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Persecution

(for background information, see Christian Persecution)

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Question:  Do you really think all the individual problems of anti-Christian bias in our culture that you and many others regularly report on is leading  us to a place of direct unfettered Christian persecution? Or are we  overstating the problem (do the numbers and data really support a real  trend) ?

I am concerned that we as Christians hear and read often shocking reports of anti-Christian bias from ministries like the Jay Sekulows,  the Beverly Lahayes, the Larry Burketts, Josh MCDowell's, Chuck  Misslers, the James Dobsons of the American Christian world, etc.  I  see a lot of early storm warning flags being flown. I hear what seems  like a lot of 'paranoia' and impending disaster being broadcast!   My question is, are these voices/warnings, prophetic from the Lord, or  are they over-reacting alarmism to random acts of evil and to Satan's  random work of hatred for Christians in our world?

It was the same  'prophetic' voices that wholeheartedly embraced the Y2K craze for the  last 1-1/2 years and loudly sounded a trumpet call to prepare and  prepare. Meanwhile many got rich from selling through the fear that was generated. Many Christians got ripped off by well meaning (hopefully) Christian ministers and organizations. Having lived through the Y2K  hype/hysteria and having personally fell for some of it myself, I am  becoming a little skeptical sometimes about the message from the Christian 'right' that the sky is about to fall on Christians. I believe it, but I am becoming skeptical.

I  know we have been blessed in this country and we have, by God's grace,  avoided the direct head on persecution for Christ's sake that affects  much of the rest of the world. We deserve the Lord's wrath, our country  is perverse in its attempt at breaking much of God's laws and that we  expect no retribution. We as Christians have failed for the most part to be salt and light in the world around us. However, are we being alarmist? Are  the bad things happening against Christians in the  workplaces and schools on the verge of becoming epidemic or are we on  the Christian right just thinking we are seeing armies encircling the camp when actually, we are just seeing only a few soldiers and their  shadows, while the real enemy is a very small group of whacko liberals who will never, ever become mainstream in society?

Could it be possible that in actuality, the war going on in our culture  between right and wrong--the side of right (those zealous for true  truth) which is a very small group of committed Christians (like yourself  and others); and the opposing side (the extreme and zealous liberal  agenda folks) which is also a real but very small group... and both of these sides are waging war against one another, but the vast majority  of people are caught in the middle, who don't care and don't want to be  bothered with truth of ideas at all--they just want to keep this economy  going. 

 Any comments or thoughts on all or any of this? Thanks for taking the  time to read this!

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Beritís response: I can't speak for all the other Christians who expose or discuss the  probability of increasing persecution. But if you will read our articles on Human Rights implementation, Mental Health standards, erosion of Parents' Rights, and the UN Plan for Your Community , you will see that a legal  framework for persecution by our government is being established. 

Meanwhile, the  mainstream media has been fostering a public attitude of hate and intolerance toward those who express traditional values and choose to live by Biblical boundaries.  (See The Enemy Of The People)  I would agree with you that much unbiblical hatred expressed by  so-called Christians seems to justify much of the anti-Christian  sentiments around the world. All too often "Christians" have brandished God's holy standards as an unloving club over a nation of people who no longer know God and therefore cannot be expected to follow Him.  

A self-righteous demand that the world do what we Christians could never do apart from His grace, would naturally stirs resentment and hate. Jesus didn't tell us to impose His standards on the world. He called us to lovingly lead unbelievers into His gentle arms so that He could lead them. He alone can change the lives of new believers and conform them to His likeness. In other words, only by His life in us can any of us demonstrate God's high standard. And He has promised to accomplish through us whatever He asks us to do. 

But even if all Christians consistently demonstrated His love, the message of the cross would stir hostility. That's why Jesus told us long ago to expect hostility from the world.  "If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you... because the do not know the One who sent Me," He warned His disciples. 

Even when presented with genuine love, the gospel offends people who reject our God.  Yet, that fact should bring joy, not discouragement. (See Persecution) Remember what Jesus promised those who are willing to walk and suffer with Him:

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 Manís sake.

Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!

For indeed your reward is great in heaven,

For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.

Luke 6:22-23


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