A Brewing Pot of Christian Persecution (Introduction)
by Carl Parnell
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Some Americans will take a new perspective on cultural issues now and in the years to come. One such issue was the advancement of more anti-Christian sentiment in the United States. More and more anti-Christian groups have attempted to find ways to silence Christians from promoting their religious beliefs outside the four walls of their churches. Some more prominent groups are those who support atheism, humanism, and the homosexual agenda. However, now the Christian persecution that has been propagated behind closed doors for so many years has finally come out into the open. Therefore, Christians of every denomination must prepare themselves for the brewing pot of Christian persecution that might just boil over into mainstream America soon.
Why are these anti-Christian groups determined to silence Christians in America? The answer lies in the teachings of Jesus Christ. Over two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ saw the beginning of Christian persecution then and foretold the rationale for its ugly resurgence in the latter days, too. As stated by Jesus Christ in John 3:20-21, “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” Also, in John 7:7, Jesus said, “The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.” Basically, Jesus was stating that the witness of Christians, the light of Jesus Christ, would cause many nonbelievers to feel uncomfortable. As a result, some nonbelievers who do not want to conform to Christ’s standards would ultimately use persecution as a method to hopefully silence the Christian voice in America.
However, Christians should expect some form of persecution now and in the future, just because there are so many people that do not want to surrender their will to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. As written in II Corinthians 4:8-9, Paul the Apostle said, “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.” If Jesus, Paul, Peter, and many other of Jesus’ followers were persecuted, true Christians today must face the reality that persecution will continually pop up its ugly head until Jesus comes back to take His children home to live eternally with Him in Heaven. Finally, in John 15:18-21, Jesus said, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours, also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me.” As inferred by these scriptures, post-modern day Christians will at some point in time be persecuted. Unfortunately, that point in time is now.
However, it is amazing that with all the religions in America that the religion of most of the Founding Fathers has been placed on a “bully” platform. If those who choose to persecute Christians in America would take the same approach to Islam, the United States government would put a stop to it immediately. It would not be politically correct to persecute the followers of Islam. But, at the same time, Christian “bashing” is accepted as the status quo by many politicians and anti-Christian groups. Of course, the main reason that Christians are now being persecuted in America is the fact that true Christianity is a way of life that is based on the absolute truths of God’s Holy Word, the Bible. It is these absolute truths that cause non-believers to fight back against Christians and their lifestyle. In fact, many people, including some Christians, do not believe the divine truths of God. Therefore, Christians are setting themselves up for even more persecution.
In the United States, Christian persecution is subtle in nature (In many countries overseas, Christians are killed for their faith). Businesses, pubic schools, public universities, governmental agencies, and the media constantly attack Christian beliefs, values, and worship methods. But, it is ironical that the religious belief system that demands honesty, integrity, good character, patriotism, and right living of all Americans is the religion that is being attacked. However, only the Christians who are being persecuted know about America’s persecution of Christians. Too many Christians are unaware of the Christian persecution that is occurring in the United States today. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that they see the hand writing on the wall and see the truth soon.
How are America’s anti-Christian groups actually persecuting Christians in America? First, there are too many Christian rituals and icons that are prohibited in businesses, public schools, public universities, and governmental agencies. In most of these places, Christians are not permitted to read their Bible and pray openly, even if they are on their lunch break. However, special attention is given to the religious needs of Islamic believers and other non-Christian religions in order to meet all the demands of their religion. Second, many corporations and businesses are showing their anti-Christian sentiment by giving thousands of dollars to support the pro-homosexual agenda and the pro-abortion agenda in the United States. Third, dissatisfied homosexual groups have actually entered Christian churches and defamed church property and verbally abused church members. Fourth, teachers and principals in some public schools verbally abuse Christian students and their God. Fifth, public universities are beginning to prevent the free speech of Christian students who mention the name of Jesus Christ on campus as they witness to their peers. Sixth, government agencies are beginning to prohibit the freedom of expression of their Christian employees. It is as if the United States government wants to ensure that America becomes a godless nation.
How can Christians deal with religious persecution in a more positive manner? First, Christians must actually live the type of life that they purport to non-Christians. When many of the major Christian preachers and/or evangelists commit the same sins that they have preached against for years, it can leave a bad taste in the mouths of non-Christians. In fact, it would make it much harder to win them over to Christianity, since they probably would believe that most Christians are not really sincere in what they say they believe. As the Apostle Paul stated in I Corinthians 9:27, “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” In other words, the hypocrisy of Christians, especially those who live in the limelight, would be a negative catalyst that would lead to even more Christian persecution.
