Why aren’t more Christian Ministers being persecuted in America this election?


      “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves.Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues [temples, churches].”  —Matthew 10:16-17

by Kevin Stoda, Oman

Why aren’t local ministers in America standing up and being persecuted more by their local congregation?

Last week, our minister spoke on the passage above and reminded the congregation that throughout the Book of Acts and the New Testament, we see that the followers of Christ were ready to go out like sheep to packs of wolves.  This minister comes from Pakistan and knows a lot about persecution, from within and from outside the church. Importantly, in the scripture from Matthew above, Jesus states that the persecution that would be most painful for his disciples or followers would be the punishment given to Christians by those of one’s own community, especially one’s religious community.

In the persecutions of the apostles and disciples of Christ in the Book of Acts [e.g. Acts: 9:23-25, Acts:6:8-15 or Acts 19], we observe that whether it was Greek merchants who lost money on a slave to the healing power of the disciples or commercce agents, like in Ephesus who lost money in the idol market punishment was awaiting those true believers and witnesses of the New Gospel message.  It did not matter if their community was Jewish, Greek, Roman or all-of-the-above.

After hearing the message that Sunday here in Oman, my thoughts immediately turned to my home country, the USA, where I could at that moment only recall one major Christian  minister of the last year who wrote and spoke loudly about the need for Christians to refrain from supporting Donald Trump.  This was Max Lucado of Texas who has written many of my favorite Christian books, like  Facing Your Giants or Before AMEN.

In February of this year, Lucado created a stir by writing in his blog: DECENCY FOR PRESIDENT , in which Lucado made many points against supporting Donald Trump.

white_house_full_mast

The Chistian message of Pastor Lucado was simply: “We appreciate decency. We applaud decency. We teach decency. We seek to develop decency. Decency matters, right? Then why isn’t decency doing better in the presidential race? The leading Republican candidate to be the next leader of the free world would not pass my decency interview. I’d send him away.”

Lucado added, ” I don’t know Mr. Trump. But I’ve been chagrined at his antics. He ridiculed a war hero. He made a mockery of a reporter’s menstrual cycle. He made fun of a disabled reporter. He referred to the former first lady, Barbara Bush as “mommy,’ and belittled Jeb Bush for bringing her on the campaign trail. He routinely calls people ‘stupid,’ and ‘dummy.’ One writer catalogued sixty-four occasions that he called someone ‘loser’ These were not off-line, backstage, overheard, not-to-be-repeated comments. They were publicly and intentionally tweeted, recorded, and presented.”

The bottom line for Christian readers across the lands from Lucado’s message was: “Such insensitivities wouldn’t be acceptable even for a middle school student body election. But for the Oval Office? And to do so while brandishing a Bible and boasting of his Christian faith?

Because I read Lucado’s writings, I was proud of the man, but I still observed far too many so-called people in my so-called Christian nation falling far from the mark and landing in Trumps lap or  even in his enterouge.

To be sure, some other christians, Jews and leaders of a variety of churches and faiths at the national level in the USA have since spoken out agains Trump in even stronger language this 2016.  For example, in April  a variety of Major Faith Leaders Declared Trump ‘Racist, Bigoted, and Hateful’.  That same “group of high-profile Christian leaders has published a lengthy statement passionately condemning Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, calling his campaign message ‘contrary to our Christian values’ and condemning his bombastic rhetoric as ‘racist, bigoted, and hateful.’”  NOTE: The statement is housed on the website calledtoresist.org, dedicates more than 2,000 words to decrying Trump’s candidacy.

By June 2016, Max Lucado had been joined by a handful of other evangelical christian leaders. Religious News Service ran an article entitled, 7 conservative Christians who are not supporting Trump.  The author of the piece noted, “Perhaps no evangelical leader has been more outspoken in opposition to Trump than Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

A demonstrator holds a sign against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump outside his campaign rally in Sacramento, Calif., on June 1, 2016. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Stephen Lam *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-TRUMP-OPPONENTS, originally transmitted on June 21, 2016.

