Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Hostage Ordeal Appears To Be Ending

This post has to be written in haste. It appears that the hostage crisis involving kidnapped South Korean Christian workers is about to end with all the hostages being released. Some of the remaining hostages taken by the Taliban have already been released. I will not comment on the details of the arrangement between the South Korean government and the Taliban at this time. However, those who want to blame the hostages for this ordeal should read the entire article linked here. A German engineer and four Afghan colleagues who were kidnapped a day before the South Koreans are still being held. The Taliban hostage taking it seems is not the result over rage at Christian activity; the Christian workers just happened to fall into the hands of a terrorist group seeking to kidnap anyone from another nation.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Church Signs I Have Seen.

I am still in WV; when I began my visit I had no idea I would be here this long. These church signs are in WV:

"If it ain't broke, break it." This was posted by a church in downtown Morgantown. I am not sure what the true meaning of this one is, but I found it interesting.

"Be pure as snow...don't drift." From a church on the Kingwood Pike outside Morgantown. Driving this stretch of road allows you to view some very beautiful scenery if you are careful not to drive off of the many curves in the road. In Morgantown drivers used to place bumper stickers on their cars saying "Pray for me, I drive the Kingwood Pike." This Sunday I travel on this road again to preach at a church in Kingwood, WV.

" 'I hate the New Life Center in Cedar Grove!___Satan.' " I have not really seen this sign; I read about it in the Morgantown paper. The sign is in Cedar Grove, WV. The pastor refers to the message as "reverse psychology."

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Some Nuance For Our Liberal Friends.

The last Democratic Presidential candidate was (and is) in the habit of lecturing us mere mortals (average citizens) that the world cannot be viewed in simple terms of black and white. Each situation we face is made up of complexities too difficult for government leaders to explain to the American people. Therefore, when we view the world, we must do so wearing grey eye shades. Out of respect for our friends who adhere to such a view, here is a bit of nuance for their consideration.

Yesterday, President Bush addressed the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Kansas City, MO. ( ). The President stated emphatically that were the U.S. to withdraw from Iraq in the immediate future, the result within Iraq would resemble what happened in South Vietnam when the U.S. withdrew from that country. In his speech, Bush said "Three decades later, there is a legitimate debate about how we got into the Vietnam War and how we left...Whatever your position in that debate, one unmistakable legacy of Vietnam is that the price of America's withdrawal was paid by millions of innocent citizens whose agonies would add to our vocabulary new terms like 'boat people,' 're-education camps' and 'killing fields' " The media-spin is that Bush is being hypocritical; he has continually refused to compare the war in Iraq with the Vietnam War yet warns of post-Vietnam War-like consequences in the event of an immediate withdrawal from Iraq. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) responded to Bush: "President Bush's attempt to compare the war in Iraq to past military conflicts in East Asia ignores the fundamental difference between the two..."

What is the appropriate response to the media-spin? Bush has never compared the causes for the war in Iraq or the means of waging it to Vietnam. It has been the liberals in Congress and the media who have done so. Vietnam is the template for liberals for every military conflict the U.S. undertakes; they invoked Vietnam in opposing the first Gulf War. To them, the U.S. was the aggressor in Vietnam as well as in Iraq. Just as we suffered inevitable defeat in Vietnam, they reason, the military cannot achieve victory in Iraq. Their past public statements to this effect highlights Reid's colossal hypocrisy in responding to the President's speech. Reid thinks it is legitimate for his fellow liberals to invoke the Vietnam analogy when it suits them, but illegitimate for Bush to do so. How should those who support the war respond? Here is where nuance comes into play. It is no hypocrisy on the part of Bush to refuse to compare the war itself to the Vietnam War while warning of consequences of withdrawal similar to those that occurred after the U.S. withdrew from South Vietnam. No two wars are the same, but withdrawing before military victory is achieved in any conflict exposes those within the field of battle who supported the withdrawing army to torture, starvation and mass execution. This is indeed what happened in Vietnam. This would be the case whether a war would take place in the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, Africa, or Europe. However we cannot end our analysis here. Any nation that abandons its allies in the field of battle will no longer be feared by aggressive powers. Thinking that the withdrawing nation has no stomach for battle, rouge nations will annex territory and entire sovereign countries. The nation that exposes it allies in the field by pre-mature withdrawal will never be trusted by other nations and thus will fail to form alliances to defend itself and its interests.

