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November 29, 2011

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>> "you will face varying degrees of angry friends and family, condescension, rejection, loss of relationships and/or status, and ridicule"

you basically face this in pretty much anything you do in life.

tell people you're a democrat
tell people you're a republican
tell people you're an atheist
tell people you're a Mormon
tell people you're a Capitalist
tell people you're a Communist
tell people you're a transvestite
tell people you're losing weight
tell people you're a Celtics fan
tell people you're a musician
tell people you're normal

"When men are full of envy they disparage everything, whether it be good or bad."

A good dose of liberalism has already confused people to the point of not knowing right from wrong.

I just got through reading "St. Bartholomew's Eve" by Henty, it is a story of the Heugonot wars and depicts historical accounts of persecution where people had to consider seriously their stand knowing that it was very likely to be proven under the severest of consequences. Similiar challenges with lesser consequences ought to be seen as opportunity for disciplining ourselves as we grow in faith.

Amy is right; of course there are times when Christians are unjustifiedly marginalized. And Tony is right; Christians have no monopoly on exclusion or ridicule. These experiences are all things that many folks go through when they lose their faith, come out of the closet, change political allegiances, or even switch denominations!

But why spend so much time talking about undeserved ridicule? Are there not times when one deserves to be made the object of dismissive satire? I’ve noticed that a lot of Christians absolutely love to talk about being ridiculed, while all along assuming that God is in heaven giving them a big thumbs-up for “being persecuted for righteousness’ sake.” But is it not also the case that some Christians are rendered the object of satire because they go around saying stupid things? Is it being “persecuted for righteousness’ sake,” for example, when a Christian encounters, not eruptions of applause, but dismissive laughter when he stands on a college campus screaming and hollering about the evils of evolution or telling us that 9-11 happened because of homosexuals? Of course not. That’s just what happens when you act like an illiterate idiot in public; and thank God it does. Could you imagine living in a world where people didn’t fall on the floor laughing at the nonsense that someone like Pat Robertson disseminates for a living? If a Christian or anyone goes around acting like a clown, they might be called one. That’s not being “persecuted for righteousness’ sake.”

So while I agree that Christians are unjustifiedly marginalized, I also think that the swiftness with which Christains attribute ridicule to "being persecuted for righteousness' sake" is something we should be careful about. Sometimes we deserve it.

I agree with you on what you say Malbranche. I wonder when we'll see a sports figure thank Jesus when the other team wins, or when they make the game losing blunder. Will Tim Tebow do the "Tebow" thanking God even if it is an act of thanksgiving for the opponents joy in victory? I hope so.

Doing the hard thing, the right thing when it costs personally without clamouring for attention is our struggle to own, Jesus did it, offering not a word in defense.

I think Amy, Tony, and Malebranche are all right.

It's a Christmas miracle!

Ha, yeah, this is quite the miracle.

I love the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who, when faced with the choice to deny the true God and save their mortal lives, or bow down to political correctness and lose their spiritual lives, said this:

"If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.

But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up." (Dan. 3:17-18 KJV)

That phrase, "but if not," is indicative of the depth of faith we need to withstand the fiery darts of the adversary as we stand as witnesses of Christ at all times, and in all things, and in all places.

Of course, my personal relationship with and faith in the Savior, and my knowledge--not just belief--of His love and grace for me, makes my trust in Him, that much more enabling in my life.

I hesitate to challenge the miracle, but after some time to think about it I've decided to call into question ToNy's comparison. Two things come to mind regarding the equating being born again with the list. One is our obligation[from the debt paid for our souls] to be salt and light to the world that hates both. And two, the list of persectionables, although they can and do open people up for persecution are not cutting directly into anothers life like the Light of Christ does.

So in the first case, we are not free to abandon the faith like we could abandon being one if the list items as if it were an external ala carte choice of life. Then secondly the light shining on darkness provokes a response against Christ, not our view--although the charge is personal also since Christians have the Spirit of God.

And the award for non-word of the year in 2011 goes to BRAD! For his above entry:

"persectionables"

Thanks ToNy, to be recognized for this award is truly an honor.

I hate to rain on your "everybody's right" party, but Amy is wrong... "It's likely most of us will never go to prison for our trust in Christ."

It's already happened... http://kwinrc.blogspot.com/2011/07/us-citizens-face-sharia-law.html

[Josh - no ad hominem attacks. If you don't like their comment, then respond to the contents of that comment, and restrain from resorting to personal attacks.]

The truth of the matter is that persecution is part of the Christian life. If you're not being persecuted, it's probably because you don't live it.

What about the many American Conscientious Objectors with a history of incarceration or exile for their beliefs?


Actually Josh, I've heard of the situation Kelly is referring to. Now it could be an Internet hoax but it doesn't sound that outlandish.

Standing firm in your beliefs is not merely something that happens every now and then, but the very strength of your beliefs. And for this you need courage. I have to agree that virtually all beliefs are subject to persecution, no matter how mundane or profound. Although I think there are beliefs we would readily jettison if we were facing hard persecution.

I have to say I find people who simply agree with everything everyone says to be annoying. It almost seems like lying, I sincerely doubt they really are changing their beliefs/convictions/opinions daily. It's just so...wishy-washy.

"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point" (C.S. Lewis).

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