It has been estimated that 176,000 Christians around the world were martyred – killed for their faith – in a one-year period from the middle of 2008 to the middle of 2009. That is 482 per day according to World Net Daily. Not much has changed since that year, persecution is a normal way of life in many countries if you are a Christian.
My concern has been that Christian persecution is not even on the radar of media, or in our own government. This in itself is a form of persecution in our own land, the persecution of silence. We all have to ask ourselves why does this theme not get the press it should? Another story that has been in the Christian media is the story of pastor Saeed Abedini.
Naghmeh Abedini said that her husband, Saeed Abedini, went to Iran to build an orphanage but was imprisoned unjustly because of his Christian beliefs.
She said that when her family's "nightmare" began, she anticipated having to fight the Iranian government. But she feels shocked and deeply disappointed because she's had "to battle my own government."
Our government has made little effort to have this pastor released, and his cause has not be picked up by the media as an outcry to Christian persecution. Why? Because Christians are not of importance to them, and it appears that injustice for Palestinians, Muslims, and other groups get media coverage, but Christians are treated almost with distain.
The truth of the matter is that Christianity has done more for the success of the United States than any other influence. Our laws, principles, and values all come from a Judeo-Christian structure that brought this country to the height of its influence and power. Yet, it seems that today, we want to distance ourselves from our past, and eliminate anything that has a Christian influence to it.
This shouldn't be of any surprise to us, because this is exactly what the Bibles says would happen. Truth is on trial everyday around the world, and even more so in our own country. Christian business people are told their values that guide their lives, can not be brought into the marketplace. If an owner of a business has a religious conviction about not serving or promoting a gay marriage agenda, they are forced to or go out of business. Where is the religious freedom in that? Our government has crossed a line that should anger every Christian in the land to defend the right to express their religious beliefs even when it requires them to deny service to a lifestyle they can not support. This is not a civil rights issue, it is a moral issue that violates the teachings of the Bible, and should not be confused with race. Race is a human rights issue, but preferred sexual choice is not.
This issue will continue to grow, and unless the church pushes back, we will be forced to comply not only to religious persecution being forced upon business, but the pulpit will be silenced to what will be acceptable to say. Tax exempt status will be removed, and pastors will be fined or even jailed for speaking against gay marriage or homosexuality. Censorship is coming, and the majority of Christian leaders are silent. Any attempts to tell the truth about Islam, or homosexuality, will be considered hate speech, and most Churches will comply. Today we have used love to trump truth, and it is the biggest mistake we are making in the church. You can not substitute love for not practicing truth. Of course God is love, but He is also truth. You can preach God is love, but if you are violating every one of the Ten Commandments, or you are violating Jesus being the only way to God, then your love has no meaning or truth. If we preach God is love, then we are required to live by that love and practice truth. You can not love evil, and love God, they are mutually exclusive. Without truth to guide us and teach us, evil gains acceptance and is celebrated as right. This is why the prophet Isaiah said:
20Woe to those who call evil good
If you are going to tell the truth in love, you will be persecuted, period. These last days will separate the wheat from the chaff and it will be done by the measure of truth you are willing to tell, and the measure you won't. As a Christian you need to define your stand, what are you willing to defend? Stop hiding behind the curtain of tolerance and acceptance, because your freedom to practice Christianity as the Bible teaches it is at stake.
I am warning the church, we are slipping into a condition like the rest of the world where persecution is real and evident in everyday life. Get ready, it is coming soon to a neighborhood near you.