a cold drizzly day in early 1998, I took a sobering tour through the Holocaust
Museum in Washington DC. A picture of a Gestapo officer brought back memories
of the Nazi soldiers that guarded our neighborhood in Norway during World War
II. Young as I was (I was born in Oslo shortly before Hitler's invasion of
Norway) I will never
forget the piercing air raids, the thundering war planes, our hiding place in
the basement, and the sounds of exploding bombs and fires around us.
My young father was a leader in the "Hjemme Fronten"
(the Home Front) -- an
underground army of loyal Norwegians who would rather die than submit to Nazi
tyranny. Caught helping other brave soldiers escape into neutral Sweden, he
endured hunger, torture, and the threat of death in a Nazi concentration camp
before his release at the end of the war. Through the years of oppression, we
all learned to treasure freedom.
The Norwegian people hadn't known tyranny
until the Nazi warships sailed up the Oslofjord on April 9, 1940. Overnight,
Hitler's fascism replaced liberty, and some trusted friends became foes. Resistance
to the new ideology could cost our lives. Yet, how could we submit to evil and
betray our king?
We couldn't! For most Norwegians, the choice
was clear. Unlike Hitler's masses, we hadn't been weakened by years of
ceaseless propaganda, slogans, service, and celebrations dedicated to the
triumph of National Socialism.
My journey through the Holocaust museum began
in the section dedicated to Nazi propaganda. Pausing by each display, I was
startled by words that could so easily describe America today. The quotes
brought stark reminders that, apart from God, human nature doesn't change with
time. Nor do the aims of the spiritual mastermind behind the scenes who has
always sought ways to stir hatred toward God's people. One tactic was simply
to provide nice-sounding alternatives to biblical loyalty and service.
"Individuals were urged to sacrifice
themselves for a greater 'People's Community,'" announced one of the displays.
Such slogans must have sounded good to the masses, for few saw the cruel
manipulation behind the noble words.
I thought of President Clinton's calls for
"sacrifice", "service, "unity", "common values", "civil society," and "safe"
communities. How many people today see the ominous new meanings behind these
nice sounding words?
Another display stated that-
"elementary schools became forums of public
"The Gestapo gathered much of its information
from private citizens. Even children were taught to report on their parents.
The Gestapo's main sources, however, were Nazi party officials. who
constantly monitored the activities of all citizens [and] used such
information to track political opponents."
If you have read our articles, you know that
America's leaders are using intrusive surveys, assessments, and classroom
encounter groups to persuade children to divulge private information about
their family's faith, values, disciplines, and church attendance. As in Nazi
Germany, socialization, not academic learning, has become the primary goal of
education. Children are learning the group thinking and socialist values
needed for the envisioned 21st century communities and global workforce.
Do you find this hard to believe? Many do.
That's why we urge you to read some of our articles that document the
"paradigm shift" from American individualism and freedom to collectivism and
control. Just go to our "articles" page and find the following reports that
will help you and your loved ones understand and prepare for the growing
hostility toward biblical Christianity:
Remember, the new set of global values, based
on a blend of earth-centered beliefs, socialist ideology, and globalist goals,
rule out biblical boundaries and absolutes. Genuine Christianity simply won't
Our political, legal and education systems
have been infiltrated by leaders who have betrayed America for a hollow vision
of a global village. Hollywood has taught our children to delight in evil,
while schools immerse them in pagan rituals to other gods. Many church leaders
are ashamed to mention sin and the cross, and most "Christians" are drifting
with the trends, too distracted to know or care.
We shouldn't be surprised. Again and again,
the Old Testament shows our natural inclination to drift toward apathy,
compromise, rebellion, and paganism -- anything but God Himself. It's
happening in America, and 1 Corinthians 10:1-11 tells us that we are not
immune to consequences like those that destroyed ancient Israel. Did we
God told us repeatedly what would happen to a
nation that that refuses to follow its Shepherd. Listen to this warning and
see how it fits our times:
"When you have eaten and are
satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land He has given you. Be
careful that you do not forget... Otherwise... your heart will become
proud.... You may say to yourself, 'My power and the strength of my hands
have produced this wealth for me.' ... If you ever forget the Lord your God
and follow other gods... you will surely be destroyed."
Having left their Father's protection, God's
beloved Israel faced famine, war, slavery, and oppression. When they cried out
to God, He restored them, but their peace and prosperity didn't last long.
Soon the cycle of apathy, compromise, rebellion and oppression began once
God may withdraw His protection from a nation
that turns to other gods, but He never fails to guard and guide those who
remain faithful to Him. He doesn't promise to save us from pain and
persecution, but in the midst of suffering we can count on His strength and
Remember, "the whole
world is under the control of the evil one"
[1 John 5:19]. Satan's subjects
will always despise our King, twist His truth, and hate His people. Why should
we not expect opposition?
Jesus described the normal Christian life:
"If they persecute Me, they will also persecute you,"
He told His disciples,
"for they do not know Him
who sent me." John 15:20-21
We need to take His warning to heart, count
the cost of discipleship, and pray to be prepared for inevitable battles.
Prayerfully consider these steps -- as a family or as an individual believer:
Learn from those who suffered persecution
because of their faith. (See "victory" at the
Memorize His Word, the victorious "Sword
of the Spirit" in every battle we face. (See
Clothed with Truth)
hymns and songs that enable you to keep praising Him and affirming
Silently practice singing to Him in the
midst of all kinds of distractions.
giving thanks in all
By His wonderful grace, "love your enemies, bless those
who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray
for those who spitefully use you and persecute you."
"...let us run with
endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, Who for the
joy that was set before Him endured the cross. For consider Him who endured
such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and
Those who choose uncompromising discipleship
will find an unspeakable joy in His nearness. Stephen did. (See Acts 7)
Remember how his face shone as his persecutors hurled the stones that crushed
his body. Like him, we may demonstrate to a needy world the overcoming power
of the majestic, heavenly King who reached down to earth to love us like a
When I was little, I loved our Norwegian
king. Like him, I wanted to be brave enough to die rather than surrender.
Years later I learned that this wonderful leader was nothing compared to my
heavenly King. Yet my earthly king and the years of war, danger, and
deprivation gave me a vision of genuine Christianity that I continue to
treasure. I saw that we, His bride and Church, are like a nation of loyal
who love and obey their King
who discover in their common devotion and warfare a fellowship that can
rarely be found apart from persecution
who refuse to compromise, and
who persevere until death -- or until the war is won.
To sustain us through the battles ahead, our
King gave us many precious promises. Few bring me more delight than the
following words from our Master. May they fill you with joy at the unspeakable
privilege of serving our sovereign King, following in His footsteps, and
sharing His resurrection life for all eternity.
"Blessed are you when men
hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name
as evil, for the Son of Man's sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!
For indeed your reward is great in heaven."
Persecution News and
What the Bible Tells Us About Persecution
Victory in the midst of persecution: