We’re Accelerating Toward Persecution. Hold On To Joy!

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With this post I will (at last) echo some of my own writing at The Stream here at Thinking Christian.

If there’s a tipping point coming soon for Christians in America to experience real persecution, we’ve just moved a lot closer to it this week. I’m not trying to predict the future, and I’d be glad to be totally wrong. But it seems possible that one day we’ll look back at Charlottesville as the hinge it all turned upon….

All of this is completely startling to people of my generation. We grew up in a world where such deep anti-Christian hostility was unimaginable. Now it’s upon us – not in full force yet, but definitely accelerating in that direction. Something very strange is happening to us!

But God has a word for us in these unexpected days. 1 Peter 4:12-13 tells us,

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which comes upon you to prove you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice in so far as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.

God knows what he’s doing. We can rejoice in spite of these ominous signs of a tipping point.

More at The Stream!

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14 Responses to “ We’re Accelerating Toward Persecution. Hold On To Joy! ”

  1. Wait – what did Charlottesville have to do with Christians? It looked like a bunch of racists and fascists were marching, and a bunch of non-racist, non-fascists were counter-marching. Which side do you associate Christians with?

  2. John, I had the exact same reaction/question, and Tom, your reply does not shed a whole lot of light on it.

  3. I don’t associate either side with Christians. I thought that might have been obvious from my answer, but that’s my bad, I guess.

    Charlottesville wasn’t important because one side or the other was Christian. Neither was. It was important because it surfaced false charges that some Christian groups are hate groups to watch out for. It’s the most recent manifestation of a trend, as I note in the Stream article. If it’s not clear here, it’s because I didn’t intend to re-tell the whole thing here.

  4. It seems clear enough to me. The far left wants to lump small-o orthodox Christianity alongside the white supremacists that marched in Charlottsville. That the SPLC calls the ADF and other Christian groups as hateful and dangerous as those same white supremacists, and that their designation is mostly unchallenged, is evidence of this.

    To add some additional anecdotal evidence to this, I came across a comment on an LGBT activists blog from someone gloating that the Neo-Nazis in Australia have sided against “marriage equality”. As far that person is concerned, this means everyone against “marriage equality” is a neo-nazi. This is similar to the common argument that because many evangelicals voted for Trump as did white supremacists/nationalists, this makes evangelicals responsible for what the supremacists/nationalists do.

    I am actually surprised the major media did not try to play up any connection they could find between those marchers and Christianity even more beyond repeating the SPLC hate group listing.

  5. If I make that statement it won’t be just to preemptively make sure no one has the chance of getting my beliefs wrong on it.

    It would be morally out of place for me to make that kind of statement for the sake of my reputation anyway — unless there’s a specific challenge, maybe. The right reason to do it is to influence others toward right thinking, right belief, right action. If I some need to do that on this comment thread, I’ll do it right here. Otherwise I’ll do it when I see the need somewhere else.

  6. You criticized Trump because “he left it so wide open to question”, which shows he fell short in his leadership. But you are also leaving it open to question, just like Trump.

    We don’t know whether “Donald Trump is just fine with violent racism.” And frankly I don’t know whether you are either. You wrote, “It’s unlikely on the face of it that any contemporary leader could think any of those things.” But I totally disagree. It’s painfully obvious that we have many racists in government in the United States.

    Not many GOP leaders are making the kind of clear, unequivocal denunciation that Senator Ted Cruz, for example, did when he tweeted: “It’s tragic and heartbreaking to see hatred and racism once again mar our great Nation with bloodshed.”

    It’s not for the sake of your reputation. This is the time to speak out “to influence others toward right thinking, right belief, right action.” You’re the leader of this blog, and you influence other people. Do you want your followers to march in the streets with swastika flags? We’re waiting to hear.

  7. I had an answer to your question already posted, John, but then I re-read the end of your question: “Do you want your followers to march in the streets with swastika flags? We’re waiting to hear.”

    That deserves no answer but to point out how unspeakably stereotyped, prejudiced, ignorant and rude it was.

  8. It looked like a bunch of racists and fascists were marching, and a bunch of non-racist, non-fascists were counter-marching.

    Actually, it didn’t look this way at all. The counter marchers are anything but “non-fascists”. They actually are the embodiment of fascism. They are the ones who employ the anti free speech tactics that fascism is best known for. They are the ones employ the threat and use of violence that exemplifies fascism. They are the ones who use violence to try to silence their opponents. That’s fascism. In this case, their threat of violence was met by violence. However, these are the same people who have used violence to during any number of events from Berkeley to Evergreen College to name some recent examples. That’s fascism. It’s what the brown shirts did and what the current anti free speech “anti fascists” do.

  9. Hi, John B. Moore. I imagine you’ve been traveling or tied up in meetings or something, and that’s why you haven’t acknowledged the response I posted. When you get a chance, it’d be interesting to hear from you.

  10. This would be a great time for Tom Gilson to make a strong, unequivocal statement condemning racism and violence, just so it’s clear where he stands.

    It seems this would be a great time for John B. Moore to make a strong, unequivocal statement condemning racism and violence, just so it’s clear where he stands. It’s been the left, Antifa and BLM that have been the source of the vast majority of the political violence that we have recently witnessed. Do you endorse the use of violence by these groups Mr. Moore?

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