One Trump retort on Twitter has called Moore “a terrible representative of Evangelicals and all of the good they stand for. A nasty guy with no heart!”  NOTE: Hey, America, isn’t Trump the nasty guy with no apparent heart?

Then, in July, Huffington Post noted that there did seem to be a growing divide between national leaders of  evangelical churches and those in the rank and file in America. The religious editor extrapolated, “Rank and file white evangelicals, who make up one-fifth of all registered voters in the U.S., have in fact rallied in favor of the reality TV star-turned-presidential candidate. But a number of high profile evangelical leaders have spoken out against Trump’s campaign, policies, and tactics in recent months.”

The bottom line for most Christian leaders in their opposition to Trump harks back to the roots of practicing Christianity in the New Testament.  The leaders explain that Trump’s policies and actions don’t reflect Christian values.” Moroever, in “the past, Trump has appeared unfamiliar with scripture ― even though memorizing Bible verses is a common and encouraged practice among Christians. And he’s claimed he’s never asked God for forgiveness― an act that is an essential element of Christian theology. ”

Meanwhile, as an aside, I should note that one ” Pew Research Center study suggested that although 78 percent of white evangelical voters say they’d cast their ballots for Trump if the election were held today, about 55 percent of that group say they are dissatisfied with the choice of presidential candidates.”  To me, this implies that that many rank-and-file ministers are either siding witht their run-amok congregations or worse: they are being silent when the lamb must speak up to the wolves who have taken over their community. (Some christian leaders do cop-out and say the election is not about Trump but only about who choses the next Supreme Court Justices.)

What is going on here in the tiny and mid-sized churches across America then?  Are the parisheners following the lead of their minister or opposing the minister?  I was back in the USA early this September and I could not hear nor see  a whiff of local ministers being railroaded out of town for speaking against Trump or their congregations of folks, i.e. who intend to vote for Trump, being called into  a brotherly discussion (in a chistian family discussion) of any sort.  I call all ministers to speak up loudly and make it clear in their preaching, teaching, and discussions that voting for Trump is not in support of God by any means.

Where is the persecution of evangelical ministers America?  Some of the best evangelical and conservative leaders across the land are speaking out against Trump.  These leaders are eveidentally being  ignored on the homefront.  Ok, that happens, the masses reject their national leaders. However, what are the rank-and-file ministers doing?  Are they siding with the national evangelical leadership and advocating that character and decency for president need to be of a Christian nature–or are the local ministers siding with their congregation?

Have all the sheep and shepherds in America been hog-tied by their membership?  This past September in American I  should have been able to hear a chorus of ministers in every small village leading the wolves in their community back onto the right path.  Otherwise, I would have expected to see the signs of persecution of the ministers en masse as the wolves tear the heads off the poor sheep for telling them not to Vote for a non-christian like Trump.

Image result for tar and feathering minister

 

NOTES

 

Persecution of Christians can be traced historically based on the biblical account of Jesus in the first century of the Christian era to the present time. … During World War II members of some Christianchurches were persecuted in Nazi Germany for resisting Nazi ideology.

Persecution of Christians – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Christians

Wikipedia

Persecution of Christians can be traced historically based on the biblical account of Jesus in the first century of the Christian era to the present time. … During World War II members of some Christian churches were persecuted in Nazi Germany for resisting Nazi ideology.

Persecution of Christians Worldwide – Open Doors – Open Doors USA

https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christianpersecution/

Open Doors USA

Learn how to pray and support those who are being persecuted for their beliefs in the world’s most oppressive countries.


