Below I’ve posted a youtube video (update – the original has now been ‘removed by user’). Its a response by Francis Chan in the US to some recent persecution of Christians in India. It is very disturbing. They’re edited things so its not full on, but there are images of people being beaten for following Jesus. (Click here to see more of what Francis Chan’s church is doing in India)

I hope it moves you – it certainly moved me. And what Francis Chan says is very challenging. We look up to Christians who lead big churches, and write great books and we say ‘we want to be like them’. But these Christians who are suffering and still trusting Jesus – they are the ones we should revere. But the problem is if we do that, we may also have to follow it with ‘we want to be like them’.

But do we?

Jesus is so clear – following him means suffering. The New Testament is full of that. Last week at the TCH leaders conference Steve Timmis just made the point that when Jesus said ‘take up your cross’ people would have had no other image than being a man who was beaten, bruised, spat upon and heading to death – not unlike those Christians in India that you see in the video. There’s no sentimental, spiritual view of taking up your cross.

But that is discipleship 101.

Sometimes we talk about the ‘sacrifice’ we make in giving up careers to be ‘in the ministry’.

But I watch this video and I think – we have no idea what sacrifice really means…