Church Under Fire

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, October 27, 2015 0 comments

by Bill Seng

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” ~Matthew 5:11-12

October 1, 2015. If ever a day should exist that politicians in power were to stand against genuine bigoted hatred, that day has come and gone. A shooter at Umpqua Community College, in the state of Oregon, demanded to know the faith affiliation of the classroom he terrorized. If the respondents said “Christian,” they were executed. What an opportunity for our President to stand up and say, “This blind hatred for Christians, that is displayed across the world, ends today.” Instead, the Church is treated as though she is the oppressive force in the world. It is as if attempting to live according to the standards of Jesus Christ is oppressive. What gives?

It is written that Satan prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). Those who follow after Christ, striving to be conformed to his image, are innocent. Today, they also stand defenseless as the once great United States of America has turned a deaf ear and a blind eye to those who made her very existence great. Satan is on the prowl. He has corrupted the minds of those in power to believe that those who are taught not even to be angry with their brothers and sisters are hate-filled murderers. Such a deception can only be attributed to the work of Satan who promotes lies and injustice.

Even so, we are called to a higher standard. Where people of other religions would demand the heads of their oppressors, we fight for their hearts. Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:44).

A few months back, a young man walked into a church in Charleston, South Carolina, and started shooting. Nine were killed. Politicians and the media alike were frothing at the mouth as they had a wonderful narrative to force their agenda in a powerful way. “Young white racist male slaughters congregants at an African American Church with a gun.” To stir things up, they went to the surviving church members to ask them what they thought, hoping for a witty catch phrase like, “Hands up, don’t shoot!” or “I can’t breathe!” that would launch their community into riots on the street. What they got was a dose of Jesus. The church did the unthinkable and forgave the shooter, totally void of malice. The mainstream’s jaw fell through the floor.

Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice. The hate is undeniable. Jesus will be recognized. This is our call of duty. Now is the time to carry out the message of reconciliation through forgiveness. If we respond in anger, we will be seen exactly how the world wants to see us. If we respond in love and action, people will see Jesus.

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