Matthew 7:15 Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.
Persecution is obvious to believers living under oppressive regimes. However, some in the West may say, “Yes, but we aren’t facing that kind of persecution today.” It is true that for many centuries, followers of Jesus in Europe and America haven’t faced culture-wide persecution because of their faith in Christ. But that era has almost disappeared, and a new era is upon us. Exactly what it will be like is not yet clear, but it seems unlikely that it will be favorable to those who follow Jesus. Signs of opposition are already apparent. ~Dr. Thomas Tarrants
Persecution is simply the clash between two irreconcilable value-systems. ~John Stott
We have all heard that being silent on racial and social issues is a sign of complicity and many corporations and organizations, including the church, have been pressured to consent to the Black Lives Matter agenda. Here’s an article that takes this silence to a whole new level:
It’s no surprise that rioters in Portland burned Bibles this past weekend. As we’ve said for weeks now, the spirit behind the riots is the spirit of lawlessness. It is anti-God and anti-Christ, and that’s why synagogues and churches have also been targets. When it comes to the Bible, for some, it is the ultimate symbol of oppression. Of religious tyranny. Of abusive authority. It is the evil book on which America was founded, and it should be burned, along with the American flag. It is racist, homophobic, and misogynist. It supports genocide and apartheid, and it the divinely-sanctioned manual for slave owners. To the flames! Such is the mentality of the radical left, as reflected in groups like Antifa and BLM (speaking, again, of the organization, in distinction from the truth that black lives matter). ~Dr. Michael Brown
So, the Bible and the church are racist instruments that need to be destroyed. Churches have been afraid of Muslim terror groups interrupting their services and outreaches, but now it’s domestic groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter that are a concern.
Jesus said that we would experience persecution if we remained true to the message He entrusted His followers to tell, but no one thought that the Bible and the Gospel would be seen as a manual for slave owners. This was the argument by some Jewish groups that accused Nazi Germany of following the Bible and the writings of Martin Luther to exterminate their race. It is true that you can take all sorts of ideas from the Bible and make them into arguments for race separation and misogyny, but that is not what the Bible teaches. God created all races and two genders and made them equal. What has happened to race and gender is that sin entered the picture and interrupted God’s original intent. His original intent was equality and harmony among humans, a created species of people who would interact with Him on a personal basis.
We all know the story of Adam and Eve and how everything changed. God did not change His plan … sin interfered with it. Jesus came to earth to free us from the bondage that sin brought to us and to restore the original plan God had for the human race. It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ that brings people together with God … not to hold people down, but to lift people up. Jesus brings people from the disarray of hatred, anger, racism, confusion, and brings them into the harmony first with God and to second to each other.
Our hope is never in legislation or policies that sidestep the truth of the Gospel. Our problem is sin. Sin is not a condition we can cure on our own … we have to start with God. This is why the church must make the message of the Gospel known again … not just to people in the pew on Sunday morning, but by inundating Social Media, the Internet, and the highways and byways of where society is today. Yes, the anger in our day will push back on our message, but mercy, grace, and forgiveness are tools we must incorporate into society in order to rebuild our communities. Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and other groups like them will not build anything positive in America because all they want is revolution. They will not stop until that revolution burns and destroys everything in their path … including the church.
It is time the church becomes serious about addressing the culture with the truth. The idea that the church is about growth, safety, and compliance to the rules thrust upon it by the government, must end. The church must become the revolutionary voice of heaven again, and not give in to the cultural compliance of our day.
If John Stott is right that persecution is simply the clash between two irreconcilable value-systems, there is no time to waste! We need to be about our Father’s business.
Challenging the Culture with Truth … Larry Kutzler