Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 1 Peter 4:12
Above is a guy who is quite well known in the US – Phil Robertson from the Television show “Duck Dynasty”. He and and his family have since the inception of their show been up front about their Christian faith, and never shy about sharing the Gospel. Now we see this week Phil has run afoul of the worldly powers that be who have decided it is not permissible to say a critical word about homosexuality.
The interesting thing about this story – from comments I’ve seen from Phil in the past, I don’t think he really cares that he was taken off the show, but this illustrates a growing trend in the US and across the world that we need to be aware of and watching.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but this week I kept seeing a theme repeating itself over and over. Christians are no long being allowed to follow the commands of scripture without risking prosecution or great civil liablities.
COLORADO JUDGE: Bakery Owner Discriminated Against Gay Couple By Refusing To Bake Wedding Cake
In Colorado – a bakery is being told they MUST make a cake for a homosexual wedding that goes against their Christian beliefs.
The above story was a hoax perpetrated by a misguided homosexual activist seeking attention. The most troublesome part was the family accused responded by gushing over how supportive they were of gays in order to dispute the story. What if this had happened to a bible-believing Christian couple? Would the media have believed them or would they now be facing discrimination charges or a lawsuit of some kind – all due to an evil self-serving hoax.
Outside of these stories, American businesses are being forced to adopt secularized values and reject the Christian beliefs of their owners or shareholders:
The US Supreme Court has taken up this case, and I believe we expect to hear a ruling on it and several related cases sometime next Spring. I am not hopeful that they will support the rights of people in business to have and express Christian beliefs in their place of business. This will continue to put a chilling effect on Christian speech and further marginalize those who claim the name of Jesus as savior both culturally and economically.
In the UK the story is much the same with this result earlier this year:
So did we know this was coming – Yes.
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.” John 15:18
“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, ” 2 Timothy 3:12
I think it is a surprise though to many in the west especially in lukewarm churches that there will be a cost to truly following Jesus. I expect the trend continue among the lukewarm, as they are spat out of the Lord’s mouth that they will turn even farther from biblical faith and reject the true Christ of the Gospel.
But as adopted Sons and Daughters of the most high – even though trouble is coming we need not fear.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only look with your eyes
and see the recompense of the wicked.
Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place—
the Most High, who is my refuge—
no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
no plague come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the adder;
the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.
When he calls to me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
(Psalm 91 ESV)