Christianity is Under Attack. Hallelujah!

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It seems I can’t go anywhere these days (especially Facebook) without hearing about the latest attack on Christianity. People won’t keep Christ in Christmas. Government officials are removing prayers from their meetings and nativity scenes from public property. A & E just suspended Phil Robertson, the star of the popular show Duck Dynasty, for saying homosexuality is a sin during an interview. It seems everywhere you look, the secularists are increasing in both number and volume. They are pushing back against those who claim to follow Christ and sticking it in our craw with all their fine rules and regulations designed to keep us in line.

And I, for one, couldn’t be more excited about it.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)

I want to be perfect and complete, don’t you? I am ready! I’m tired of a weak, watered-down faith that trembles in the face of hardship. I’m sick of seeing Christians in America–who have never had to worry about being beheaded in the night for their beliefs like others I could name–fly into a raging panic the second a new piece of legislation sans the word “God” pops up for a vote on Capitol Hill, calling it a sign that the Church is toppling and all of our children will someday be godless atheists.

Let me just rock your world for a second: WITHOUT A TRUE TESTING OF YOUR FAITH, YOUR CHILDREN WILL BE GODLESS ATHEISTS. Your children need to see Phil Robertson suspended from his show. It might make them sad, but it’s good for them. They need to see that speaking and living according to one’s faith in Christ is not without consequences. It shouldn’t be without consequences. Jesus didn’t intend for this thing to be easy. He demanded that our words be with grace and to live at peace, as best we could, with all people. But at the end of the day, it’s not about being comfortable. It’s not about having the popular vote. It’s not about putting a Christian in the White House. It’s not even about being right. It’s about walking in redemption and making disciples of all men. Redemption and discipleship are often bloody, lonely roads. Just ask Jesus.

“Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.” (Matthew 21:44)

Some people might say, “But when someone threatens to trample on our rights, shouldn’t we fight back? I mean, we can’t just stand back and let the other side win!” And to that, I would laugh. Because even if they and every other Christian on the planet gave up and joined the other side in their cause, they could not win. It’s impossible. Jesus defeated the wicked systems of this world when he rose from the dead. This battle has long since been decided. Why do you still walk in fear and loathing?

And what rights? The rights granted to us by a humanistic, secular government? The same government that Christ will overthrow when he returns to earth to reign forever? In whom do we have our trust, here?

Persecution is what separates the disciples from the converts. Jesus speaks of this in the parable of the sower:

“Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: […] The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.” (Matthew 13:18, 20-21)

In other words, Christ allows persecution to come our way to see what we’re made of. And when those who were just warming pews decide to fall away, it means the Church experiences a renewal. In that moment, true fellowship can occur. In that moment, God’s life-changing truth springs forth in a fresh revival.

You know what I see when persecution comes? An opportunity to exercise extreme grace toward those who are lost. An opportunity to draw closer to my Lord. An opportunity to grow and walk deeper in my faith–even if the trial is painful, humiliating, and exposes all of my worst flaws. Because that’s what persecution is: an opportunity for God’s glory to shine with a dazzling brilliance that cannot be quenched or ignored.

Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Cor. 12:7-10)

If anyone’s claim is that the Church is crumbling under an assault of secularism, then the Church was not of God to begin with. And if that’s the case, it should crumble. The Church cannot accomplish anything for the Kingdom of God apart from Him. We can only make a mess of it.

All my life, I grew up hearing that, someday, real persecution would come to Christians in America. Someday, we’d be publicly slandered, or bullied in the streets, or hauled away to jail for simply quoting the Bible or refusing to engage in the world’s fraud. I think that day is still coming. Jesus assured all of his disciples that they would face persecution for the gospel’s sake, and those who endured would receive a great reward. Yet I see so many believers angry, fearful, and doing everything they can to keep the cards stacked in their favor. Why? They only lose if they forfeit Christ.

7 responses to “Christianity is Under Attack. Hallelujah!

  1. Hi April. As a Christian, I kindly and respectfully disagree. The separation of religion and government in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is a good thing, and it should apply to prayers at public meetings, in public schools, at high school football games, and with Christmas displays at courthouses. It is not the job of our government to embrace one particular religion over all others and use its power to force that religion on everyone. This was the dream of Rousas Rushdoony and people like Jerry Falwell. (Half your readers just went, “Rousas who?”) People embrace civil religion when they feel certain that THEIR RELIGION is going to be the official religion the government chooses. Problem is, history around the world shows that you cannot count on this. How would you feel if only racist PCA Presbyterian Christmas displays were legal?

