story really makes one more point about how nation-creation has it's wickedness, sin, and no nation should be idolized. Nation-building is not of God. But, it had to happen because men's hearts are filled with power-lust, dominion-lust, and we are created to either want submission or to give submission to something. That's the world.

It does defy logic how some christians have been hoodwinked into believe that America is a christian nation. Several of the Founding fathers were deists. If a man refuses to acknowledge Jesus as Lord, and that there is no other mediator between God and man, and that His name is Jesus, then, they are not christian; or if national leaders sign documents by way of just using the word God, or Almighty, or Creator, we know that there are many gods in this world. If the founding fathers were unwilling to say who God was, then they were willing to let it slip by. What if they had dared to use the name of Jesus Christ on the Declaration of Independence of Constitution? It would have been blasphemy, because they knew that Jesus would forbid His Name being used in war and carnage and takeover.

There are many societies that say they are built on the traditions of the religious fathers and say they serve GOD. But which god?

So many say they are proud of the coins "in God we trust". Which God? Even if someone refers to God because he comes from a traditional form of godliness, doesn't mean his life is made new in Jesus. If the man still wants to control, fight, battle, destroy other people's lives for his gain, his god is not JESUS.

This is probably why we are seeing how following Jesus can never be tied to nationalism. The two are like water and oil. They don't mix. And if christians still choose to lift up messy history with pride, they don't know who Jesus is.

I've been hoodwinked too all these years; always feeling that tug of emotion and patriotism during national anthems; watching the Olympics and having a tear in my eye. I live freely because of the insidious actions of others long ago, who fought and killed for these lands. I never really thought it through; that I live this way because others took it by force and shed blood for it. It makes me want to wretch. Nothing is right in this world and nothing is righteous. We have a lot to give account for on judgment day in heaven, and we need to ask ourselves more honest questions as to how we have arrived at our close-minded beliefs that we were more special than anyone else. I confess that I was caught up in this and I blame myself; I also blame the churches and evangelists who taught us about how wonderful and godly our inception was and how it is divinely protected because we have nothing to be ashamed of.

Thank you Rick for stirring the pot on this subject. Jesus, who is the Truth, shall set us free.

Cherie c. said...

Thank you Anon for your encouraging words. I know I am not alone in my concerns, but I voice them sometimes hoping that someone else may feel the same. Sometimes I feel ashamed of fearing persecution because the Bible says we should rejoice in it. I do, but this is an evil world and I just want the Lord to come quickly. I just hope He finds me faithful enough to be with Him for eternity. I pray for all the persecuted brothers and sisters everywhere. I do experience persecution and isolation in my own home at times, but I fear there could be worse ahead. I am still learning and relearning what I didn't get in the "church". Thank God for blessing me with loving brothers and sisters like you.

your sister in Christ Jesus,
Cherie c.

Reine Gnade said...

A froward (peverse) (dishonest) man soweth strife! See Proverbs 16:28

Diane said...

Funny how episodes this were never taught in history class when I was growing up...

Anonymous said...

This massacre and another took place near my home in Ohio. These were native Americans who converted to non-resistant faith in Christ through Moravian missionaries. You can visit the historical sites at Schoenbrun and Gnadenhutten. You can read the account of the faith-filled and prayerful martyrdom of these brothers and sisters at the Anabaptist website. Ohio and Kentucky are saturated with blood from gruesome 18th and 19th century hate-driven barbarities. Some are almost unendurable to just read about.