Turmoil and Swords

The world is in turmoil.  There are “wars and rumors of wars” and persecution against Christians continues to reach record-breaking highs world-wide.  But the Scriptures say “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me“.  Note: “because of me”, as in Jesus, not just because we’re a pain.  We are clearly not meant to encourage persecution of ourselves, by living at peace with others as much as possible.  But how should re respond when persecuted?  We are certainly not to use “the sword” as this can defend only earthly kingdoms.  Continue reading

Persecutions

Conversion of Saul, Gloucester

Conversion of Saul, Gloucester (Photo credit: TheRevSteve)

Have you been persecuted recently?  Check: have you been killed for your faith?  OK, probably not if you’re reading this and likely to respond.  But across the world the most serious, widespread persecution of Christians occurred in guess which century?   Yes, this one, and it probably does not matter when you read this, because its been on a steady increase for ages.  Some evidence for this is available at the Voice of the Martyrs blog, with a cautionary tale about overdepedence on statistics.  Individual stories can be found in books like Jesus Freaks (an excellent and moving read) and even Wikipedia managed to have a factual article (see the recent history section under “Persecution of Christians”).  As pointed out here, the western world tends to ignore this, as it does not fit in with the West’s anti-Christian thought patterns,  because if the Christians are the bad guys, then we can go on living materialistic self-worshipping lives with no thought to the future judgement, yes?  The Bible’s phrasing of this is “people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19).  No, I’m not suggesting a conspiracy here- the people are in darkness, and are blinded to what is really going on in the spiritual realm…

This paints a pretty grim picture, from a worldly point of view, but what about what the scriptures have to say on this?  What should our response be?  Continue reading