    I could write a book about this issue because I have studied it in depth for many years. The thing most of us are not aware of historically is that American Baptists were the first people in the United States to champion separation of religion and government—and I am not talking about liberal Baptists of the 1960s. I am talking about Roger Williams and the very first Baptists of the late 1600s in New England (the fathers and mothers of all American Baptists everywhere). The American Baptists of the 1830s would have been the first people in line to protest governmental religious activities. The reason we never hear about it today is the fact that people such as Jerry Falwell and the right wing extremists in Southern Baptist Convention leadership positions have been on a 35-year mission to erase all “inconvenient” Southern Baptist history prior to 1979. They do not want people to know about real Baptist history because it goes against Christian reconstructionist and Dominionist plans to eventually install so-called “Bible-believing” Christianity as the official national religion of the United States, which means that United Methodists like me and many of you will be headed to death camps like those in North Korea.

    I know many of your readers who are uneducated on this subject will think that what I am saying here is nonsense and conspiracy theory. However, these “Christian religionists” with crazy plans have openly published them in their own writings, and the members of the Religious Right in this country (and the Christian sects and paraChristian organizations that support them) have breathed in deeply from the putrid, heretical air ascending from these plans. Ignorance always breeds misunderstanding, and it is one of Satan’s strongest weapons.

    In World War II, General Irwin Rommel (who hated Hitler and helped in the assassination attempt), said (speaking strictly as a military man with a military mission) that the only chance of repelling an allied invasion of Europe was to stop it at the waters edge and make it their Longest Day. I know that many of your readers see no problem with a teacher writing the words of a prayer to God on the blackboard in a public school, asking the students to memorize it, and then demanding that every child (regardless of their own religion or church beliefs) bow their head and pray that prayer. However, what if that prayer says, “Dear God. Please step in and prevent women from being pastors in churches, and teach them to remember that this is the punishment for Eve’s sin.” If we let one benign teacher-led prayer into a public school, then there is no legal way to stop a Christian fundamentalist nutjob science teacher or a Christian reconstructionist crazy from preaching to our kids all day in class and leading a prayer like that. Our only chance to stop such people is to do what Rommel said: Stop them with the small stuff at the waters edge now (like Christmas displays at the courthouse) so they will never be able to get a foothold to do far worse damage to our children, our country, and our Christian faith. The Christian faith perspective that April fights for here every day—and that I share with her and you—is put in exceedingly great danger in our day and time—if we drop our guard and begin free-for-all intermingling of religion and government.

    Please wake up to the greater dangers here. The idea of separating religion and government is not a recent idea dreamed up solely by secular humanists and atheists bent on destroying the Christian faith. If you believe it is, then you have been lulled into believing clever propaganda generated by people on a mission of evil. Instead, it is a 400-year-old American CHRISTIAN ideal that was taken up by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and others and incorporated into the First Amendment to protect the American people from religious nutjobs of various stripes. If you would like more information, you can reach me at Merry Christmas because Jesus is the reason for the season.

    • I don’t think you’ve disagreed with me. My post was a little complex in its expression and aimed at a particular audience. I personally don’t view the suspension of a reality TV star as legitimate religious persecution, especially when I hear stories of real persecution every day. But even if I did, it wouldn’t trouble me. My faith is in God, not government. I’m often as much for separating the two as any secular humanist. Religion is for the practice of saints, not bureaucrats.

  2. Amen. I firmly believe that when the real persecution of which you speak comes to this country, it will take the same form to which Jesus himself was subjected. He came to be among his own people, and they did not recognize who He was, why He was there, or the true nature of his mission.

    Similarly, when real persecution comes to us, it will be inflicted by people who earnestly believe that they are Christians, and they will believe that they are standing up for God and doing him a great favor when they are torturing us and killing us.

    It will not come from Muslims, nonbelievers, atheists, or agnostics. They will just be clueless dupes who would really rather stay out of the matter all together if given a choice—like Pontius Pilate and his wife. Mark my word folks. When she comes, the person touch the red hot poker to your skin will be an Independent Fundamental Baptist or someone of that general ilk—mark my word.

  3. it is definitely not a coincident i stumbled into your blog from sir Butch dean’s blog.Thank you April and i am grateful to God for the posts i have quickly browsed through on your blog.