I’ve been home two days from a mission trip to Bangladesh. In addition to unpacking, washing clothes, and showing photos to my husband, I’ve been reflecting on what God showed us on the other side of the world.
For instance, the Bengali believers are “all in.” Unlike our American culture, the environment in Bangladesh does not allow for “lukewarm” or casual Christians.
A few weeks ago, two Christian men in Chittagong were beaten and left for dead because of their faith in Jesus. And this is not an unusual occurrence. Persecution of all kinds is commonplace.
Many new believers are rejected by their families. Jobs are lost. Homes are burned. Friends turn their backs.
The Bengali believers expect this persecution. And they still choose Jesus. In fact, they cling tightly to Him. In some cases, He is all they have. But He is also all they need. In a country that is about 90% Muslim, there is no middle ground or room for indecisiveness.
Things are too easy for American believers. We can call ourselves Christians without fear of any real backlash. We can go to church on Sunday and live like we want the rest of the week.
I think God is trying to tell me something. I’ve been reading Francis Chan’s book “Crazy Love.” Chapters 4 and 5 hit hard on this topic. Chan proposes that a “lukewarm” Christian is really not a Christian at all. That seems to be what the Bible says.
Jesus Himself encourages us to “count the cost” of following Him (Luke 14:25-35). Am I willing to give up everything to follow Jesus? Are you?