World Watch List, Where Christian Persecution Is Worst | Open Doors …

https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christianpersecution/wo…

Open Doors USA

Take a look at our official World Watch List report, which lists the 50 worst countries in regards to Christian Persecution. See where Christian persecution is the …

Christian persecution reached record high in 2015 – CNN.com

http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/17/world/christianpersecution-2015/

CNN

Jan 17, 2016 – Last year was the most violent for Christians in modern history, according to a new report by Open Doors USA, a watchdog group that …

Persecution in the Early Church: Did You Know? | Christian History

www.christianitytoday.com/…/persecution-in-early-churc…

Christianity Today

Persecution did not begin with the Roman authorities. The New Testament writings tell of fratricidal strife between Jews and Christians, the latter challenging the …

Christians flee growing persecution in Africa and Middle East | World …

http://www.theguardian.com › World › Christianity

The Guardian

Jan 12, 2016 – Millions escaped countries such as Nigeria, Eritrea, Syria and Iraq in 2015, according to charity.

Muslim Persecution of Christians | – Raymond Ibrahim

Exposing Christian suffering under Islam, the ongoing continuation of Crucified Again.

The Voice of the Martyrs

https://www.persecution.com/

Voice of the Martyrs

A non-profit, interdenominational organization with a vision for aiding Christians around the world who are being persecuted for their faith in Christ.

Current persecution trends – Serving Persecuted Christians Worldwide …

http://www.opendoorsuk.org/persecution/trends.php

Open Doors

The stark fact is this: globally, persecution of Christians is increasing. For millions of Christians around the world, 2015 has been a ‘year of fear’, so they need our …

Christian Persecution – Huffington Post

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/christianpersecution/

The Huffington Post

Christian Persecution. Page: 1 2 3 … Christian Persecution Is a Self-Inflicted Fallacy. Dale Hansen | Posted … 5 Practical Ways to Help Persecuted Christians.

 

 

About eslkevin

I am a peace educator who has taken time to teach and work in countries such as the USA, Germany, Japan, Nicaragua, Mexico, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman over the past 4 decades.
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5 Responses to Why aren’t more Christian Ministers being persecuted in America this election?

  1. eslkevin says:

    1 Peter 4:19
    Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right

  2. eslkevin says:

    Dear Kevin,

    A new group calling itself the “American Evangelical Association” is generating headlines with a letter attacking Faithful America.

    Signed by dozens of Donald Trump’s biggest supporters on the religious right, it makes a wild series of accusations against Christian social-justice leaders and organizations.

    The letter names Faithful America alongside Sojourners’ Jim Wallis and evangelical creation-care advocate Rich Cizik, and claims that our activism has contributed to “a growth industry trafficking in human baby organs,” “violent inner-city lawlessness,” and “increasing drugs, disease, crime, gangs, and terrorism.”

    The charges are bizarre, but the letter’s signers – several of whom have been named by the Trump campaign as official advisors and endorsers – have a clear mission: Delegitimizing Christians who dare to challenge Trump’s politics of fear and hatred.

    With barely a month left before Election Day, polls show that Trump continues to hold a double-digit lead among white Christians, and too many Christian leaders have been intimidated into silence.

    With no buildings, denominations, or charitable tax status to protect, Faithful America is free to take on the Christians who are baptizing Trump’s heinous agenda. But we need your support to do it.

    Donate to Faithful America

    The full letter is almost eight pages long, but here’s an abridged version and some of the most significant signers:

    “An Open Letter to Christian pastors, leaders and believers who assist the anti-Christian Progressive political movement in America”

    After years of earnest but less public attempts, it is now with heavy hearts, and a hope for justice and restoration, that we Christian leaders urge ‘progressive’ evangelicals and Catholics to repent of their work that often advances a destructive liberal political agenda. We write as true friends knowing that most believers mean well. We desire the best for you and for the world God loves.

    As recent leaked documents confirm, and as Rev. Jim Wallis of Sojourners eventually admitted, wealthy, anti-Christian foundations, following the lead of billionaire George Soros’s Open Society Foundation, fund and “rent” Christian ministers as “mascots” serving as surprising validators for their causes. The consequent realities include injury to countless people, the Church, the family, nation and the global Church including many martyrs.

    We must reclaim the Church’s witness in the world. Biblical truth and wisdom are the highest love for human beings. While God loves justice and mercy for all, many “social justice” campaigns are politically crafted and not the true Gospel. Only the truth of our sin, both personal and systemic, and Jesus’ atoning sacrifice for our salvation and rebirth, is true hope for persons and nations. The gospel charges all things with hope.

