It is undeniable that the last few years have been increasingly difficult for Christians and Christian ministries in North America. The violation of our freedoms is real, and hostility towards us seems to be growing day by day. But now is not the time to feel sorry for ourselves. Not a moment.
Instead, it’s time to take heart. To stay strong. Say, “Here I am, Lord! We were called to the front for a time like this.
I know well the Christians of our continent who went to prison because of their religious and moral beliefs. And I am fully aware of the daily attempts to cancel us.
But how many of us have been beheaded for our faith? Or burnt alive at the stake? Or tortured for years in an underground cell?
We do well to keep a healthy outlook.
Earlier this year, I wrote about a 16-year-old pastor in northern India who led prayer meetings in his home and shared his faith with others in his village.
As a result, he was threatened by local religious radicals, but he refused to back down. So they threw acid at him, severely burning 85% of his body, leaving him in agony and near death.
My friends in India helped cover some of her hospital bills. (In fact, some of you also helped to help him.) But eventually, he died of his burns several weeks later, in terrible pain before leaving this world.
And what did local Christian leaders do in response? Did they go underground? Have they renounced their faith, lest they suffer the same dreadful fate?
Not at all. Instead, they were encouraged to preach the gospel to their communities.
It is the power of the Gospel. Even death, torture and acid burns cannot stop it.
One of my colleagues is an elderly single woman serving the poorest of the poor in Africa, giving them education and hope for the future.
A few years ago, when Islamic terrorists from a neighboring country invaded her area, local Christians insisted that she return to America. It was just too dangerous for her to be there.
Then COVID came along and she couldn’t come back until a few months ago.
She emailed me last week saying, “It’s time to [that country] send their terrorists. If they hit [my city] again, I don’t move. This is how I got stuck in the States the last time! Merry Christmas!”
So says an older single woman!
I can assure you that facing deadly terrorists is far scarier than being misrepresented on social media. And slowly dying of acid burns is far more horrible than losing our tax-exempt status. This is a wake-up call, my friends!
Of course we should oppose government tyranny and resist the takeover of Big Tech and others. And U.S should do all we can, legally and constitutionally, to preserve our hard-earned freedoms.
But whatever we do, let’s not feel sorry for ourselves. We still have much more freedom than the vast majority of Christians in the world. And we have absolutely more influence and more doors of open communication than any generation of believers in history.
So let’s be up to the occasion. Let’s take fasting and prayer and share our faith and stand up for righteousness like never before. And let’s leave our mark on the world, in the name of Jesus. Otherwise, why are we here?
When Paul faced challenges from the so-called “super apostles,” referring to the leaders of superstars who were misleading the flock, he decided to do something crazy. He decided to brag.
But he did not boast of his glorious accomplishments, of which there were many. Instead, he bragged about his weaknesses, in particular, the many times he had suffered for Jesus the Messiah. Compared to these seemingly awesome false apostles, his life was marked by “much larger labors, much more imprisonment, with countless beatings and often near death.”
He continued, “Five times I received the forty blows minus one from the Jews. I was beaten three times with sticks. I was stoned once. Three times I was shipwrecked; one night and one day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, danger of rivers, danger of thieves, danger of my own people, danger of Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger of false brethren; in toil and misery, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure ”(2 Corinthians 11: 23b-27).
And do we get discouraged when we are not friends? Or when FB and Twitter treat us unfairly? Or when the government passes a discriminatory law? Courage my brothers and sisters!
My last book, The Silence of the Lambs: The Disturbing Rise of Canceled Culture and How We Can Overcome It is due out on March 1 and I think its theme will be extremely relevant as we head into 2022.
Yet when I first started writing, I intended to spend most of the book documenting the oncoming attack, focusing in the last two chapters on powerful strategies by which we could overcome the attack. resistance and reverse the trend.
But as I wrote, exposing the harsh realities and the very real dangers of cancellation culture, I felt a victory note rise. So after spending 8 chapters documenting the challenges, I devoted 12 chapters to strategizing for victory. In Jesus the wind can be reversed!
So, as Jesus said, do not fear those who can kill our bodies but cannot touch our souls. Instead, let us fear the One who can destroy both body and soul in hell (see Matthew 10:28). A holy fear of God will drive out all other fears.
And so let us take a stand with boldness and faith, overcoming evil with good, hatred with love, lies with truth and violence with good.
As Jesus said to his disciples (and by extension to each of us who follow him): “I have said these things to you so that in me you may have peace. In the world you have difficulties and sufferings, but take heart: I have overcome the world ”(John 16:33). And that means we have also won.
So keep going. Countless millions of people await the life-giving message that we bring. Don’t flinch in the face of opposition.
Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationwide Line of Fire radio show. His latest book is Awakening or death: a great awakening is our only hope. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.