In the last piece I wrote I asked the question, “Are You Persecuted?” If you read that and followed my reasoning, my conclusion was that, “Yes, today we (Christians and Christianity) are persecuted.” I said that in our country we aren’t physically persecuted or punished, but that ours comes in the realm of spiritual and psychological persecution. Virtually every day in the news I learn of events or decisions that are spiritually and psychologically painful. What am I talking about? I’m talking about so many of our Biblical beliefs being diametrically opposite to the moral direction of our country – yet being approved or even flaunted by too many [see my list from the previous article – October 2012]. I’m speaking about Christianity being “squelched”; put down; belittled; excluded; and believers being called narrow, old fashioned, intolerant, prejudiced, bigots, or worse.
This gradual, relentless assault on non-Christian values seems to have many in the Christian world stymied. The “name calling” causes many of us to “back off” and be silent. Perhaps we are fearful; perhaps embarrassed; perhaps we don’t know what to say or how to respond; perhaps we think these ideas will pass; perhaps we are depending on others to ‘defend’ Christianity. At any rate, in being loving and ‘tolerant’ of those with a different standard (non-Biblical), it makes us appear weak. Likewise in “turning the other cheek” and not responding in a timely and proper manner, we add to the perception of weakness. Being silent on issues can be interpreted in several ways by the “world”: 1) That we agree with the world’s position [tacit agreement]. 2) That we don’t really care 3) That our position is weak, and we and don’t know how to defend it.
In a speech by Dr. Ben Carson at the February 2013 National Prayer Breakfast, he decried the “PC” concept [that of being “politically correct”]. He said that being PC stymied free speech. He said it was dangerous, for it took away our freedom of expression – in effect it muzzles people. We Christians must be strong and courageous, while prayerfully and forthrightly confronting the world, when people and institutions and laws run contrary to God’s principles. We must speak up! We are God’s witnesses – His ambassadors. The very Holy Spirit of God will help us with the very words to say. We must look for the opportunities and supply the desire, the will, the confidence, and the action.
I look forward to Greg York’s upcoming lessons. In an introductory lesson yesterday [2/24/13], he set the stage for discussing specific matters which seem to be in the domain I’ve been discussing. Stay tuned!
SO WHAT CAN I DO?
- Regularly pray for our nation and our leaders.
- Pray for yourself! Pray for wisdom, for courage, for recognizing the opportunities to speak up, for the words to say [as mentioned above], and then:
- SPEAK UP !!
[Several scriptures fit in here specifically: Romans 8:26-7; I Peter 3:15; Colossians 4:6].
Start with your family, friends, the work place, etc. [in your ‘world’ – your environment]
- Keep abreast of current events and happenings. Listen, read, and learn from other Christians who can help you better understand and how to better approach the situations – even with the words to say.
- Help support Christian leadership – those who may have a wider Christian voice.
- Some of you may have the opportunity to speak to groups; to write; etc. - Look for opportunities and then Do It !
- VOTE ! Tell others who you are voting for and why. Some of you may choose to become more politically active.
- Some of you may wish to join various groups that support Christian values. This would open other doors for you to be an ambassador.
- Look to become examples for others and leaders yourselves: to help others learn to keep abreast; to pray; to be a witness for Christianity; to speak up; to let all their actions ‘speak’ for Christianity.
- ……. Keep adding to the list …….
Conclusion: Don’t lose heart. We will win! Christianity will win. It has stood the test of time and will continue to do so. We may lose some battles, but we will win! The victory is ours. (I Cor. 15:57)
F. Black – Feb. 2013Link to Frank's previous article: Are You Persecuted?