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The What-if of Christian Persecution in the U.S.

Sam Guzman at World View Times writes:

This past Sunday, my pastor preached a message on this passage from Jude, and it got me thinking about our duty as Christians in these spiritually dark times. In the political sphere, the enemies of truth have power, and they are using it to destroy the foundations of biblical morality that made this country great. In the spiritual sphere, professing Christians are making friends with the world, re-inventing theology, and watering down the Gospel.

As followers of Christ, we have an obligation to speak out against these trends and use every resource available to us to combat them. But what if the culture is not re-claimed? What if the government continues to steal our freedoms? What if the professing church continues to compromise, joining hands with the enemies of God? What if true Christians are eventually persecuted for speaking the truth? What then? Would we remain faithful? Is our faith strong enough?

Interesting and relevant thoughts for this current age. You can read the rest of the article here.

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Paul Washer: Persecution or Great Awakening?

There will come a time when Christians in this nation will suffer under intense persecution. Will you be among those who remain steadfast or will you fall away?

HT: SliceOfLaodicea

On Hate Speech and the Christian

On November 25th, the University of Washington Daily ran a controversial column against gay marriage. The Seattle Times reported on this story:

About 200 people attended a rally Friday at the University of Washington to protest an anti-gay-marriage column that ran in the student newspaper, The Daily.

Protesters say language in the column, including a reference to bestiality, and the accompanying image of a man standing next to a sheep amounted to hate speech. But speakers differed on whether the paper should be censured. (Emphasis mine)

I’m not really going to debate whether this article was “hateful” or not, but I wanted to use this idea that speaking out against gay marriage amounts to hate speech as a backdrop.

This common type of ad-hominem argument is frequently employed by gay-marriage supporters to shut down the opposing side. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t. Anybody who does not agree with the radical homosexual agenda is labeled as a hatemonger. Concluding that homosexual marriage is not what society needs is akin to being a Jim Crow law supporter during the 1960s.

In light of this, what kind of implications does this have for the preaching of the Gospel?

Already in other parts of the Western world, preachers have suffered serious consequences for their uncompromising stances on homosexuality. This includes everything from church-picketing, to voilence, to even jail time. Any preaching against homosexuality, even reading from the Bible on the subject, garners the wrath of this fallen world.

This fire comes about because the “Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil” (John 3:19, NASB). They hate the truth because they are in love with a lie. The revealing light of the Law of God shows their sin for what it is: an affront against a Holy and Righteous God. But because they are enemies of God in their minds through wicked works (Col 1:21), those of the world will not submit to what they know to be the truth.

There will come a time in this country when the preaching of the true Gospel will not be tolerated. Even if by some miracle it remains legal, in no way will the people in America bear the burden of their sins being revealed and confronted. We Christians should not be surprised when it happens. Jesus said:

If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, “A slave is not greater than his master.” If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me. (John 15:18-21, NASB)

Jesus warned us ahead of time to expect persecution, as all “who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12, NASB). Because they hate the Father, they will hate us. Their rage is not directed against us, rather God. Because we are His representatives here on Earth, we will be called to suffer through whatever the world sends our way. If our Master was persecuted, why would we, His slaves, not be also?

When the inevitable hardships because of our faith in Jesus come our way, we need to be ready. We need to be grounded in God’s Word, planted like a tree near a stream (Psalm 1:3).  We should endeavor to pray without ceasing while linking arms with fellow saints. Most importanly of all, we cannot give up the faith.

An Attitude Adjustment

In America, insulated from the harsh consequences of reality, we know nothing about the persecution and pains most Christians face on a daily basis. Those troubles don’t matter and belong to some far away land. Christians here could never be called upon to suffer for their faith in such a way.

But we are tormented in our own fashion. For instance, I spent almost fifty dollars filling up my 2008 Ford Fusion last week. What’s more I couldn’t believe that I only managed to get 27 miles per gallon off my last tank. It gets worse. All around the nation, beleaguered Christians are feeling the credit crunch and can’t qualify for those $500,000 home loans they so desire. Oh, and imagine how many Christians’ investment portfolios have been devastated by the current financial crisis. Think of all the money they’ve lost! How else can they possibly pay for that new boat they just financed?

Only with paralyzing grief and heartbreak will the believers in this nation continue on. Truly, the days ahead are overcast with doubt and uncertainty, as the plight of suffering American Christians will only intensify.

All right. It’s time for an attitude adjustment and a little perspective. Below are some images from the Christian persecution in Orissa Province, India.

 

The next time you complain about the cost of gas, just be thankful it wasn’t used to set your vehicle aflame.

 

The next time you cringe at your mortgage bill, praise God for allowing you to pay one in the first place.

 

And finally, the next time another driver makes a rude gesture because of the fish sign on your car’s trunk, give thanks to our God they’re not doing something much worse.

HT: Persecution Update India

Additional photos can be found here.

As American Christians, we need to be more thankful and less ungrateful. Our worries are nothing compared to what troubles most other Christians around the world. Please endeavor to keep them in your prayers.

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. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. (John 15:18-21, ESV)

Continued Persecution in China

WorldNetDaily reports:

A Christian bookstore owner who has been jailed since March is “hardly recognizable” even to his closest friends because of his deteriorating health in China’s prisons, according to a Christian organization that works with persecuted Christians there.

Read the rest of the story here. Please continue to pray for this man and his family. May God grant them comfort, faithfulness, and joy.

It’s Not Just the Muslims

Living their best lives now, Christians in India are facing horrific persecution from Hindu extremists. The Christian Post reports:

One woman was killed and a priest seriously injured when a mob burned down a Christian orphanage Monday during widespread violence triggered by the killing of a radical Hindu leader over the weekend.

The mob cleared the orphanage, located in Khuntapali, of children and set the place on fire, leaving the woman, a 21-year-old teacher, trapped inside.

Gospel for Asia (GFA) said that at least one of its missionaries had been attacked in the violence that erupted since the killing of Swami Laxmananand Saraswati, leader of radical Hindu group Vishwa Hindu Parishad, on Saturday night.

While this is a sad story that should tug on anyone’s heart, let us remember what our Lord says about those who are persecuted for righteousness’s sake:

Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:11-12, NASB)

Please pray for our brothers and sisters who are living in India.

WorldNetDaily: Muslim father burns Christian daughter alive

Over at WorldNetDaily we read a gruesome story:

A Muslim father cut out his daughter’s tongue and lit her on fire upon learning that she had become a Christian.

The child became curious about Jesus Christ after she read Christian material online, the Gulf News reported.

Her father read her Internet conversation, detached her tongue and burned her to death “following a heated debate on religion,” according to an International Christian Concern report.

Persecution tales like this abound in the Muslim world. There, professing Jesus Christ often means prison time, torture, and sometimes even death. One does not become a Christian lightly. Truly, they must count the costs as Jesus instructed in Luke 14:25-33.

Now large crowds were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. “For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? “Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ “Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? “Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions. (Luke 14:25-33, NASB)

One cannot help but wonder what would become of American Christianity if it were suddenly subjected to this kind of persecution. Here, a profession of faith costs virtually nothing. What if it cost everything?

Please pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters. Pray that God will grant them steadfast faith even in the midst of Satan’s hottest wrath.