That was my foray into the world of nuance. If our liberal friends fail to grasp the nature of my argument, I will revert back to simplistic arguments utilizing "good versus evil" terminology.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Hostages and Hostagetakers

The need for prayer for the South Korean Christian workers taken as hostages by the Taliban in Afghanistan is just as necessary as it was before two of the hostages were released. Negotiations are at a standstill. The Taliban demands that Taliban terrorists captured by Afghanistan be released, or the remaining nineteen hostages will be killed. The Taliban claims to be losing patience with South Korea, saying that South Korea has done little to pressure the Afghan government and the U.S. to give into Taliban demands. The U.S. and Afghanistan refuse to negotiate with terrorists. Earlier this year Afghanistan swapped Taliban fighters for hostages, but this has done nothing but encourage the Taliban to take more hostages. It is reported that South Korea offered to pay money for the hostages' release, but after debate, the Taliban rejected the offer. The Taliban has set Monday as the deadline for release of Taliban fighters. It is also reported that some of the hostages are conducting a hunger strike to force their kidnappers to keep all hostages together instead of being separated into groups. A German woman, another Christian worker in Afghanistan, who is five months pregnant, was kidnapped by a group not associated with the Taliban. She was rescued after a few day's captivity.
Pastor Eugene Cho's blog has followed this story much more closely than the rest of the Christian blogosphere. His post for today, plus the links contained in his post, has been the basis for the facts of today's post on this blog.
There has been some criticism of the South Korean hostages for their going to Afghanistan. The criticism goes something like this: the motive for their going to Afghanistan was to convert Muslims to Christianity. Not only is this "proselytizing" insulting to Muslims, these critics say, but this makes the Christian workers responsible for their own captivity as well as the possible loss of life a military rescue would bring about. It is no surprise that the secular press would be making such statements. Unfortunately, some within the church have voiced the same sentiments. Little do they realize that the South Koreans were not in Afghanistan to evangelize, but traveled there to conduct humanitarian relief. The Taliban did not seize them over anger with their activities; they were actively searching for foreigners in Afghanistan to take hostage to pressure the Afghan government to release captured Taliban terrorists.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Close Encounters of a Theological Kind: "Worship, Community and the Triune God of Grace" by James B. Torrance, Part III.

The final chapter of Torrance's book "Worship, Community and the Triune God of Grace" ( ), is called "Gender, Sexuality and the Trinity." Not only was I impressed with what Torrance was conveying in this chapter, I have been able to use Torrance's insights in ministry with good results. Torrance points out that behind much radical feminist theology and its hostility to the fatherhood of God are the personal experiences of many feminists. The relationship between these feminists and their earthly fathers were often not only bad, but abusive, the fathers being the abusers. Torrance rejects the notion that we must redefine God and the Bible in terms of gender so that we can discern female traits in God. Torrance instead urges us to speak of God in terms of the Father. Yet he strongly cautions us not to interpret the fatherhood of God in terms of any earthly model of fatherhood. Instead, we should view fatherhood in the model of the relationship between Jesus and His Father. '...we are meant to interpret our humanity, our male-female relations, in light of the Trinity. God is love. Love always implies communion between persons, and that is what we see supremely in God. The Father loves the Son in the communion of the Spirit. The Son loves the Father in the communion of the Spirit in their continual mutual "indwelling"...The Spirit is the bond of communication between the Father and the Son and between God and ourselves. The Spirit is God giving God's self in love. The Father and the Son and the Spirit are equally God...But there is differentiation within God-personal distinctions in the Godhead. There is unity, diversity and perfect harmony. It is this triune God who has being-in-communion, in love, who has created us as male and female in that image to be "co-lovers" share in the triune love and to love one another in...unity." (Torrance, p. 104-105) As males and females, we find our identities and fulfilment in Christ. We look to Him to know what it is to be in the image of God.

