As I write this, I am remembering that today is Armenian Memorial Day, a day to remember the slaughter of the Armenian people by the Turkish Muslims, because of their faith in Jesus. Armenia was the first Christian nation and in spite of torture and blood, shed kept their faith. When I was a young girl I would listen spellbound while my dad recounted eyewitness reports given by relatives who were able to escape of the atrocities perpetrated on his own relatives.
He told of his Uncle who was taken from his family by the Turkish soldiers and starved until he was skeletal and then taken to his family’s home where they were all called out to see him, naked with his stomach bloated from being forced to drink water. They told the family, “this is what believing in Jesus does for you, then bashed his brains out in front of them with the butt of the gun and left him there for the family to deal with.
Another story that always broke my heart was about a beautiful young Armenian girl that one of the Captains had an eye for. She was told if she would recant her belief in Jesus and accept Mohammad he would spare her life. She looked him in the eye and said, “You have killed my father, my mother and my brother. I will not deny Jesus you can kill me also.” The Captain sprinkled her long, black hair with gunpowder and then struck a match to her hair, I don’t have to tell you the results.
Because the Armenians would say that Jesus was not something they could take off like a coat but He was part of their skin, the soldiers would skin them alive saying that they were just removing the “Jesus” from them. Babies were cut from the stomach of their pregnant mother with swords and then tossed back and forth in front of the father.
Does this sound like a peaceful religion to you? I do not feel worthy to be called a Christian when I remember these tales of a people who were willing to die for their faith in Jesus the Christ.
It has been said that America is not a Christian nation, well I beg to differ, this country was founded on Christian principles because a group of people wanted to have the freedom to worship God in their own way. We have it so easy, we have all God’s promises in the Word, and we have heated/ air-conditioned churches with padded seats, how hard is it for you to keep your faith?
Isaiah 41:8-10 “I pulled you in from all over the world, called you in from every dark corner of the earth, telling you, ‘You’re my servant, serving on my side. I’ve picked you. I haven’t dropped you.’ Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady and keep a firm grip on you.”
Did you ever play a game in grade school where sides were picked? You were standing there waiting for someone to point at you, and maybe you were the last one picked? When God is doing the picking, you don’t have to be worried about getting picked last or not at all, because we each one of us is God’s favorite child!
Isaiah 43:1-4 But now, God’s Message, the God who made you in the first place, Jacob, the One who got you started, Israel: “Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine. When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end—Because I am God, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Savior. I paid a huge price for you: That’s how much I love you!
Do you believe God at all? Of course, I know you do, then this promise has to make you feel so protected, so chosen, so loved. There have been times that the only words that would come from me were “Oh God, help me!” It is in those lonely, terrified times that He makes Himself known to you.
Isaiah 65:24 Before they call out, I’ll answer. Before they’ve finished speaking, I’ll have heard.
I feel that I owe it to my ancestors to hold the faith and live the best life I can so that if they are watching me from heaven I will be living proof that their sacrifice is not taken for granted. I read chapter eleven of Hebrews, which is called the Faith Hall of Fame, and weep that I am so weak.
Hebrews 11:39-40 Not one of these people, even though their lives of faith were exemplary, got their hands on what was promised. God had a better plan for us: that their faith and our faith would come together to make one completed whole, their lives of faith not complete apart from ours.
I am proud to say that I believe in Jesus Christ, I am a Christian!