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    “See to it no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ” (Colossians 2:8).

    « Uncovering the Secrets of God | Lessons from Oblivion »
    Sunday
    Sep262010

    Responding to Persecution

    "Do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you, but rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ..." (1 Peter 4:12-13)

     

    "Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

    "Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.

    "And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints...." (Ephesians 6:10-18)

     

    There is nothing wrong with Christianity. There is nothing wrong with what Christ teaches and nothing wrong with what the Bibles has to say. But lately I have been heart-broken and frustrated by a growing trend.

     

    More and more I hear about “taking our nation back” to the principles it was founded on. What are the motives for this? Do we desire to see our families, friends, neighbors, children, and government love God? Or do we simply want things to be easier? A little persecution and Christians go hay-wire, “Hey! You can’t do that! It makes me uncomfortable!”

     

    I commend and respect the variety of organizations that come to the rescue of American Christians who are being persecuted for their faith, but I also receive many emails a day informing me of some business or TV channel promoting anti-Christian ideas.

     

    First off, these are things of the world, so of course they will be anti-Christian. The world will never conform to Christianity this side of the Second Coming. Secondly however, we have better things to worry about than our collective reputation via the media. We should be more worried our reputations when it comes to what our neighbors think of us, how we treat strangers, or what we teach our children and how they behave.

     

    Yes, I get offended when I see the psycho-white-Neo-Nazi-KKK-serial-killer-abuser-"Christian" on TV. But making NBC take shows off the air is not going to fix the root problem (instead, I have simply stopped watching TV :) ).

     

    The real tough question is, how do we prove ourselves to all those who are watching our every move? Do we show them what true Christians are like, or do we whine about how offended we are?

     

    I also hear a lot about homeschooling your children, and Home-churching your families. While these are not inherently wrong or evil by any means, I worry much about the motives behind them. When we don’t like what we see in our public schools or local churches, we tend to either pretend nothing is wrong, or sound the retreat.

     

    Why? The battle is God’s, (1 Samuel 17:47) and He has already given us victory! We certainly do not need to go racing headlong into the fray, but we do need to stand firm and meet challenges with confidence and determination.

     

    The Lord has not given us a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7) but He has given us a full suit of armor.

     

    For all the care, compassion, love, and mercy that He hourly provides for us, is it so much to ask that we put our pride, our money, our reputations (Jesus himself was known as a “man with no reputation”, Philippians 2:7), and our bodies on the line for the God that we claim means everything to us?

     

    Don’t use the excuse, “God hasn’t called me to this or that”. Find what God has called you to and do it! When you compare our corpulent Christianity to that of other nations whose Christians are being persecuted for even having a page of the Bible, we are worse than really big cry-babies, even if we are trying to stem the tide.

    "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9)

     

    “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:5-8)

     

    “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” (John 17:15)

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