I have been able to apply Torrance's teaching in prison ministry. Most, if not all the men I am teaching had bad fathers, if they knew their fathers at all. Their relationship with their fathers can make it difficult for them to understand God not only as their Father, but as their merciful and loving Father. I pointed out to them that to see Jesus is to see the Father. Jesus reflected the Father in His mercy, compassion and servanthood. I pointed them to the example of Jesus washing the feet of the disciples the night of His betrayal. Jesus used this as an example of how His disciples were to relate to one another. Then in the next few chapters Jesus stated that to see Him was to see the Father. His disciples were meant to apply the example of servanthood to the Trinitarian relationship that Jesus brought to their attention that night. This caused the men in the group to gain a truer vision of God as Father. Before, they had no models of fatherhood with which to understand God as Father. But now they have the correct model, Jesus Christ himself. In Jesus, they have a picture of how to relate to others. They have a model of God the Father as a servant, not as a tyrant.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Two Hostages Released.

There have been reports during the weekend that the Taliban had or was about to release two South Korean female hostages that were kidnapped in Afganistan. I decided not to comment until there was official confirmation. It has now been confirmed that the two women, both who were reported to be approaching death through dehydration and intestinal problems, have been released. That leaves nineteen hostages still in captivity. The Taliban is still demanding the release of its fighters held by the Afgan government. Here is a link to Pastor Eugene Cho's blog which has been following the story: . His post provides links to other sites covering the situation. According to this website, , the driver of the bus the South Koreans were traveling on tipped off the Taliban what route the bus was taking. The driver has been arrested. According to this same source, South Korea has vetoed any rescue attempts by Afganistan and the U.S., fearing that the hostages would be killed in the attempt. We need to continue to pray for the remaining nineteen Christian workers and their families.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Close Encounters of a Theological Kind:"Worship, Community and the Triune God of Grace" by James B. Torrance, Part II.

In Part I of my review of "Worship, Community and the Triune God of Grace" ( ), emphasis was placed upon Torrance's view that Trinitarian worship is worship not only centered on Christ, but led by Christ. Christ has a unique relationship of worship of and communion with the Father through the Spirit. Through the Spirit, we may participate with Christ in His own worship of and communion with the Father. In terms of public worship, Torrance focuses on two sacraments that allow us to participate in Christ's own worship of the Father.

In baptism, Torrance reminds us that just because we have chosen to be baptized, that does not make us the primary agents or actors. Christ is the primary agent in baptism. He is our "leitourgos", our high priest, whose vicarious atoning sacrifice for our sins cleanses us and sanctifies us so that He may present us to the Father. "Baptism in water is a sign in the first instance, not of anything in us, but of Christ in the Spirit. It is not my faith which cleanses but Christ by the Spirit-the Christ in whom I believe." (Torrance, p. 79-80) "Christ is the agent in baptism and he baptizes us into a life of sonship, of service, of dying and rising with him in newness of life (Rom. 6). He baptizes us into that life of communion for which we were created in the image of the triune God, to be co-lovers (condiligentes)." (Torrance, p.79) In communion, it is not an offering that we have made that is of utmost importance. What is most important is that Christ's offering on our behalf is brought back to our remembrance. And as we participate in communion, we are drawn to the Father and the Son and to each other. And our faith is nourished until Christ's return. This is a foretaste of what worship will be like when we are actually in the Father's presence in Heaven.

