JUST AN “ET CETERA”

I Was Just Thinking About – – – Amid the cultural chaos of our day, there are many people who are viewed and treated as those who fall into the category viewed as the “et cetera” group. It is a Latin phrase that grammatically is used mostly in the adverb form to mean: “and others; and so forth; and so on (used to indicate that more of the same sort or class might have been mentioned, but for brevity have been omitted).” It is easy for one’s memory system to block out or deliberately forget unpleasantries of the past. It is even more strange to realize that more than seventy years since the end of World War II in Europe there is new evidence being uncovered that reflects and illustrates atrocities from the distant past. In an Associated Press article for May 19, 2015 journalist Liudas Dapkus wrote about: “Lithuanian power grid has dark secret buried in Soviet past.” The report was based upon a gruesome discovery. It was revealed when a simple question was asked and explored: “Why build an electrical substation with granite blocks instead of regular bricks?” In a hands-on investigation, the report states: “When he examined the building more carefully this month, he made a chilling discovery: Dozens of stones had inscriptions in Hebrew or Yiddish.” He said: “I touched the stones and I realized that they’re really gravestones…” In another summary statement, he wrote: “Across the street there used to be a Jewish cemetery that was demolished in the 1960s when Lithuania was part of the Soviet Union…Posted pictures of his discovery on social media, set off an emotional discussion about a dark chapter in Lithuania’s history that didn’t end when a Nazi occupation was replaced by a Soviet one in 1944. Lithuania’s once-vibrant Jewish community was nearly annihilated by the Nazis and the few who survived found little sympathy from their new communist rulers. Hitler wanted to destroy Jews physically…Stalin came, and he wanted to destroy the whole memory of the Jewish people, making sure that nothing will stay.” While there are other illustrations of the atrocity and subsequent desecrations, in summary, “The issue has touched a raw nerve in a country that has been accused of not confronting the role some Lithuanians played in killing Jews during the 1941-44 Nazi occupation. More than 90 percent of Lithuania’s prewar Jewish population of 240,000 was killed…In the Soviet Union there were no Jews because there was just one people, the Soviet people…It was a friendship between the Lithuanians, Latvians, Ukrainians, Russians, et cetera, The Jews were among the et cetera.” Just a question for reflection: Are the Biblical Christians currently being marginalized and relegated to the et-cetera classification? Franklin Graham has been outspoken and quoted widely regarding: “We’re Losing Our Country…The Foundations of This Country Are Collapsing.” His concern is that so-called Christians will be persecuted similarly to that which is occurring in the Middle East. We would do well to note that as Jesus prepared His disciples for life and ministry after His crucifixion, resurrection and ascension, He stated: “If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will also keep yours…” (John 15:18-20 – ESV). Jesus was preparing them for their marginalization, persecution and being viewed as expendable and part of the “et cetera” group that was not wanted or needed in/amid the cultural chaos. What will you do as that day approaches? Will you take your stand for Jesus Christ and let Him be magnified in you by life or by death (Philippians 1:20)? Are you willing to be identified with those who marginalized because of their faith? Could you endure when you are relegated to being part of the “et cetera” group? Will you be one who betrays a Biblical Christian so you can preserve your life for a bit longer? How real is YOUR Christian faith? Consider thee things with me!

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