Are American Christians Ready for Persecution?

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Dr. Michael Brown

When you think of the atrocities committed during the French Revolution, one word immediately comes to mind: guillotine. This grisly practice of beheading political opponents reached epidemic levels during the Reign of Terror, with estimates ranging from just a few thousand to as many as 17,000 who lost their heads. To this day, the image of this tool of execution, which was last used in France in 1977, sends a clear message: Your head could be next!

That’s why it was quite striking when protesters in the so-called autonomous zone in Seattle, first called CHAZ (Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone), then CHOP (Capitol Hill Organized [or Occupied] Protest), brought out a guillotine to send their own message. As Al Perrotta explained on The Stream on June 24, 2020:

Last week, leftists from CHAZ … uh, CHOP … migrated over to Seattle Police Department’s West District.

According to the Seattle Times, a speaker said “It is not CHAZ, it is CHOP,” then gave the gathered hordes a history quiz.

“Has anybody here ever heard of the French Revolution before? That is another revolution (that happened) because people started putting property over lives! They started putting money over people! Does anyone here know what happened to the people who did not get on board with the French Revolution?”

“Chopped!” the crowd replied. Again. And again.

“That is the message we need to send! We are serious! This is not a joke!”

As noted in the fourth point of Krystina Skurk’s July 31, 2020, The Federalist article, “4 French Revolution Trends That Have Started in The United States”:

To say the French Revolution was hostile towards religion is an understatement. Church property was nationalized, tithing was outlawed, church authorities were made employees of the state, and 30,000 priests were exiled. …

Traditional religion in the United States has also come under attack by the modern radical left. And, while things haven’t yet got to the level of the French Revolution, the current anti-Christian climate does not bode well for the future.

That’s why I tweeted on Aug. 1, 2020, “First they burned the federal buildings, then they burned the churches, now they’re burning Bibles. Rather than asking ‘What is next?’ we should ask, ‘Who is next?’ Yes, the real question was not “What are they coming after next?” but “Who are they coming after next?”

Just a few days later, these same Portland protesters set fire to the police precinct, with policemen still inside. In response, Mayor Wheeler said, “You are attempting to commit murder.” Murder indeed. It was for good reason that I referred back to my Aug. 1 tweet in the Aug. 4 article, “Then They Burned the Bibles.” That’s also why I ended the article with these words: “Let the reader be warned.” I was doing my best to sound the alarm.

To be sure, no one was attempting to behead Christians (or others) during these riots, and there were even brave gospel preachers who waded into the riot zones in different cities, sharing hope and life through the gospel. We also know that much of the anger in these cities was directed at the police in particular, not at religious conservatives. But, as I stated, there was a reason Bibles were burned in Portland. And there was a reason guillotines were put on public display. The message was loud and clear: “We hate your God, we hate your book, we hate you, and we are not playing games.”

A View From the Frontlines of the Persecuted Church Worldwide

I’m quite aware, of course, that our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world are literally being beheaded. I’m aware that they are dying all kinds of horrific deaths and being exposed to unimaginable torture simply because they believe in Jesus. Others have had their children taken from them, others have been imprisoned, and still others have lost their jobs and all their income. Yet they stand strong in their faith despite this horrific persecution, be it in Nigeria or Afghanistan or India or China or North Korea.

Some of my dearest friends outside the U.S. are on the front lines of this very real battle, facing death threats on a regular basis. Yet they continue to preach and proclaim, all the while, here in America, we compromise our convictions and water down our message because we don’t want to be unfriended on social media. What a scandal! Our brothers and sisters overseas are willing to lose their lives for Jesus, while we are not willing to lose our “likes” for Him here. Something is terribly wrong.

With an attitude like this, there’s no way we could stand strong if major, sustained, physical persecution hit our country in the days to come. As the Lord said to Jeremiah after the prophet buckled in the face of persecution from his own family, “If racing against mere men makes you tired, how will you race against horses? If you stumble and fall on open ground, what will you do in the thickets near the Jordan?” (Jer. 12:5, NLT). In other words, if threats from your own family cause you to cower and complain (see Jer. 11:18–23), what will you do when the establishment comes against you—including priests and princes and other prophets? And if you’re struggling in your little hometown of Anathoth, how are you going to make it in a big city like Jerusalem?

Now is the time for each of us to gain some courage and backbone, proving faithful in the little things before the real tests come. Now is the time for us to stand up and speak up before the day comes when it may actually cost us our lives to obey the Lord. Now is the time to come to God with all our frailty and fear and say, “Lord, make Your strength perfect through my weakness!” (See 2 Cor. 12:8–10 and Eph. 6:10.) {eoa}

Silencing Lambs
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Michael L. Brown, PhD, is founder and president of AskDrBrown Ministries and president of FIRE School of Ministry. The author of more than 35 books, he is also the host of the nationally syndicated daily talk radio show The Line of Fire, as well as the host of shows on GOD TV, NRBTV and METV. His syndicated columns appear on many leading websites, and his scholarly publications range from biblical commentaries to articles in Semitic journals and theological dictionaries. He has served as an adjunct or visiting professor at seven leading seminaries and has debated gay activists, agnostic professors and Orthodox rabbis on university campuses.

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