According to Torrance, what kind of communion are we drawn into through baptism and communion? We are drawn into Christ's own intercession for humanity. In corporate worship we become the Royal Priesthood referred to by Peter. As members of this priesthood, we bear the sorrows and cares of this world in our hearts as our high priest, Christ Jesus, does. Communion also performs a work of memory in us. "This work of memory, of realizing our participation and fellowship in the suffering of Christ, is the work of the Holy Spirit. He brings these things to our remembrance and interprets to us the meaning of the events. We remember Christ-yet it is not so much we who remind ourselves of these events, but Jesus Christ, who brings his passion to our remembrance through the Holy Spirit, as our ever-living and ever-present Lord, who in his own person, is our memorial in the presence of the Father. In other words, our memorial is the earthly counterpart of the heavenly memorial. Christ, in constituting himself as our memorial before the Father, by his Spirit, lifts us up as we present our memorials before God. So the Lord's Supper, like the Passover, is a memorial to us, but also a memorial before God." (Torrance, p. 86)

In Part III, I will examine Torrance's view of gender and its relation to the Trinity and how I applied these principles in my teaching, with good results.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Close Encounters of a Theological Kind: "Worship, Community and the Triune God of Grace" by James B. Torrance, Part I.

A few months back I read "Worship, Community, and The Triune God of Grace" ( ) by James Torrance, professor emeritus of Systematic Theology at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. ( This work is a particular favorite at Wesley Biblical Seminary and so when I saw this book at a bookstore, I knew I had to buy it. The book has only four short chapters, yet the style and content are such that these chapters take two or three readings before what Torrance is saying can be grasped. The time spent is well worth the effort, and not just for the purpose of grasping the book's message. I have already used some of its insights to teach with positive effect. I will post on this experience in a few days.

Torrance reminds us that Jesus is not only the center of our worship; Jesus is the leader of our worship. Many Christians would reply "Well, of course He is the leader of our worship, as He is the leader of all that we do." Yet this assertion is often undermined by our actual practice. More often than not, Christians act upon the attitude that in worship, the only two parties involved are themselves and God. An individual Christian may express this attitude in this manner: "Its just God and me! No priest or ritual can dictate to me how I worship God." Yet if this is the case, doesn't the initiative then rest with us as to how we respond to God in worship? Is man in the driver's seat as to the content of worship? Will not our "experience" take center stage, while the persons of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit recede in importance? Torrance correctly points out that this is not worship as God intended it to be.

Jesus Christ is not only our savior and healer and soon coming King. He is our High Priest. It is through the Son that we approach the Father. When we approach Christ, it is Christ Himself who intercedes on our behalf. When we boldly approach the throne of grace, it is Christ Himself who leads the way. When we continually abide in Christ, we share in Christ's own communion with the Father. These truths should fundamentally alter our individualistic view of our worship of God. Here is how Torrance explains the issue of our relationship to God and worship: "It is he (Jesus) who leads our worship, bears our sorrows on his heart and intercedes for us, presenting us to the Father in himself as God's dear children, and uniting us with himself in his life in the spirit. To reduce worship to this two-dimensional thing-God and ourselves, today-is to imply that God throws us back upon ourselves to make our response. It ignores the fact that God has already provided for us the response which alone is acceptable to him-the offering made for the whole human race in the life, obedience and passion of Jesus Christ. But is this not to lose the comfort and the peace of the gospel, as well as the secret of true Christian prayer? The gift of sharing in the intercessions of Christ is that when we do not know how to pray as we ought, the Spirit makes intercession for us. Whatever else our faith is, it is a response to a response already made for us and continually being made for us in Christ, the pioneer of our faith. (pages 29-30) Torrance goes on to define true, Trinitarian worship as "...the gift of participating through the Spirit in the incarnate Son's communion with the Father." (p. 30) The unique relationship between the Father and the Son is at the center of our worship. Christ has union and communion with the Father through the Spirit, presenting Himself in our humanity through the Holy Spirit on our behalf. By the same Holy Spirit Christ enables us to participate in His life of worship and communion with the Father. Furthermore, we are drawn by the Holy Spirit into Christ's mission to the world that He received from the Father.

How Torrance's theology works out practically in the Church's public worship will be the subject of part II.

Monday, August 6, 2007

The On-Going Crises.

The South Korean hostages taken by the Taliban are still in captivity. The Taliban is demanding that Afganistan release Taliban prisoners being held by Afganistan. Afganistan and the U.S. refuse to negotiate. There is little hope that the meeting with President Bush and Afganistan's President Kharzi will help bring an end to this crises. The Taliban says it will meet with South Korean officials in Taliban territory or in a neutral country. An Afgan doctor has provided medicine to be given to the hostages; two of the hostages are near death. Continue to pray for this situation.

