Loved this message…
One of my biggest pet peeves in this world, is when folks in my tribe play the “persecution” card. On one hand, we can’t help it– we’ve been programmed to label any negative experience related to our faith in the category of “persecution”. However, we should know better– and should know that this is actually hurting the Christian reputation in America.
I remember being well primed to interpret any negative push-back I might receive for “witnessing”, as we were warned about the coming persecution during campfire services at Christian summer camp. I still remember sitting around a campfire in Schroon Lake, New York and hearing: “Don’t worry– when you get back home you won’t have to leave your unsaved friends. When you get home, they’re going to leave you.” In fact, I remember “Blessed are you when you are persecuted” to be one of the first verses a camp counselor had me memorize.
In American Christianity we love persecution. Like a Rorshach test, we are able to see it anywhere we look. We are so culturally programmed that there “will be persecution” that we develop a persecution complex which causes us to look at any given ink blot and see an intriguing case of anti-Christian discrimination.
What is most sad to me, is that this is hurting the message of Jesus– a beautiful message that I want everyone to hear and experience. However, because of our persecution complex we are often seen as cry-babies– who are constantly crying “Wolf!” no less. As a result, a lot of people are turned off to Christian culture, and by default turned off to actually wrestling with the message of Jesus.
Yet, have no fear– I am here to help. Today, I’m going to give you a quick and easy walk through of some real scenarios that will help you gauge whether or not you are actually being persecuted for your Christian beliefs.