A marching band in Brandon MS wasn’t allowed to play at the half time of their football game last week because they wanted to How Great Thou Art. A federal judge had specifically ordered the school not to invoke the name of God in any school function.
Chick-Fil-A is kept out of the Denver Airport because city council members disagree with the Dan Cathy’s recent comments supporting traditional marriage, comments they say lead to discrimination by the whole company.
Christians are being persecuted at a quickening pace. Why does God even allow persecution in the first place? Here are three places to start:
1. We are in a spiritual war. There will be casualties. We aren’t in heaven yet. The Kingdom of God has not yet been fully realized here on earth. Satan is still the ruler of the kingdom of the air (Ephesians 2:2). We are still deep in enemy territory. We aren’t on a cruise ship; we’re on a battleship. This is war. There will be casualties.
2. Persecution refines our faith. For those of you who eat and breath football, you know that football players just finished intense summer workouts. Some call it “two a days” or “hell week.” The reason football players are put through such ‘persecution’ isn’t to punish them, it’s to prepare them. It makes them stronger. Gold is refined only when the hottest flames surround it. Persecution forces us off the fence and forces us to choose sides. Do we follow God because we truly believe in him or because it’s been convenient?
3. God sovereignly utilizes persecution to spread the gospel. Look at the book of Acts. Up until Acts 7, Christianity stayed localized in Jerusalem. But then persecution comes. “On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. . . Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.” (Acts 8:1,4). God is sovereign. He is using the changing climate in America to further spread His glory throughout the earth.
None of this makes persecution any easier, but hopefully it will help you see the bigger picture, and perhaps even the part God wants you to play in it.