The information contained in this post was from two new stories which can be accessed from these links:

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Monday Morning Devotions

When Christian leaders are asked what their basic message is, often they reply, "I think that people need to know that God loves them." Well, it is important that we know this. Those who do not know Jesus need to know that though there is nothing they can do to earn salvation, God sent His Son to die for their sins and the sins of the whole world. It is God's will that all come to repentance. (IIPet. 3:9) Even those who know their sins have been forgiven need to come to a greater knowledge of the love of God. When we are first saved, we are just beginning our relationship with Jesus. We do not at first realize how much of our view of God is still legalistic. Over time, as we become more intimate with the Triune God, we cast off these legalistic notions.

Yet some want to take the phrase "God loves you" to mean that once we have begun our relationship with Jesus, we can be secure that there is no way we can lose our salvation. These are verses that are cited as proof of this position: "For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom 8: 38-39) This verse is taken as proof-positive that once we are saved, nothing can separate us from the love of God, even our own sin. But remember the parable of the rich man and Lazarus? (Because this is the only parable in which Jesus names one of the characters, many conclude that this is a true story.) When the rich man calls out to Abraham, does Abraham respond by calling him a miserable sinner? No. Abraham calls him "Son" (Luke 16:25) The NASB uses the word "Child." These are terms of love and affection. If Abraham has such a heart for one in hell, what do you think God's attitude toward this man is? God still loves the man even though it is too late for the man to repent. We should never confuse God's love for us with our current standing before Him. There are too many warnings in scripture for those of us who claim to follow Jesus to mistakenly believe that no matter what we do, we will always be in a forgiven state before God. Nor can we believe that when we do sin, God imputes His righteousness to us so that our sin is not even seen by God. Those who maintain that to question unconditional eternal security is to question the grace of God impose their own theology of grace upon God's Word.

It is also folly to believe that we are totally right with God if God is using us in any way. I have had the personal experience of being used by God when I was not only not walking with Him but when I was in a state of deliberate disobedience. The fact that God does not immediately judge us may give us a false security. Knowingly, or unknowingly, we could be like the tares in the field Jesus spoke of in the parable of the wheat and the tares. In the parable, the workers asked the master if they should uproot the tares. The master answers in the negative: "But he said, 'No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them.' " (Matt. 13: 29) Later, at harvest time, when the wheat was harvested, the tares were burned. If we wait too long to practice repentance as believers, an awful judgement awaits us. I once heard an evangelist warn that just because God uses us does not mean He approves of us. I hope deliberate disobedience or unforgiveness does not come between you and God. I also hope that you pray for me and my relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

The First Thing: A Sermon.

Gen 8:20-22- 'Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma. Then the Lord said in His heart, "I will never again curse the ground for man's sake, although the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done. While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and Summer, And day and night Shall not cease." (NKJV, for these and following verses)

The context for this verse:
Gen 6: 1-9- God was sorry he made man for "every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." God determined to destroy both man and earth, but "Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord." "Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God." Noah took after his grandfather Enoch.

Gen 6: 13- 8: 19- God instructs Noah to build the ark and take his wives, sons, and his son's wives plus the animals. The Flood destroyed man and beast and Noah and family remained upon the ark until the waters receded.

Gen 8:20- 9: 17- What was Noah's first action when he left the ark? Did he built shelter, did he plant crops? No. He sacrificed what I calculate to be one-seventh of his food supply. The Lord was so moved by such a sacrifice that he swore never to destroy the earth again by flood. Not only that, but he reversed much of the curse that Adam brought upon man and earth. Man's domination was to be restored, but not totally. Man would dominate other creatures by force. The rainbow would serve as a sign of the Covenant. Now man could depend upon the seasons to guide him in his survival. Noah's worship produced the conditions in the natural world described by Paul in Rom. 1; through the natural world man can know not only that there is a God, but man can can discern His attributes, His divine nature.

