Persecution and the American Church

Posted: September 19, 2015 in Uncategorized

Recently Relevant Magazine tweeted an article about Christian persecution in the world today.  The information showed that every 5 minutes a Christian is martyred for their faith somewhere in the world.  You can check this article out here. If you read this article you will see that it goes on to show the top 50 places in the world where Christian persecution is alive and well.  Nowhere do I read the words “The United States,” or any state in America.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s really nice to not have to worry about being persecuted for our faith, but as I read scripture there is one verse in 2 Timothy that stands out to me.

2 Timothy 3:12

12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,

There is one word in this verse that stands out and will eventually show who is all in, or who is all out.  That word is desire.  If you desire to live a godly life in Christ, then guess what, you WILL be persecuted.  It doesn’t say you might be, or it’s possible, it says you will be persecuted.  I think back to the recent and still ongoing story out of Kentucky with Kim Davis refusing to issue marriage license to not only homosexual couples but heterosexual couples as well.  She felt that it was wrong for her to go against her religious beliefs to issue marriage license to same sex couples.  She stood firm in her faith and was arrested and put in jail.  Her story can be found here. Kim Davis was persecuted for her faith.  Although we in America think of persecution as being martyred (killed) for our faith, persecution means much more.  Here is the webster.com definition of what it means to be persecuted: to treat (someone) cruelly or unfairly especially because of race or religious or political beliefs.  I would say Mrs. Davis was persecuted for her faith. She made national headlines for her stance on the issues, but what about us? What about the church in America?

First, let me tell you what I believe the church is or isn’t. The church isn’t a building, the church doesn’t have a steeple and it’s not a thing we go to.  The church is a group of people that profess Christ as their Savior.  We are the church.  Living, breathing human beings who have Christ living inside of us make up what is known as the church.

So what about the church in America? Are we being persecuted for our faith in Christ? Maybe it isn’t on a national level, but what about the people we work with, go to school with, interact with at our kids games, the people we interact with in Wal-Mart, in traffic, at the gas station? Do they know where we stand when it comes to Jesus, or are we keeping it between the four walls that most people call the “church” on Sundays and possibly Wednesday nights? For so long I lived my Christian life between those four walls. When “church” was over I went on being who I wanted to be and doing what I wanted to do.  The people around me had no clue I was a Christian because my life did not reflect Jesus to others.  I wonder how many others are doing the same thing, just living the “Christian” life when it’s expected of us.  Where is the persecution in America? Where are the ones treated unfairly because they love Jesus and they won’t back down? Sadly, many Christians profess Jesus under the steeple, but not out in the streets.  Others are just to comfortable, or maybe even scared of what might happen, and I get that, I was that guy.  I have been the one that is on fire inside the walls, I have been the one that has been on fire outside of the walls but afraid to tell people out of fear of being laughed at, or persecuted.  I have been the guy that has just been a “comfortable Christian” and kept my faith to myself because it was comfortable that way.  God hasn’t called us to comfort or passivity, He has called us to put on the armor and fight like a warrior for his name sake regardless of the outcome.

I believe it is time for America to awaken, stand up and profess the name of Christ no matter what! Without fear, without fear of what people may think or what they may do.  If we desire to live a godly life, it’s time! If we believe Jesus, and we believe the Bible is God’s word, then we will believe it when it says “To live is Christ, to die is gain!” Simple translation: on earth, live like Jesus, and if and when we die, it will be  our gain because we will be with Jesus for eternity.

Who cares what people think, if you are in Christ you are accepted, you are adopted, you are a son or daughter. I challenge anyone that reads this to tell others what Jesus has done in your life, don’t be ashamed, stand firm and imitate Christ in your life regardless of the outcome.

I’m not asking for persecution, I’m asking for obedience to scripture and scripture tells us persecution will happen if we are obedient to Jesus.  It’s just another way we are more like Christ.   What do you desire? Safety, comfort? popularity? acceptance from others? or do you desire to live like Christ and be obedient to Him?

In Christ,

Steven

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