Preparing for Persecution

My friend and Creekstone member, Bill Blankschaen, just released his interview with Dr. Russell Moore on how Christians should respond to cultural persecution. Although there is more to be said (and we will address many of these things at Creekstone Church in just a couple of weeks from John 15), Dr. Moore comes to the topic from a gospel/grace oriented grid that I find helpful. As you may know, Creekstone’s motto is “Grace Changes Everything.” This includes HOW we engage in culture, participate in politics, respond to persecution, not to mention how we raise our kids, use our financial resources, etc. We are not afraid to speak truth, but always with a tone grace and a heart of love. Here is the link to the podcast:…/.

Bill also just released a book he wrote with Erick Erickson, You Will be Made to Care, about preserving and promoting religious liberties for all US citizens, not just Christians. In chapter 7, they write, “As believers in Christ, we are called to take the Good News to all people, to love our enemies, and to pray for those who persecute us (Matt. 5:44). To do that effectively, we need to understand what motivates secular progressives to do what they do so that we can connect over a cup of coffee, chat while our children play T-ball, or talk about life as we borrow a cup of sugar from our neighbors.” Thus, their book is intended to help folks prepare for and respond rightly to the persecution that Christians are facing now and will increasingly face.

My concern is that believers not respond as angry, self-righteous whiners, but as humble, yet confident, intellectually thoughtful followers of Jesus who are able to engage our culture with truth and grace in love, as salt and light, as we face our cultural challenges, not primarily from the perspective of winning a culture war, but with a heart of being agents of blessing unto human flourishing in the earthly kingdom in which we, as citizens of the heavenly kingdom, have been planted.

And yet, there is a cultural, civil war of sorts being played out in Washington, in universities, and neighborhoods all across America. It is not a geographic civil war, but a war of ideas and worldviews. It is a conflict over truth. This is why, when we engage in cultural skirmishes concerning ideas and worldviews, we must be equipped and prepared to engage with grace, because grace is our ultimate truth.

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