Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. -- Hebrews 12:3
Friday, July 10, 2015
I cannot say that, as a Christian, I have encountered a lot of direct, personal hostility. I have lived all my life in a majority-Christian nation, associating mostly with people who were, at the very least, cultural Christians. There does seem to be a sort of sea-change right now, and growing animus aimed at the heart of the Church. If this anti-Christ movement gains momentum, we should not become discouraged.
I think I would have a hard time welcoming serious persecution, yet, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says, “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
I don’t know if I can do that.
Should it become, in what remains of my earthly journey, a crime to follow Christ, to speak His Name, to speak the truth in love, or to live in obedience to the Bible and the dictates of my conscience, the best I could hope is to follow the admonition from Hebrews. If I cannot rejoice in hostility and oppression, perhaps I can endure without fainting and giving up.
Christ was victorious. He will always be victorious. Those who might hope to eradicate Christianity or, worse, neutralize and pervert it, will find their efforts backfiring on them badly. They might demolish the churches but the Church will stand stronger and taller than ever. They might set fire to a building, but we are baptized in fire and the Holy Spirit. It is our native element.