Saturday, November 15, 2008

Persecution of Christians in America is Here

It’s Getting Hostile Out There
by Jerry Falwell, Junior

In John 15:18, Jesus told his disciples, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated me before it hated you” (NKJV).

These are encouraging words to Christians today, especially as we witness acts of aggression taking place against those who attempt to live their lives according to biblical principles. Most prominently, I refer to an incident this week in Delta Township, Michigan, at the Mount Hope Church, where a group of militant homosexuals entered a service and began shouting and throwing fliers at members. Their shouts, according to reports, included: “It’s OK to be gay,” and “Jesus was a homo.” Outside the church, other protesters carrying pink crosses and shouting “bash back,” banged on buckets during the service and allegedly pulled a fire alarm.

Also this week, a Canadian-based “Christian missionary,” as described by received a pink, gift-wrapped bag at his home, thinking it to be a present left for one of his young daughters. However, when he opened the package, a bomb exploded, seriously injuring the missionary, Gary Stevenson.

While occurrences such as these are rare, the intensity level is elevating in many areas of our nation, especially after voters in three states—California, Florida and Arizona—voted down state referenda to enact same-sex marriage laws. It is apparent that those of us who embrace the biblical standard of one woman, one man for a lifetime are going to be increasingly in the crosshairs. This is why I persistently encourage Christians to be skilled in apologetics, which is the art of proving Christian truths and doctrines. We must be able to reason with our political adversaries, utilizing Scripture as our foundation and a having passion to win souls to Christ as our motivation. This is what Jesus called us to do (Matthew 28:19-20).

When Christians face persecution for their beliefs or when we read of fellow Christians who are suffering for their faith in Christ, it is a good time for personal reflection. We must all periodically ask ourselves: am I ready to face hostility for what I believe?

Are you ready to face persecution because of your faith, while remaining true to the cause of Christ? The true test of our faith is how strong it is—how it sustains us—when the chips are down.

Thankfully, there is a wonderful passage in the Bible that strengthens us, no matter what kind of trial, ordeal or burden we are facing. It is II Corinthians 4: 8-10: “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our own body.”

Keep your eyes on the Savior, Christian friends, no matter who opposes you or who lets you down. For we know this: Jesus, who understands our every need, has promised never to leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).