Real PersecutionDecember 22, 2007
Recently I argued that some American Christians are much too quick to claim they are being persecuted. Alan Stanford, General Secretary for the North American Baptist Fellowship, has a column in the Baptist Standard that does a great job of dealing with this issue. He argues:
When Jesus spoke in the Sermon on the Mount about persecution, it is unlikely he was thinking about the minor disagreements, slights and insults we experience in America today. John the Baptist was beheaded, and Jesus was nailed to a cross "for righteousness sake." Many in today's world face equally harsh persecution for their faith.Stanford then mentions several cases of real persecution that Baptists in other countries have experienced. He concludes:
So, perhaps we do an injustice to our forebearers in the faith and those Christians in more than 40 nations today who face imprisonment, violent persecution and even death by casually using the word "persecution" to describe the minor slights and insults we face.Amen! It is insulting when we in America whine about what we experience when in reality we are very blessed. It is time to count our many blessings (and name them one by one) instead of complaining. Let us also pray for our brothers and sisters around the world who experience real persecution.