Posts About Christian Persecution

The Bible promises if you follow Jesus you will be persecuted. Up until recently, in the U.S. it did not seem like that persecution could be systematic. Times have changed. True Christians, when it comes to persecution..you'll get your chance.

You Have Been Warned

Downhill trend warning sign

Jeremiah’s Call

Today I would like to jump right into Scripture.

Is that okay with you? 🙂

Let’s turn to the first chapter of Jeremiah…starting with verse 4…and look how that young man was called:

4 Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying,

5  “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,

and before you were born I consecrated you;

I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

6 Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” 7 But the LORD said to me,

“Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’;

for to all to whom I send you, you shall go,

and whatever I command you, you shall speak.

8  Do not be afraid of them,

for I am with you to deliver you,

declares the LORD” (Jeremiah 1:4-8)

And let’s scan not quite 10 verses down to verse 17…part of a section that starts with “The word of the Lord came to me [Jeremiah] a second time…” (Jeremiah 1:13):

17 But you, dress yourself for work; arise, and say to them everything that I command you. Do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them (Jeremiah 1:17).

Pretty impressive calling, eh? Known before he was formed in the womb…consecrated…and appointed a prophet!

Our calling is far more ordinary…more bland…right?

Peter can help us with that:

9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation (1 Peter 2:9-12).

Wow! Chosen race! Royal priesthood! Holy Nation!

A people for his own possession!

Notice also that we may not have been “appointed a prophet,” but we are to “proclaim [God’s] excellencies.”

So, we don’t have the same exact calling as Jeremiah…but it sure seems equally impressive, doesn’t it?

Requires Commitment

Please notice one more thing. Both callings came with an exhortation to commitment. With Jeremiah he is told not to fear…and “Do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them.” With us, we are urged “as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh that wage war against your soul.”

These are not commitment-less callings. We represent the Most High!

And…I think we can be confident that just like Jeremiah would be expected “to abstain from the passions of the flesh,” we would be expected to stand up for God and not be dismayed. If you don’t agree with the latter, how about these words from Jesus Himself?:

32 So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, 33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven (Matthew 10:32-33).

Seem’s very similar to “do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them,” does it not?

[Read more…]

Link Round-Up

I’ve been amiss in sharing links, perhaps in part because I don’t want my posts to always be negative. So, with little commentary, here are some articles for review…

One overall comment…linking to an article does not mean I agree with it…

Privacy Isn’t Just for Criminals

“If you’ve got nothing to hide, then…”

Isn’t that a popular refrain as authorities continue to incrementally invade our privacy?

This is not a political blog; it is a religious one. However, government spying has real-world implications to believers around the world. In many places it is impossible to show your unapproved faith in public (or at least dangerous to), so as nations progressively blur the line between public and private it is sure to increase religious persecution.

So, today I got into a waiting line for ProtonMail, which allows users to e-mail each other in the most secure way possible (and for free). Although it should be noted that nothing is perfectly secure, kudos to those trying to keep private…well…private.

ProtonMail Logo

You can sign up for ProtonMail here and donate to their Indiegogo campaign for ProtonMail here. I did both.

Oh, and you can always pray for ProtonMail and innocent people around the world who need the service more than we do. I will do both.

“To the Left, it doesn’t matter how Robertson actually treats real people.”

Man being pointed atInstead of writing my own version of the articles, I’ll link to them and let you read both. Two things about the Duck Dynasty family patriarch, Phil Robertson:

  1. He’s a true Christian
  2. He’s a character

#1 means he is going to believe (and repeat) what the Bible teaches.

#2 means he is going to share his views in an eccentric way.

Scripture says homosexuality is a sin, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Doesn’t matter if a person is genetically predisposed to same sex attraction or not.

But, in modern American society, it is a sin to call this sin a sin. It is "anti-gay":

[Read more…]

“Judge orders baker to serve gay couples despite his religious beliefs”

WhippingOminous words:

"While we all agree that religious freedom is important, no one’s religious beliefs make it acceptable to break the law by discriminating against prospective customers," ACLU staff attorney Amanda Goad said in a statement. "No one is asking Masterpiece’s owners to change his beliefs, but treating gay people differently because of who they are is discrimination plain and simple."

The rest of the article is available here. Basically, if you don’t want to use your artistic skills (translation: free speech) to implicitly endorse something you consider (and the church from day one has considered) sinful…too bad…something that is specifically mentioned in the First Amendment (religious freedom) is trumped by something that is never discussed in all of the Constitution (sexual preference).

This reminds me of a sermon I did called "Steppin’ Stone." In it I shared a similar case with a Christian photographer: [Read more…]

Steppin’ Stone

Stepping stones

Escaping

Is anyone here that also has felt that a perfect life would be a log cabin in the middle of nowhere—a million miles away from the hustle-and-bustle of modern times?

Totally unplugged and just communing with nature and God?

Go ahead and throw in space in your cabin for your loved ones…that is, if you want to. 🙂

Especially when it comes to spiritual growth, doesn’t it just seem that it would be so much easier if you didn’t have the stressors around you? No annoying neighbors? No bills arriving faster than income? No impossible deadlines at work? Nobody treating your Christianity as a disease on society?

Just you, your Bible, and God?

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You’ll Get Your Chance

Pastor Louie Giglio (taken from the Passion City Church blog)[Before you read this article, please read "What I Think about Homosexuals and Homosexuality."]

Earlier today (January 10, 2013), Twitter lit-up because an Atlanta pastor, Louie Giglio, withdrew his acceptance of an invitation to present the benediction for the upcoming presidential inauguration. Considering what Addie Whisenant of the Presidential Inaugural Committee said, it may have been the equivalent of an employee resigning before being fired:

We were not aware of Pastor Giglio's past comments at the time of his selection and they don't reflect our desire to celebrate the strength and diversity of our country at this Inaugural. Pastor Giglio was asked to deliver the benediction in large part for his leadership in combating human trafficking around the world. As we now work to select someone to deliver the benediction, we will ensure their beliefs reflect this administration's vision of inclusion and acceptance for all Americans.1

What were the remarks that set-off gay activists? Quite a few in a 54-minute sermon called "In Search of a Standard – Christian Response to Homosexuality"2 from around two decades ago. Describing it as preaching "rabidly anti-LGBT views," ThinkProgress LGBT appeared especially incensed that he suggested Christians needed to fight efforts that would lead "to the point where the homosexual lifestyle becomes accepted as a norm in our society and is given full standing as any other lifestyle, as it relates to family."; that he clearly and unambiguously stated practicing homosexuality is a sin; that he asserted that it doesn't matter if homosexuality is genetic, it is still a choice; that he dared to reference and discuss on a verse that said practicing gays won't make it into heaven; and that he posited Jesus Christ is powerful enough to heal homosexuals from their sinful behavior.3 [Read more…]