Blessings2You just wrote a blog Thank God His Word Is Faithful on the Word of God in which he mentions Brother Andrew and Open Doors International. I hope he doesn't mind too much if I piggyback off of his excellent blog. I don't think he will.
I first read God's Smuggler as a teenager in the early 70's. In 1955, Brother Andrew decided to answer God's call to "Awake and strengthen that which remains and is at the point of death." He started a single-man operation of crossing into countries behind the Iron Curtain bringing Bibles to the Suffering Church and to let them know they had not been forgotten. Since that time, Open Doors has grown into an international organization which seeks to put the Word of God into the hands of those who cannot obtain it legally as well as provide other necessary support to the Suffering Church throughout the world.
Brother Andrew has written a number of books since then trying to raise our awareness of the Suffering Church and how they are crying out for our love, prayers and support. It saddened me to learn that there are many Christians as well as Christian organizations which actually criticize and condemn ministries such as Open Doors and others like them for risking their safety and even their lives to place Bibles into the hands of those who can't legally obtain them. They claim these organizations are sinning against God as they are bringing in and distributing material which is illegal in those countries. Never mind the fact that "officially" some of these same countries claim the material is not illegal. This illegal contraband is the Bible.
I know I may be sharply criticized for making this statement but I will say it anyways. Shame on them and shame on us if we subscribe to this way of thinking. If you have a Bible written in English, hold it in your hands and take a look at it. Do you know you hold this in your hands and read the words written in it because someone dared to smuggle the Word of God translated into English into England? Granted eventually King James did authorize a translation but only after many people sacrificed their lives so that God's Word could be read by the common person in their mother tongue. Are we going to deny the very Word of God to others because of laws man has made to deliberately prevent people from Bibles?
I don't know about you but I believe I have to answer to God in the end. I don't want to ever have to stand before God and tell Him I refused to share His Word with others in my world. I don't want to tell Him I refused to hand out the Bread of Life. I don't want to have to explain why I criticized those who did. I'm sorry but I believe laws such as this break the law God gave which instructed us to bring the Gospel to everyone. Mark 16:15 I also believe we must obey God above man. Acts 5:27-29.
We must not forget about the Suffering Church!
Thank you for the "piggyback" even though we both know this is not a subject which arouses much interest among Christians. Thank you for reminding everyone of the incredible truth that if it were not for someone "smuggling" the Word to England we would all have to know Latin to even have a chance to know a little of the Bible.
Having worked closely with some of the major ministries who minister to the suffering church, I know of what you speak regarding the criticism leveled at them for delivering Bibles to closed countries. Western Christians are notorious for spending far more time complaining about those who REALLY go, stand and speak the truth than ever supporting them. Truly sad.
Thanks for the great information.
Ministries such as Open Doors International and Voice of the Martyrs have always been near and dear to my heart. May God open our eyes to the world around us.