Saturday, May 23, 2009

Persecution, 21st Century American style

Here is a worthwhile and thoughtful post from Robin at Imperial Twilight about how persecution against the Church really begins - as opposed to the cartoonish impressions of pop Christianity.

His article quotes a heroic confessor of the faith, the Rev. Richard Wurmbrand, a Lutheran pastor who lived and served behind the Iron Curtain in Romania. Pastor Wurmbrand spent fourteen years in solitary confinement in a Communist prison. He is the author of Tortured for Christ and a founder of Voice of the Martyrs, an international organization that addresses the ongoing persecution of Christians around the world.

And here is remarkable footage of Pastor Wurmbrand himself. This is not to be missed!

Obviously, we are nowhere near the kinds of persecution in the United States as Pastor Wurmbrand experienced in Romania - but we would be foolish to think it could never happen here. Our Lord implored us to be wise as serpents even as we are to be innocent as doves. If (and when) Christians are again deemed "enemies of the state," we can well expect "enhanced interrogation techniques" to be used on us, just as they were used on Wurmbrand and his compatriots. Of course, this is one of the many evils of moral relativism - allowing government to run amok against one group empowers it to turn and bite any other group that falls from its favor.

Traditionalist Christians especially can expect increasing hostility in our society - as we continue to hold the increasingly unpopular biblical view of matters such as homosexuality, abortion, creation, sin, the inerrancy of Scripture, the roles of men and women, and the exclusivity of the Christian faith. Confessing Christ provokes seething hatred among unbelievers - the kind of raw inhumanity that fueled the Communists and the Nazis.

I do believe we will see an increase of this kind of initially-non-violent bureaucratic harassment by government over and against the Church. Of course, when we refuse to comply, we can indeed expect to be compelled by force. Moreover, I believe that not only Christians, but all Americans would do well to heed this law professor's advice when it comes to making statements to the police. Even St. Paul did not hesitate to invoke his legal rights for the sake of his continued preaching of the gospel.

Let us continue to pray for Christians anywhere and everywhere who are being impeded by government force. Once the monster is let out of its box, no-one is safe, and there are no self-restraints on the wrath of government - especially one convinced of its inherent goodness and manifest destiny ("We will bury you!").

Communism always starts with Socialism, and Socialism is always sold to the people as benign salutary change that promises an economy that can deliver something for nothing and a paradise without God.

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