How to respond to “persecution”: A primer for American Christians

To all of the Christians panicking about the coming persecution of Christians in a post-“Obergefell v. Hodges” America:

Please stop.

It is one thing for a Christian to lament the loss of freedom of religion.  It is another to react with fear or anger.  We are commanded multiple times to not be fearful.  We are commanded to treat even those who persecute us with love, forgiveness, and mercy.

Can the Supreme Court stand in their own power in defiance of God and his plan for his people for even one moment? No.  God’s plan will prevail.  He is sovereign over all, including his own shameful death.  On what is the foundation of your faith built if a Supreme Court ruling can shake your blessed assurance that not a hair on your head is unknown to the father, he has plans laid out for you since before you were conceived, and he will let nothing happen to you where he won’t come through if you hide yourself in him?

On persecution:  While you may have grown up in a place where a sanitized type of palatable Christianity has been encouraged and accepted, this is the exception rather than the rule for a believer.  We as an American Christian sub-culture are fast realizing that to truly surrender to God is always costly. Most of us were wrong to think that we could expect life to be easy and without resistance to being born again of the spirit.  The spirit doesn’t conform us to this world, but the next.  The world-to-come always has and always will be threatening to this world, even if we find a culture that professes the name of God in daily pledges and gives privilege to those who identify as Christian.  Persecution means we are normal Christians.  A lack of persecution means we are no threat to the world and its ruler.  For a very long time now, most of the American church has not been truly persecuted, for we have not been truly different.  I praise God for the individual and corporate healing he will bring in this new season as we recognize and repent, for he never sleeps and is always at his redemptive work.

Be not afraid, American Christian.  Your loss of privilege is not persecution.  If you ever experience real persecution, God will use it for your refinement and the growth of the Church, and he will never leave you or forsake you.

We will lose money: but we are called to count the things of this world as nothing.  We will be reviled: but we are called to be fools for the sake of the gospel.  We may even be persecuted: seized, put in prison, or executed. But, to die is gain for those in Christ.  Rather than causing us to panic, we should fall on our knees and repent for valuing our reputations, bank accounts, and lives more worthy and good than the supreme good of knowing Christ and being indwelt by the spirit.

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