Be Careful What You Call Persecution

no_christians_imageThe suspension of Phil Robertson from the Duck Dynasty television program by A&E has certainly been a huge story that has garnered a lot of attention.  For those of you living in a cave, Robertson talked about his Christian faith in an interview for a magazine and spoke of homosexuality being a sin.  A&E yielded to pressure from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and suspended him from his own show.  The backlash was swift and sure with people all over the country supporting Robertson and some already organizing a boycott of A&E.  As I watched my Twitter feed Wednesday night every other tweet seemed to be about Robertson and the censoring of his religious views by A&E.  While GLAAD and other leftist groups preach tolerance and diversity they seem to forget their own admonitions when it comes to Christians and our beliefs.  Apparently, tolerance and diversity is only allowed if you agree with them, their views and lifestyles.  Dissenting opinions are to be silenced and that applies especially to Christians.

Anti-Christian bigotry and hate has become common place in our country and seems to be getting worse every year.  Christian business owners are being fined and ordered by courts to violate their religious beliefs and provide services such as making a wedding cake for a homosexual couple, providing floral arrangements for homosexual weddings, etc.  New laws in states such as Hawaii and Washington are putting pressure on churches to either change their practices or allow homosexuals to have ceremonies in their places of worship.  Christianity has been ejected from schools.  Christian monuments are being removed from public land.  Even the Pentagon seems to be in an undeclared war on Christians in our own military.  And now with what will likely end up being the firing of Phil Robertson for saying homosexuality is a sin, there are some who are decrying the persecution of Christians in our country and the abject hate that is aimed at those who dare hold the belief that a celebrated leftist lifestyle is sinful.  But be careful.  While it is certainly true that our country is becoming more anti-Christian with every year that goes by, I find it difficult to agree that we are being persecuted.  I have no doubt the day will come when Christians suffer terrible persecution in our country, but we are far from that day and to say that American Christians are being persecuted is to disparage the Christians around the world who truly are being persecuted, some horrifically.  American Christians don’t yet know what true persecution is.

executeIn countries all over the world, Christians are routinely imprisoned, raped, beaten, burned, murdered, beheaded or mutilated.  Professing your faith in Christ can earn you a rope around your neck, a bullet in the back of your head, a knife at your neck or a more terrible death.  In the photo at left, dozens of people in North Korea are being executed, some for just being in possession of a Bible.  In Iran, Christians are hanged.  In Syria, whole Christian villages have been wiped out by Muslims, the women and children raped and burned to death.  In Myanmar, Christians have been mutilated.  How many Christians in the United States would have the courage to publicly profess their faith if their treatment was the same?  Are the rights of Christians being trampled on in the United States?  Yes.  Are we being discriminated against?  At times, yes.  Is our own government hostile to Christianity?  Sometimes.  Are Christians in the United States being persecuted?  Absolutely not.  Christians in the United States are still able to freely and openly attend church.  Christians in the United States have no fear of the police beating down their door to arrest them for possessing a Bible.  Christians in the United States have no fear of a public execution for professing faith in Christ.  I firmly believe there are those in our country who would do such things to Christians if it were allowed, but we are not that far along.  I also firmly believe that the day will come when the Church in America does face real persecution.  But that day has not come yet.  Pray that it does not in our lifetime.  And pray for the Christians in other countries who do face genuine persecution and death for their faith.  Let their courage be an inspiration to us.

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