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Persecution Or Not?

March 4, 2013

Are Christians being persecuted in the UK? Well, I think that depends on the definition of “persecution”. We are not being executed, imprisoned or tortured for our faith; but it seems that it is getting harder to live as a Christian and be allowed to let your faith make a difference in your life outside church.

But obviously, being a follower of Jesus will – must – make a difference in my life outside of church! That’s what non-believers struggle to understand. This is what one non-believer thinks about it:

Christians call it “Persecution” when they are not allowed to muck around in real-life legislation that determines the laws we all have to live by. … All they want is the freedom to tell everybody they’re going to Hell, the freedom to make everybody who is not a Christian do what Christians want them to do, and freedom to keep non-Christians from doing things Christians do not like.

Strong words… should Christians be allowed to influence the law with Christian values? That really depends on whether Christianity is true! If the God of the Bible is the true God, and his norms are valid for the entire universe, not just the Christian church, then we do have a duty to try and help our nation adopt godly laws, even if not everybody likes them.

On the other hand, if the UK is no longer a Christian country – and I think it’s getting very difficult to argue that it is – we shouldn’t expect to have the kind of influence the church once had. And in that situation, our main concern should maybe not be “to make everybody … do what Christians want them to do” or even “to keep non-Christians from doing things Christians do not like”. Our main concern should be to help people get to know Jesus for themselves. We can’t expect a non-believer to live by biblical standards; first they have to get to know the Standard-setter!

However, I believe that in any society, Christian or not, we should have the right “to tell everybody they’re going to Hell” (although I’d rather tell everybody how to avoid going to hell), just as Muslims have the right to preach the Qur’an and hippies the Age of Aquarius. Freedom to live by your chosen faith, and freedom to share that faith with others, must surely still be a human right to be upheld by any society – and that’s something we have to keep fighting for, even if one day it does lead to outright persecution.

 

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From → Christianity, Faith

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