I am six years older than my sister. She pretty much worshiped me growing up (not that I can blame her, I AM pretty awesome!) and she would copy me all the time. She would say the things I said (which sometimes got me in serious trouble!) or want to eat what I was eating or want to watch what I was watching … you get it. It would seriously drive me crazy, and even worse was when my mom would say that thing that parents say “imitation is greatest form of flattery.” I’m sure you’ve heard it. I’m sure it annoyed you. I’m sure you didn’t feel flattered or looked-up to, just annoyed. But it really is true … in most cases.
I was reading Radical by David Platt, a book I got as part of the blogging for books program which I am finishing up and should be reviewing soon. This is not a review of the book, simply an observation. Not far into the book he starts talking about these people in Asia who travel great distances to meet in secret and study the Bible. How they could lose their homes or families or lives for doing this but they loved following Jesus so much that they did it anyway and they would get together for hours and hours to study the Bible. Then he talks about how you don’t see this passion in America. Then he talks about how his church started a Bible study that lasts six hours. So far, so good.
But then he explains that they called this Bible Study Secret Church. Really? Secret Church? I get that it is paying tribute to, or paying homage to those meetings in Asia that he was talking about, but to me, and maybe just to me, it seriously trivializes what these believers face for persecution everyday. Meeting in a nice building in America with no consequences is NOT the same as meeting in dull lit rooms with the constant threat of being caught and losing everything. How do we stand with those who face these struggles? Maybe by praying for them or with them, or by offering them support, or maybe by going there and helping them, but having a Bible study at night and calling it Secret Church is the kind of imitation that trivializes what these dedicated and courageous brothers and sisters face as an everyday reality.