Second, Christians must be involved with God the Father’s business, just as His Son Jesus Christ did when He walked on the earth. Therefore, even though Christians do not base their salvation on how much work they do for the church, people who accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior tend to give much of their free time for the Kingdom of God here on the earth. When a Christian has a close relationship with God, he or she would have an anointing of the Holy Spirit to lead and guide them as they travel on their journey to Heaven. As a result, any persecution from anti-Christian sources that they might face in the days to come would become less challenging. However, any persecution would be hurtful, but spirit-led Christians would be better prepared to face the “lions and the gladiators,” just like the first Christians did during the first century in ancient Rome.
Third, Christians must remember that the purpose of their church is to be a salvation station. Sinners should come into the church, ask forgiveness for their sins, and become an active member in the family of Christ. However, when the sins of the sinner become incorporated into an immoral subculture within the church, non-believers outside the church would lose faith in the intent of the church. This could definitely lead to more persecution. As a result, Christians must remove any sign of lingering sin inside God’s House of Worship. The sinner must be loved and accepted, but his or her sins must not be permitted to exist inside the four walls of the church. Remember that the Protestant Church was started in 1517 in Germany by Martin Luther because he detested the sins that existed in the Roman Catholic Church at that time. Also, it would hard for the Christian Church to be a light to the world when there is darkness and sin in the camp. Therefore, as written in I Thessalonians 5:22, Christians should “abstain from all appearance of evil.” Then, their spiritual light could shine brighter and brighter.
Fourth, Christians must not permit the marketing of Jesus to replace the true evangelistic efforts of the church. According to Tyler Wigg-Stevenson in his Christianity Today article entitled “Jesus Is Not a Brand,” Christianity and the teachings of Jesus Christ are viewed in a different perspective in today’s postmodern, consumerist age. Apparently, in the postmodern consumerist age, some people are possibly being drawn to the church and Jesus Christ by marketing schemes, instead of the Holy Spirit. However, if this is true, the authenticity of Jesus Christ and His original mission for coming to the earth would eventually be viewed as a Fifth Avenue, humanistic gimmick. As a result, the effect of Christianity on America at large would be diminished. This could lead to even more persecution in the years to come. Therefore, it is extremely important that evangelism in the church stays focused on the immaculate birth of Jesus Christ and His Death and Resurrection. Also, it is important to remember what Jesus said in John 14:6 in the Bible. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” But, despite the fact that many anti-Christians use this scripture as a source for their persecution, claiming that Christians are intolerant and insensitive, Jesus said it and He meant what He said.
Fifth, Christians must realize that they can be categorized into three, distinct groups of believers. Some Christians are very close to God in their relationship. Some Christians are fair weather believers. Then, there are Christians whose relationship to God hardly exists. Therefore, the last two categories of Christians might be less likely to encounter attacks from anti-Christian forces in America. As stated in Acts 12:1, “Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church.” Therefore, those who belong to the “certain of the church” would be those who are close to God. They might be persecuted even more than those who do not have a close relationship to God. But, regardless of what type of persecution that Christians might have to face in the years to come, Jesus promised in Hebrews 13:5 that He would never leave or forsake those who call Him their Lord and Savior.
Many people do not believe that Christian persecution exists in America. In fact, some people even believe that up to 90 percent of Americans are Christian. However, that is a very high estimate. But, regardless of how many people profess to be Christians in America, a brewing pot of Christian persecution is about to boil over in the nation that prides itself on religious freedom. Christians in the United States need to set their eyes on what happens in the halls of Congress in the next few years. They should become aware of the anti-Christian groups that seek to gain leverage over America’s Christian community. They should become aware of the proposed bills in Congress that would prevent Christians from worshiping freely inside and outside the four walls of their churches. But, most importantly, they should become aware of the persecution that already exists in America in businesses, public schools, public universities, government agencies, and, of course, the media. Therefore, Christians in America would then be able to mount a unified front against those who would attempt to deny Christians their religious freedoms without fear of persecution.
Dr. Carl Sterling Parnell, a Christian educator, author, and columnist, has completed his second book, which is in an Adobe pdf., eBook format. It is entitled A Brewing Pot of Christian Persecution: America’s Postmodern Anti-Christian Crusade. It was written to prove that Christian persecution does exist in America and that it will worsen in the years to come unless Christians return to their first love, the Lord Jesus Christ. It can be purchased for $5.00 at http://ebooks.faithwriters.com/ebook-details.php?id=565. It is listed under the category of “End Times.” PayPal and Credit Cards are accepted. His articles may also be read at http://www.faithwriters.com/member-profile.php?id=50188.
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