Since my husband has gotten back from Egypt, we've had several discussions about the persecution of the church. Not just the Egyptian church or American church, but the church as a whole. The day he left, a riot broke out in Cairo, Egypt leaving nearly two dozen people dead. Mostly Christians. It scared me silly to think Josh would be there the next day. Working with a church, nonetheless. All I could do was cling to the Lord and pray for His will to be done... and to please please please, bring Josh home safely.
And safely he returned. With maybe a slight case of jet lag.
I loved to hear the excitement in Josh's voice as he shared with me of the Egyptian's faith. And how 14 came to know Jesus as Savior during the week he was there. The fact that they made this decision to follow Christ, when just a few days prior fellow brothers and sisters were slaughtered in the streets, unsettled me.
Do we have that same faith here in America? Are we willing to follow Jesus at the cost of our lives?
Josh helped me think about something I never really thought about before. The American church is not persecuted. We may be rejected, but we are not persecuted. We have no idea what it's like to be the only person standing in the middle of a group of angry people with weapons, asking us to renounce our faith or die. We have never seen our families or children or brothers and sisters killed in front of us, because we are followers of Jesus.
Now you may be thinking, "Well, thank the Lord I was born in the land of the free!" And you'd be right. We should thank the Lord for that wonderful privilege. But are we really experiencing the cost of being a disciple of Christ if we do not encounter rejection or persecution of some kind?
"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also." - John 15:18-20
A servant is not greater than his master. If Jesus suffered, can we be greater than our master and escape suffering?
This week, I took a stance on a very debated topic. In fact, I'm sure there are many readers of this blog who would probably chastise me for the stance I took on this issue. It's becoming so sensitive, that I've decided not to even address it on this blog (for now). I tried as kindly as I could to use the Word of God to correct and inform others of why this specific issue goes directly against biblical teaching. The bible was thrown out early on and exchanged for emotions. And you really can't argue with emotion.
All that said, I faced rejection this week because of the Word of God. But I will not be surprised in a few years if this small experience of rejection now, turns to persecution. To avoid that, I am sure the American church will slowly begin to accept the issue in an effort to keep the peace. After all, isn't that what living in freedom in America is about?
But is this biblical? Are we to keep silent on issues that go against Scripture?
We'll avoid persecution if we do. But then my question is, are we really a servant of Christ?