Monday, March 27, 2006

The War Rolls On

Is there are war on Christians in America? This is the the current national debate initiated by a conference in Washington, DC. I encourage you to check out this link to read a recent USA Today editorial on this provocative question.

Here is just one snippet from the editorial: To say that there is a war on Christians "trivializes the true persecution of Christians in the early history of the church and the real abuse unleashed on Christians today in some corners of the world."

A good point. However, I would counter with this observation: persecution always begins with intolerance. Persecution in the Roman Empire didn't begin because the emperors were theologically opposed to Christianity; rather, they were politically opposed to Christianity. They found the Christian refusal to declare "Caesar is Lord" unpatriotic and disorderly. Furthermore, Christians proved a convenient scapegoat for the empire's ills.

God promises, however, that Christians' ever changing fortunes are ultimately in his hands. To cite just one example of this pervasive biblical theme, in Revelation (yes, Revelation) we read that "the beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority..." (13:5). And "he was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them..." (13:7).

In America, Christians do not face pervasive, violent persecution. God has graciously afforded the church immense opportunities to write, preach, evangelize, and persuade; and to learn, grow, pray, and worship. As the spiritual battle continues to heat up, I pray that we will be wise enough to make use of the opportunities that have been given.


njcopperhead said...

This seems like you are trying to throw me a softball. Anyway, there will always be a war on Christians who act like Christians. If there is not then it is because we do not proclaim the Lordship of Christ. Those who are not in Christ follow Satan, their true lord - professing Christians are a "fragrance" of death to them (verses below). The war is as weak as it is because American Christians generally do not try to bring everything under Christ - we are by and large complacent weasels.

Ephesians 2:1-3
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience-- among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

2 Cor 2:15-16a
For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life.

Ken Shomo said...

Is the war as weak as it is because we are complacent weasels? Or, is it as strong as it is because we are complacent weasels?

"Resist the devil and he will flee from you."

njcopperhead said...

Sorry I wasnt clear last night. Just a few thoughts:
-There is a war (always will be)
-It is weak because we are weasely(we are not as offensive as we should be, not because our goal is to be offensive, but because the Gospel and Christ are offensive to the world)
-It is also weak because of the continuing influence/effect of our heritage. The community standard used to be Christianity - to stand against it would put one outside of the norm or "polite company". (It used to be that the surest way to lose an election was to come out as an atheist) This is clearly waning, so the war is strengthening.