    Consider some of the consequences of Progressive political activism over the past eight years:

    1. A growth industry trafficking in human baby organs and body parts – funded and defended by the Democratic Party.

    2. The abandonment of a biblical view of marriage that protected and liberated children and adults from centuries of pagan slavery, poverty, polygamy and non-life-giving sexuality.

    3. The Transgender agenda imposed by Obama-government edict, including gender re-education to be forced on our citizens, businesses, schools, military and churches.

    4. Doubling of our national debt, economic stagnation and increased welfare dependency.

    5. Increased minority unemployment, poverty and violent inner city lawlessness, with an accompanying loss of opportunity, self-determination and family stability.

    6. Heightened racial division and tension, and the growing phenomenon of paid demonstrators being recruited and dispatched to instigate protests that often become riots.

    7. Open borders and ‘sanctuary’ cities increasing drugs, disease, crime, gangs and terrorism.

    8. Forced refugee resettlement in hundreds of American cities without citizen consent, mandated by the federal government in collusion with the United Nations. “Refugees” are primarily non-assimilating Muslims, while authorities reject persecuted Christians.

    9. Hostility towards Judeo-Christian religious liberty in our courts, media and universities including the suppression of conservative speakers, free thought and moral education.

    10. The widespread, political use of the IRS to intimidate conservative, patriotic and Christian groups that disagree with the current political establishment.

    For many years, Soros’s Open Society and other liberal foundations have funded not only most of the disturbing campaigns mentioned above (1-10) but also the Religious Left, using and creating ostensibly evangelical and Catholic organizations to “message and mobilize” Christians into Progressive causes. They use the Marxist-Alinsky tactic of funding “ministers” who cherry-pick faith language to confuse and divide the Church’s morality, mission and vote.

    At a time when many Christian ministries are struggling, a few of the Soros network “faith” and “interfaith” grantees are Jim Wallis of Sojourners, Richard Cizik’s New Evangelical Partnership, Telos, J Street to malign Israel, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, Faithful America and Gamaliel. Faith in Public Life to “counter” Christians and the Tea Party in the media and, with PICO, advocates for amnesty, mass Islamic migration, and even sought to influence the visit and priorities of Pope Francis himself. Billions of additional dollars to “Christian VOLAGs” for large scale “refugee” and migrant resettlement often comes from the Obama administration.

    We urge you to question the true intentions of persons or organizations that receive money from Soros and other billionaire globalists. We must not give their surrogates four more years.

    And so we ask again, why do those who claim to share our faith in Christ continue to advocate for politicians who will pass legislation, and appoint justices and judges who will attack Christian liberty and persecute believers? Turning our nation over to the enemies of biblical faith does not honor Christ, promote love of neighbor, or advance God’s kingdom in the world.

    We ask those who have intentionally or unwittingly aided the Progressive agenda in the past to look at the actual consequences of their policies. Please stop inviting fellow believers to assist global profiteers and political activists who are determined to de-Christianize America.

    Please repent and turn away from those who attack the Church. Say “no” to blood money. Refuse funds from anyone attempting to put the Church and America in chains.

    Selected signers:

    Lt. Gen. Wm. “Jerry” Boykin (U.S. Army, retired)
    Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely (U.S. Army, retired)
    Bishop Harry R Jackson, Jr. (High Impact Leadership Coalition)
    Dr. Everett Piper (President, Oklahoma Wesleyan University)
    Dr. Gerson Moreno-Riano (Executive Vice President, Regent University)
    Dr. Wayne Grudem (Phoenix Seminary)
    Dr. Jay Richards (The Catholic University of America)
    David Barton (author and speaker)
    Rep. John Becker (Ohio state representative)
    Dr. Jim Garlow (Senior Pastor, Skyline Church, San Diego)
    Pastor Steve Riggle (Grace Church, Houston TX)
    Pastor Steve Smothermon (Legacy Church, Albuquerque NM)
    Fr. Frank Pavone (Priests for Life)
    Eric Metaxas (author, talk-show host)
    Tim Wildmon (American Family Association)
    George Barna (Researcher and author)
    Mat Staver (Liberty Counsel)

    Make no mistake – this letter is designed to intimidate Christians fighting for social justice and against Trump’s agenda of hatred and fear. But we’re not backing down.

