When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, dbut continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.

Posted: December 14, 2017 in Uncategorized

This is a sticky question. If I give a Christian answer or an answer from scripture, I will be accused of preaching (Jon Hill’s answer to Do people hate Trump?). If I keep it “secular”, no answer would make any sense!

Since I have yet to be reprimanded by Quora admin for “preaching”, I will go ahead and give what I believe to be a reason from scripture.

One problem is that it depends on what you mean by “unite”. We ARE united with our persecuted Christian brothers and sisters around the world in prayer, financial contributions and assistance, and pressure on our government to in turn put pressure (i.e. sanctions) on nations that persecute Christians or which do not prosecute people who do. These are the limits of what we can do, though. If, however, you mean to unite in violent retribution for persecution, I’m afraid that that is diametrically opposed to the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Apostles! Sure, there are some “Christians” who do take vengeance, some of them will even do it—and worse—“in the name of Jesus”! But this does not make their actions Christian or defensible. A Christian who exacts vengeance, forces conversion, or commits any number of crimes against humanity as have been committed “in Christ’s name”, has to violate the very teachings of his faith in order to do so! It would be like chowing down on a suckling pig and chasing it with a bottle of vodka “in the name of Islam”!

The other problem, if you wish to call it that—and many American evangelicals don’t really like to hear this—is that persecution for a Christian is a blessing, not a curse! “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:10:12); “Not only that, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance…” (Romans 5:3); “For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for Him…” (Philippians 1:29) This verse actually says our suffering for Jesus is a gift! “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” (James 1:2–3); “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (2 Timothy 3:12–13) (All emphases are mine)

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Persecution in the early church was a part of life. Roman emperors would often require subjects to worship them; if they did not, horrible punishments would await. “No Roman was more ruthless than Nero when it came to the persecution of Christians. He did not just kill Christians; he wanted to make them suffer first. Nero enjoyed dipping the Christians in wax before impaling them on poles around his palace and lighting them on fire, yelling sarcastically, ‘Now, you truly are the light of the world!’

“Nero used the Circus Maximus for some of his most gruesome murders. In that massive stadium he would have Christians wrapped in animal skins and thrown to lions or dogs that would then tear them apart in front of thousands of entertained spectators. At other times he would crucify them and after the crowd would get bored, set the Christians on fire.” (Spectators in the Circus Maximus)

We are to have the mind and attitude of Jesus Christ, as difficult as it may be for the “world” to grasp: “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.” (1 Peter 2:23)

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