We Are Called to Be Disciples, Not Consumers: Learning a Lesson from the Persecuted Church

We Are Called to Be Disciples, Not Consumers: Learning a Lesson from the Persecuted Church by Michael L. Brown for Ask Dr Brown

Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand were Jewish Christians from Romania who were imprisoned, mistreated, and (especially Richard) brutally tortured for their unwavering faith. They would not bow the knee to the spirit of the age. They would not submit to the godless Communist agenda (or any other godless agenda). They would only bow the knee to Jesus.

But they did not suffer hardship and imprisonment because of a one-time, cavalier act. They did not just wake up one day and say, “Let’s do something radical for Jesus.” Instead, year after year, they determined to obey the Lord, regardless of cost or consequence. Then, when the great crisis came, they were ready to obey once again.

When the Nazis occupied Romania, Richard risked his life preaching the gospel, being arrested and beaten for his unflinching faith. Then, in 1944, the Nazis were displaced by the Russians, who began to establish their Communist regime in Romania, with one million soldiers occupying the country. Then, the great test came.

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Richard and Sabina were attending the government sponsored Congress of Cults along with other national religious leaders, and the event was being broadcast on live, national radio. As one religious leader after another publicly praised communism – I’m talking about Christian leaders praising an atheistic regime, in the name of Christianity – the Wurmbrands became sickened in their spirits.

Sabina said to her husband, who by then was well known in Romania, “Richard, stand up and wash away this shame from the face of Christ! They are spitting in His face.”

He replied, “If I do so, you lose your husband.”

She answered, “I don’t wish to have a coward as a husband.”

So he made his way forward to the podium and prepared to deliver his remarks (and I remind you: this was airing live on national radio). As reported by the Christian History Institute,

“When Wurmbrand stepped forward to speak at the congress, there was a hush as everyone anticipated his endorsement of the new government. Into the electrifying silence fell Wurmbrand’s proclamation to 4,000 delegates that their duty as Christians was to glorify God and Christ alone. He was hustled from the podium and from that moment became a marked man. As he continued his ministry, the government watched him.”

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