    Donate to Faithful America

    Thanks!

    – Michael

    • CJ says:

      Those are definitely some of the reasons why people voted Republican in the last election, after 8 years of seeing those things happen.

  3. eslkevin says:

    Capital Hill
    God Is Working Behind the Scenes
    By Carla Foote, Editor – Oct 1, 2016

    While walking through the halls of the Capitol with a congressman, Doug Weber, a Navigator representative in Washington, D.C., asked what we could be praying for with all the challenges our country faces and the polarization in the political realm.

    The congressman said, “I think each of us needs to be asking the Lord to show us our own sin; then to ask His forgiveness. It is easy to look across the aisle and pick out what other people are doing wrong and how they are sinning. If each of us goes in front of the Lord for His conviction and honors Him, God will change this city and change the world.” This kind of statement is not shared in media coverage, but reflects the heart of one of the followers of Jesus who is in public office.

    Doug and the other members of the team of Navigators on Capitol Hill minister to the private lives of public individuals. Doug regularly has faith conversations with people on all sides of the political spectrum, as they seek to follow Jesus in their personal and public lives.

    Following Jesus in a Fast-Paced Environment

    A recent weekly Bible study on Capitol Hill focused on how to live out the Christian life in the midst of a frantic, high powered, Type A city. Participants wrestled with how to keep their focus on Christ and their calling to follow Him, rather than just the expected focus on achievement and advancement in Washington, D.C.

    Part of Doug’s ministry as he walks alongside people on Capitol Hill is to point them toward Jesus, in the midst of the rapid pace of their daily lives. The image of a treadmill reflects daily reality. One Christian on the Hill said, “All of us working in the Capitol are running on a treadmill. We are exhausted and doing way too much. You (Doug) are able to walk alongside us without being on your own treadmill. You are able to point us back to what is true about Jesus and God.”

    Supporting Private Struggles

    One key aspect of the Navigator ministry on Capitol Hill is providing a respite from the public eye. Over Greek salad and strawberry cobbler, Doug and his wife, Janea, were able to be a listening ear and prayer support for a public official who was grilled by reporters and even her own immediate family who disagreed with her political views. After Amy* expressed sadness at being misunderstood by her relatives, she found solace in the verse from Matthew 13 recalled by Janea. When Christ was demeaned by His family, He said, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home” (Matthew 13:57).

    Doug and Janea ended the evening by praying through Philippians 2, asking God to help Amy and her husband to follow Christ’s example in service to their family, regardless of how they might be treated.

    After a family visit, Amy shared, “Thanks again for your listening ear and wise advice over dinner. The time visiting my brother and sister-in-law went extremely well … much better than we had any right to expect! Thanks for not just encouraging us to follow Jesus’ example of humility, but modeling it for us as well.”

    As Doug and the Navs team in D.C. continue to be used by God to minister behind the scenes, they have intentional and encouraging conversations, Bible studies, and prayer times with public officials every day, people who are doing their best to follow Jesus in high power roles that can have great impact on the country and the world.

    For more from D.C. watch Doug Weber’s video update at navlink.org/dc or to support The Navs ministry in D.C. visit navgift.org/weber today.

    * Name changed

    from: http://www.navigators.org/Tools/Newsletters/Featured%20Newsletters/Disciple-%20Monthly/October%202016/October%202016/Capital%20Hill?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=DJ151602%20-%20Disciple%20Monthly%2010-16&utm_content=DJ151602%20-%20Disciple%20Monthly%2010-16+Version+A+CID_62013e8cb5370bac83af495fd061780f&utm_source=Campaign%20Monitor&utm_term=Read%20more

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