Category Archives: persecution
In recent weeks the evangelical world has found itself reeling from cultural setbacks it once took for granted. The re-election of President Obama, state passage of “gay marriage” initiatives, the uninviting of Louie Gigglio to the Inauguration, and even last night’s Super Bowl have signaled to some that Christians and Christianity have lost their welcome place in the public square. For the first time, some evangelical conservatives feel like an oppressed minority in the country.
As I’ve watched the chatter mixed with laments and jeremiads, I couldn’t help but think of Jerry Falwell’s “Moral Majority,” founded in the late 70’s and defunct by the late 80’s. For nearly a decade, the Moral Majority exercised its political voice largely in southern states.
It seems to me that the very notion of a “moral majority” rested on two assumptions that some evangelicals no longer find tenable. First, it assumed the basic morality of most of the country. It assumed basic “Judeo-Christian principles” shaped and framed the moral reasoning of the average citizen, making your “average Joe” basically friendly to the aims and concerns of conservative Christians. Second, it assumed privilege. The very notion of “majority” suggests strength in numbers, a perch from which to rule for no other reason than outnumbering one’s opponents. The last couple months have upturned both of those long-standing assumptions and some evangelicals find themselves at a loss for how to handle it, claiming to be “persecuted,” “rejected,” and “shut out” from the public square. Many who …
A couple days ago I linked to the Matthew Parris article warning Christians not to be too chummy with the defenses of Christianity offered by non-Christian critics. It was a thoughtful piece and since reading it I’ve come across a couple related things that help you to see his point.
First, there’s this video and article at CNN from atheist Alain de Botton advocating what he calls “Atheism 2.0.” de Botton has grown tired of the old strident atheism that chucks out everything having to do with religion. He says that atheism 2.0 should, of course, reject the silly notion of there being a God, but culture needs all the things that religion provides that makes us feel good–Christmas carols and preaching, for example. Let’s keep the feel-good trappings and utilize the effect things like preaching for an atheist cause, but waive our hands at any serious notion of God existing. De Botton writes:
God may be dead, but the urgent issues which impelled us to make him up still stir and demand resolutions which do not go away when we have been nudged to perceive some scientific inaccuracies in the tale of the seven loaves and fishes.
The error of modern atheism has been to overlook how many sides of the faiths remain relevant even after their central tenets have been dismissed. Once we cease to feel that we must either prostrate ourselves before them or denigrate them, we are free to discover religions as a repository of occasionally …
JT posted this over at Between Two Worlds. Let’s indeed join together in prayer for the saints. May Samuel’s perspective be our own: “As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you” (1 Sam. 12:23).
A convicting plea from Eric Ortlund:
Dear Friends -I find I far too often tell people I’ll pray for them and then forget about it. I’m asking you not to be like me after reading this post. I’m sure some of you have heard about the persecution in India, in the northern province of Orissa – about 50,000 Christians have had to flee their homes under persecution by extreme Hindus. Churches have been burned and Christians have been tortured and martyred for their faith in Jesus. I’m asking everyone who reads this to pray frequently for these Christians, with whom we’ll be spending the rest of eternity – and to pray for their persecutors, that, like Paul, they’d see the light.
No corner of the Internet is really private, and one has to be careful about what one says; but the situation in India is no secret, so I think it’s OK to talk about it here. The sitaution in Mosul, a city in Northern Iraq across the Euphrates from Ninevah, is no secret either – 1300 Christians have been forced to flee, often entire families, under persecution. Christians have been martyred here as well. See this article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7671609.stm
I got an email …