A lot of Christians are concerned about the state of government affairs. And I don’t blame them. The outlook for our religious liberties as never been more grim. I admit that when I take time to dwell on thoughts of the future, I feel frightened. I enjoy breathing, and I enjoy my all-too-often gluttonous lifestyle. I would hope that if I were called upon by my Savior to give up these creature comforts, and perhaps even the act of breathing itself, that I would willingly make such a sacrifice. But I cannot presume to be so bold.
I thought for a moment on what might religious persecution bring to our country?
1. It might force parents to quit their jobs and educate their children at home, to protect their children from propaganda that could be presented at government schools. That would mean fewer people would be out spending money and texting. Fewer people would be buying new cars and eating out. Instead, they’d be home cooking together, reading together, laughing and even crying together. I fail to see how this would be a bad thing.
2. Persecution toward Christians would immediately reveal the true Christians. I don’t know about you, but I’m more than a bit weary of women claiming the name of Christ while revealing their breasts. I’m sick of hearing the name of Christ used when one is surprised that a certain team won the Super Bowl. I cannot believe the number of homosexuals who claim to be saved! I know of one “Christian” who left his wife for another woman. He told all of his friends that he left her due to “irreconcilable differences”. Hmm. Yep, that other woman in his life would be called an “irreconcilable difference” to his wife. We all saw the real “Joe” for who he was through his Facebook account. Yep. I think if that guy, and others like him were called upon to face persecution, they’d probably just own up and admit they hate Christ with their mouths. Their lives are saying it already. Wouldn’t it be nice to have some consistency? I think so.
Now, before you say “You’re judging!” Let me say, “Yes, I am.” But, I’m not judging you using myself as the standard. I’m a sinner, too. I’m doing all I can each and everyday to tame my flesh and my tongue and live right. No, I’m judging others using God’s Word as the standard. If you’d like to know how to spell a word, or what a word means, you look it up in a dictionary. Likewise, when I see someone who is claiming Christ, I look them up in the Bible to be sure. I want to be friends with Christian people, I need godly friends, but if I can’t find you in the pages of God’s Word, then I know you’re not the person to hang around. Do I treat you badly? No, not at all. Do I pray for you? Love you, even? Yes! I do! But I need the strength and encouragement that only true believers can give; I want to spend time with those who strive (and yes, we ALL struggle) to live for Christ in each and every area of their lives – private and public.
3. It would force us to read and memorize God’s Word if it were being taken from us by the government. You know, I’m sad to say that I haven’t consciously memorized Bible verses on my own in years. I need to do more of that. We encourage little ones to put God’s Word in their hearts, but adults should do it also. Putting God’s Word inside of our minds is wise at every stage of life, and it may become a necessity!
4. Persecution would encourage fathers to lead their homes. What if you had to have church in your basement, in obscurity, with only a few neighbors? Could the man in your family give a message or lesson from God’s Word? All saved men should know God’s Word, inside and out, and be able to testify at any time, especially to their families.
5. Much of the activity in our churches would be revealed for the “fluff” that it is. I enjoyed youth activities very much as a teen. But, I could have survived just fine spiritually without that trip to go roller skating, or the volleyball game, or the hayride. Activities with other believers is great and wonderful, but if it’s all we care about, perhaps persecution would show us that it’s better to know God’s Word than to go bowling. Or putt-putt golfing. I also enjoy the special singing in churches, in fact, I’ve sung a few solos myself over the years. But, Christ is just as pleased with the voice from the pew as He is with the one on stage. The a capella hymn sung by a few believers in a basement brings just as much honor the Lord as the piano, guitar, organ and choir at church.
6. We might be imprisoned for our beliefs. This, to me, would be dreadful. Being separated from my children because of my love for Christ…I shudder to think! Could I do it? I can only trust that God’s grace would help me to be faithful and to sustain me through such a trial.
7. We could be called upon to die for claiming the name of Christ. That means we would immediately be escorted to our eternal home, Heaven. We would see Jesus! No more death, divorce, tears, fear, thieves, liars, hypocrites, pain, and I could go on!
Am I for persecution? As I said before, no, not at all. I hope to worship my Savior openly and freely for as long He lets me live. But I know this, if He allows persecution, I can see some definite positives that can come from it. And, I believe that even the threat of persecution does some good. It forces us to be thankful for that which we have now. I’m thankful for the musicians at church, for the ability to go door to door and tell people about Jesus, for youth activities and ladies fellowships and for specials at church! I’m happy that I can take my Bible anywhere without fear. Yes, I have much to thank God for.
I’m tired of being afraid of the November election. I’m tired of listening to the liberal media. I choose to look to the One who died for me.