As American Christians, I think it’s hard for us to imagine being persecuted in our own country.
Perhaps if we were trying to serve as missionaries in North Korea or China or the Middle East, we could expect to be arrested, beaten, or put to death just for sharing the gospel. But here in the United States?
Why not? Nothing inherent to our Americanism prevents violent and systematic persecution of Christianity from coming to our shores, particularly as we more and more thoroughly jettison every vestige of virtue and godliness we can get our hands on with each passing day.
The COVID lockdowns of the past year have proven to me with alarming rapidity that we are not so far removed from the plight of the church historically in diverse places and times, even in the places we find extreme like China and the predominantly Muslim parts of the world.
Church services forbidden.
Singing songs together banned.
Major alleged news media outlets running stories blaming Christians for being “anti-science” and thereby spreading the pandemic.
Despite not usually being a fan of John MacArthur, I must admit he has been a true American hero through the past year, as well as a heroic contender for the Christian faith.
For just the latest example of what I mean, check out his sermon from June 17th, 2021 titled ‘When Government Rewards Evil and Punishes Good,’ sent me by my friend Lukas Abernathy Sunday afternoon.
And to further drive home the point MacArthur is making about our current circumstances, consider the new documentary ‘The Government War on Worship’ highlighted yesterday in this article by Jon Brown at The Daily Wire.
Who would have thought a few short years ago that the Chinese Communist Party’s repression of Christians in that country would be juxtaposed with some merit alongside images and footage of Canadian law enforcement?
Yet here we are. And there the persecutors are, as ordered, arresting pastors and laypeople just for trying to hold church services in North America in violation of public health orders.
If you didn’t see that happening – at least so soon – neither did I. And what else might come sooner than we think next?
Whatever comes next, it’s important to remember what’s in play here. It’s critical to recognize that what is really at the center of this conflict is the question of who our ultimate authority is. And most importantly, it’s imperative we remember that God wins that question and the outcome in the end. Plan and conduct yourself accordingly.
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