Today we still benefit because Noah knew and performed what he knew needed to be done first; Noah worshipped God, and God was ministered to, He was moved in his heart. All humanity benefits from what Noah knew in his heart he must do. We prosper or suffer because of who have gone on before us. This is true in the secular as well as the spiritual realm. We are formed for good or ill by people we have never met, and how we live our lives today will affect those whom we will never know. How about you? Do you love God and worship him? The state of your heart and who we worship will affect the eternity of the following generations. You don't believe me? Then listen to God's words to Moses when he gave Moses the Ten Commandments: "...For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands of those who love Me and keep My commandments." (Ex. 20: 5-6)

When we worship, we live the life in the Spirit God intends for us to live. We just don't survive, we become overcomers. Often when I ask believers how they are doing, their stock reply is "Well, I'm still breathing." Well praise God for that, but God has more in store for us and the Church. In Acts 13, as the Church at Antioch "ministered to the Lord and fasted" (worshipped), the Holy Spirit instructed that Paul and Barnabas be separated for the work for which they were called, which was to preach to the Gentiles. All of us who are not of Jewish ancestry therefore profit by the obedience of the Church at Antioch to worship. John was in the Spirit on the Lord's day when he received the visions contained in the book of Revelation. When the body of Christ worships corporately, or as individuals, God moves on the Church's behalf. And it is not just the acts of worship themselves that move God. Remember that Noah was perfect, he walked with God. When God senses that he is being worshipped out of a pure heart, then God is truly pleased. What is the chief end of man? Why does God choose to save us? Just because He loves us? Well praise God He does love us. But God's salvation is not just for the forgiveness of sins. "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light..." (I Pet. 2: 9) Just as Jesus intercedes for us, we join in His intercession through the Holy Spirit interceding for the body of Christ and for our broken world, lifting these things up to the Father in our worship of Him. When we meditate upon our roles as Priests unto God, our whole outlook on life and subsequent behavior changes.

Do you still dispute the importance God places upon our worship, whether corporate or individual? Turn to Rom. 1. We all have heard numerous sermons on this chapter, particularly the progressive downward spiral that sin ensnares man into. Yet what is the cause for these sober warnings from Paul? "...because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were they thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened." (Rom 1:21) In other words, there is no worship! And when we refuse to worship, we begin our own journey down that spiral. And we drag others down with us. Even those whom we will never meet on this earth. But, if are obedient and worship from a clean heart, those future generations who will be blessed will join with us around the throne to eternally worship the Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

Rumor False, Situation Still Dangerous.

The rumor on the internet that an attempt to rescue the South Korean hostages held by the Taliban in Afganistan was false. Yet the situation remains dire for the twenty-one remaining hostages. Two are extremely ill and may die. It is reported that all the hostages are suffering from dehydration and intestinal problems. The U.S. is keeping up the pressure on the Afgan government not to give in to demands to free captured Taliban terrorists in exchange for the South Koreans. The Afgans conducted such an exchange earlier this year and this has apparently encouraged the Taliban to repeat their success by taking more foreign hostages. The U.S. has not ruled out force. A rescue attempt would involve more than one operation since it it reported that the hostages have been seperated into groups of five. We need to pray not only for the hostages, but for their families as well.

This post was based on the following news stories which can be linked here:

Two other sites that chronicle the persecution of the Church is the Voice of the Martyrs website and .

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

This is Priority One for Prayer!

There are reports on the internet that a rescue mission may be under way Right Now to free the South Korean Christians taken hostage by the Taliban in Afganistan. The deadline set by the terrorists for the release of Taliban prisoners has passed; the Taliban threaten to kill the hostages if their demands are not met. The have already killed two male hostages. Here are some websites that have followed the situation: , and . The Christian blogosphere covers many subjects and we willingly enter into debate over subjects of considerably less importance. As as some of the above mentioned sites point out, we have been silent on the subject, our focus has been on other things. We need to ask forgiveness for this neglect and truly suffer with the body of Christ that is under attack. When one part of the body suffers, the whole suffers.