Persecution Of Christians And False Teaching

When I was a kid, I only thought Christians in America would face persecution if the Russians took over the world. We used to hear scary things about Soviet Russia — only registered churches could exist, Bibles were almost non-existent, and Christians were less likely to get jobs in government or any other influential part of society.

Never in my wildest dreams did I envision the US winning the Cold War and then Christians coming under attack. Not that I’ve specifically heard of physical attacks, but certainly verbal attack is routine.

Actions based on false teaching that make Christianity odious

What’s just become clear to me is the role that false teaching plays in this process.

Today’s local paper, the Whittier Daily News, has an article, originating with the Associated Press, entitled “Perry’s presidential run casts new light on dominionism.” The story is all about how Presidential hopeful Rick Perry is tied to a group of “Pentecostals” who want to establish a Christian government because of “a God-given mandate to run the world.”

The term that journalists and scholars are using for this thinking is “dominionism.” I did a little research and learned that some in the media equate this “movement” to Islamic beliefs:

In many ways, Dominionism is more a political phenomenon than a theological one. It cuts across Christian denominations, from stern, austere sects to the signs-and-wonders culture of modern megachurches. Think of it like political Islamism, which shapes the activism of a number of antagonistic fundamentalist movements, from Sunni Wahabis in the Arab world to Shiite fundamentalists in Iran. (from “A Christian Plot for Domination?” by Michelle Goldberg)

More recently the Huffington Post published “5 Facts About Dominionism” by Daniel Burke, an article with a more balanced perspective. Even so, the article generated over 1600 comments, including ones like this:

The Religious Right do NOT want a state-spon­sored church, as they are sometimes accused of advocating­. But what they DO want is probably a lot worse.

What many want is for Biblical Law (primarily Leviticus) to be legislated into the US penal code. That means, for example, that anyone that doesn’t profess Evangelica­l Christiani­ty as his or her religion would be executed. The same punishment would apply to gays, working on the “sabbath,” adultery, disobedien­t children, gluttony, and many other offenses.

Don’t be fooled when they say they don’t want a state church, because that’s just a cover for what they really do want.

Or how about this:

Keep your god out of my Government­.

The First Amendment of the Constituti­on. I would defend it to the death.

[That would be the amendment that guarantees freedom of religion, if memory serves me correctly.]

The point is this. False teaching flying the flag of Christianity doesn’t turn society against the false teaching or the small niche from which it comes. It turns society against God and against “Evangelical Christianity.”

Can genuine persecution be far behind?

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Published in: on October 18, 2011 at 6:20 pm  Comments (6)  
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6 Comments

  1. Becky,
    You are right, regarding the few bad apples. We are blessed, though, with a solution!
    What we always find fighting ignorance best is truth, particularly in schools, and especially in teacher preparatory schools, where it will trickle down to the everyday student, I mean, citizen.

    Krsuchev promised, in chilling tones, “We will bury you!” “We will destroy you from within!” After his death, cohorts followed his lead, first, taking over Hollywood, (despite principled men like Ronald Reagan,) to make it fashionable to espouse socialism.

    Then, socialists were planted in the universities across the land, and students suddenly participated in phenomena such as bombings and shouts of “God is dead!”

    Today, after the populace has been desensitized and re-programmed by millions of viewings of anti-God material, why are we surprised that children, who have never attended Sunday School on a regular basis, or had a class on the Biblical origins of our country, have grown up to believe nonsense?

    We are their hope!

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  2. Becky,

    You wrote: “False teaching flying the flag of Christianity doesn’t turn society against the false teaching or the small niche from which it comes. It turns society against God and against ‘Evangelical Christianity.'”

    True! And your question is good: “Can genuine persecution be far behind?”

    Just finished listening to Brannon Howse and Chris Pinto, discussing ‘Dominionism’ and the affects of the endorsement of Rick Perry for Republic candidate for president by the evangelical pastor Robert Jeffress. If you haven’t heard this, you can listen online. It’s enlightening.

    Having been warned by the Lord that the world will hate us, we expect to be targets. We’re not of the world but have been chosen out of it. Our message—that is, what should be our message—of repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ is odious to it. However, when groups that call themselves Christian speak or behave thoughtlessly or hatefully, without considering the whole counsel of God, the target on our back gets huge. It’s unfair to the rest of us, but I know you’ll agree we must try to set the record straight—as you have here—forgive, and major on the Gospel. Because of the Lord, this has to result in the Church getting stronger and being more certain about who it is and what its message is.

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  3. […] was so clearly illustrated in the articles about dominionism and the responses from readers which I cited yesterday, has far reaching effects. I’ve been slow to recognize that Christians, like someone standing […]

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  4. Peggy, I agree that the best way to combat this kind of thing is Truth. I may do a post on this because I think the Truth we need to be passionate about is who Jesus is and who He makes us to be as a result of our relationship with Him. We can’t be accused of trying to take over the world if we agree that Jesus’s kingdom is not of this world and passionately go about turning hearts to Him rather than governments to a caricature of His way.

    When I was growing up, there was an opt-repeated statement floating around — you can’t legislate morality. Well, as a matter of fact, you can. We legislate against murder and stealing and abuse and much more — moral issues. But what we can’t legislate is changed hearts, and that’s what it takes for people to be in joyful obedience to God our Savior. That’s the only thing that matters because it involves people’s eternal destinations.

    May we as believers stand up more for Jesus.

    Becky

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  5. Maria, excellent comment. So right on. Our primary job is to proclaim Christ, not speak against anyone else. We don’t need to scurry around trying to put out cultural fires. We need to love God and our neighbors. We need to fix our eyes on Jesus. We need to make disciples. The church needs to be the church without apology.

    We aren’t going to get the attention of, say, an Occupy Wall Street, but we need to be bold — not militant — about our love for Jesus and how He directs our paths. As others see our good works, then, and only then, will they glorify God.

    Becky

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  6. […] it be fun to try and get media attention by just these kinds of acts of love? I wonder how those who say hateful things about Christians would resolve their concept of Christianity with the picture of Christians giving generously of […]

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