I welcome to my blog site Mr. Ranny Grady, or as his readers know him, Doc Christian. Ranny is a fellow writer and blogger who has been a mentor to me. He is not only a writer of books but a publisher as well. His newest novel is titled The Theophany- Sonlight Restored to a Dark World. See his website link below to order a copy for yourself.
When 9 Christian students from Umpqua Community College were murdered in their classroom this past fall, I had no words to write about this horrific act. Ranny had just the right words. I think you will enjoy his condensed guest blog post. The entire post may be read at the link at the bottom. Thank you, Ranny, for speaking on this subject.
MARTYRS by Ranny Grady
In the rural area of southern Oregon, located near the Umpqua River, lie, Umpqua Community College, and October first, its 740 fulltime and 2,437 part-time students were waking up to another beautiful Fall day. Its interim president, Dr. Rita Cavin, was probably in her office ready to meet the day’s events.
The students arriving for the class in the Science lab, were a diverse, eclectic group of people taking on the day. One might say, “Things were normal, possibly a bit mundane, as the school grind moved ahead another day.”
For one student, that formula didn’t apply. A mentally disturbed, recently discharged from the military as ‘unfit for duty’, Chris Harper Mercer, put his plan into action: he was angry, lonely, disaffected, and wanted the world to pay for his perceived lack of success. His mind had been twisted by Muslim association and terrorist propaganda, (this information was recovered when his apartment was searched, and his internet connection was found) and his hate for anything or anybody connected with the Bible and Christian religion. Evidently, he had become convinced his life would suddenly have value if he made a public statement, a lasting legacy the world couldn’t ignore and wouldn’t ever forget. He did!
He forced his way into the classroom in the Science lab, with a cache of weapons, and systematically murdered nine students and wounded many others before he was shot, wounded, and then took his own life.
The media reported this horrible carnage, but often failed to report why certain students were shot and others just wounded. It would be a while before the wounded victims would reveal, and the media would reluctantly report, when asked by the Satanist shooter, if they were a Christian, nine died when they answered in the affirmative.
What thoughts do you suppose ran through those student believers as they faced Satan’s man? “Holy God, I just came to school to get my degree. I’m never going to graduate, I’m never going to get married, have children, or become a doctor, nurse, lawyer, teacher, or live to see grandchildren. It’s not supposed to end this way! Christians are killed by terrorists…from places thousands of miles from Oregon. I’m too young to die for Jesus! Sweet Jesus, he shot Joe on my right, Jennie or my left, I’m next.” Who amongst us Pilgrims would have answered, knowing we were number nine?
At first glance, perhaps some Pilgrims consider the idea of martyrdom as some near-death- defying romantic act found in the pages of Church History, replete with torture on the rack and flayed skin, found on the shoulders of faithful warriors wearing togas and sandals. In the land of Muslims, black scarfs cover the faces of the Satan worshippers, as the heads of Christians are lopped off, then and now. Who could have spotted today’s martyrs? Young people wearing ‘”Skinny jeans, NFL jerseys, and any number of items from Under Armor or North Face are now targets of evil assassins marching on the orders from the Prince of the Air.
From all Doc Christian can learn about this tragic event, one remarkable fact rises above all others. The college campus doesn’t have an Inter Varsity Christian college chapter (perhaps, in the aftermath of this evil carnage attack, the President might seriously entertain the idea of inviting Inter Varsity to establish a chapter at the college), yet, in one class, there were a minimum of nine Christian students. I’d have bet you could travel to any non- Christian college campus in America and you wouldn’t find nine students who would sacrifice their life by choosing to be martyrs for Christ.
From Peter, James and John, the extra Apostle, Paul, grafted in by Jesus as a missionary to the Gentiles, to famous names: Joan of Arc, Cromwell, and the many missionaries who lost their lives trying to convert Satan’s people, believers have died for Christ’s sake Martyrs, everyone, and they echo the words of Christ found in the Beatitude’s. “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Righteousness means a “right relationship with Jesus’. Jesus said it empathically, “It will take his righteousness to get a Pilgrim to heaven.”
Scripture teaches Pilgrims it is our duty to our savior to choose to die for him each day as we demonstrate the biblical principles we choose to live by are more important to us than anything the world has to offer. Do we believe this?
What we all can take pride in is that when given a choice to affirm or deny the deity of Christ, nine young students in Oregon chose to die with the name of Jesus’ on their lips. Might we all die as well.