The Church under assault

When the New Testament Church started, it was seen as a threat by the governing officials in Rome. These new “Christians” did not give proper honor or respect (read “unconditional loyalty”) to the empire.  All states — be they ancient Rome or the modern nation states — are completely irrational in the protection of their own power. Anyone who does not express what the state deems as “appropriate” loyalty is immediately suspect. This is why the early church was persecuted. Those first Christians did not regard Caesar as Lord — that title was reserved solely for Christ Jesus. The mere fact that these Christians regarded anyone or anything as higher than Caesar was a real problem for Rome.

They were dealt with.

Fast forward to the 21st century. Today, many of our brothers and sisters in Christ are being “dealt with” by states who view them as threats. In China house churches are being “cleaned up.” Christians are forced to promise not to meet during the Olympics so they do not embarrass China. Or they can go to prison — their choice.

In Saudi Arabia Christians are simply being deported.

In both cases we need to lift our brethren to God in prayer. They struggle with persecution most of us have never had to face. On the other hand, the church in America faces a threat much more subtle than those in China and Saudi Arabia. One, I believe, that is far more serious. Jim Fedako explains.

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About Chip
Chip is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, TN. He served more than five years on the staff of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana as Director of Communications and Public Relations, editor of the Indiana Baptist newsjournal, and regular contributor to the Baptist Press, the official news service of the Southern Baptist Convention. He currently earns his living as a writer. He serves his local church as a teacher and deacon and his local Baptist Association as a Seminary Extension instructor and supply preacher.

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