Has persecution of Christians begun in earnest in America? You be the judge. Here are just a few samples of what is taking place in our land:
• Photographer Elaine Huguenin was ordered by the State of New Mexico to give a lesbian $7,000 for declining to photograph her sodomite unmarriage ceremony.
• Bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein were fined $150,000 by the State of Oregon for refusal to bake a cake for a sodomite unmarriage ceremony based on religious objections.
• A 70-year-old florist, Barronelle Stutzman, was fined by the State of Washington for not providing flowers for a sodomite unmarriage ceremony. Now her home and personal savings are at risk. The state and the plaintiffs propose to bankrupt her personally and the court has ruled that her personal property is available to execute any judgment. They intend to render her destitute in her old age.
The Book Undeniable is nearly 400 pages surveying in 2014 the Hostility to Christianity in America.
- The baker is Jack Phillips, who owns Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado. When he declined two sodomite's order to bake a cake celebrating sodomite unmarriage (though the men were welcome to buy any of the premade cakes off the shelf), they officially complained that Mr. Phillips violated Colorado's civil-rights law. A court ruled against him, ordering him and his employees to undergo government-approved "tolerance training," and also ordering him to bake cakes celebrating sodomite unmarriage for anyone who asks. If he refuses, he can go to jail — put behind bars — for contempt of court.
What should Jack Phillips do if faced with such a demand again? Should he obey the "government" of Colorado, or should he refuse and wind up in jail? The idea of persecution for our faith in Christ here in America is far from the thought of many Christians, but it should not be. If this rise of persecution continues, it will reach us. Now is the time to decide the price we are willing to pay to follow Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. The early disciples, as soon as the resurrection took place, were faced with this dilemma: do I continue following Christ, even though it may cost me everything, including my life? We know from the pages of Scripture what they did; they chose to follow Christ Jesus their Lord and face the persecution which engulfed them. In our responsive reading, we read some of the last words Jesus spoke to them. Let's take a look at that and see that those instructions given to them are clearly applicable to us.
The Great Commission - Matthew 28:16-20 "Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:
And, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen."
Here is the passage which is called the Great Commission; it is the marching orders for the church.
The task of making disciples is more difficult and takes more time and commitment than merely making converts. The lack of this job being done in our land today is why I believe we are in the terrible straits we are in as a nation. What if, for example, someone had truly discipled the nine lawyers in black who, on the 28th of this month, will hear arguments regarding the attempt to redefine God's Holy institution marriage. If they were truly disciple, they would have a Biblical worldview regarding the subject of marriage and of God's authorship of that Holy bond, as well as the impossibility of redefining Holy Matrimony. Yet, in both actions and statements that have already been made by the majority of those lawyers, it is indicated that, if they were to vote today, they would redefine marriage.
We need to intercede at the throne of heaven that God would change their minds. But we are at this impasse because discipleship has fallen off the radar for the church of Jesus Christ. And, of course, we need to reflect that it all begins with us in our own lives as disciples of Jesus Christ. We need to ask ourselves how we are doing—are we growing? Are we deepening our walk with the Lord?
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