How should a Christian respond to persecution?

How should a Christian respond to persecution?.

I think that this is a good article to read for anyone who is experiencing persecution in their lives. Just so we all understand persecution, let’s define it.

Persecution – act of persecuting.

Persecute – to subject to cruel treatment, esp. because of religion or race.

What is cruel treatment? Could be anything. I take it to mean any antagonism against our faith. It is a part of being a Christian in this dark world. It is going to happen if we lead the lives we are called to. I love how the author of James says this about persecution, or trials –

2Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations.

3Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.

4But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)

He does not say “if” we run into trials, but “whenever”, which tells me that it is pretty much a given that we will run into trials, tribulations, persecutions.

I have most definitely run across trials in my life, and it can be difficult at times to not react out of anger. Especially with things like this “the more religious you are, the less intelligent you are likely to be”; “you have mentally regressed”; “you are irrational and arrogant in believing the Bible”. Utter ridiculousness. But! We should take it in stride. I do my best with it. I sincerely do. The problem is that I should be relying on God’s help when these trials come, and not myself. Forgiveness is key.

Update 4/27/12: another way to respond to persecution is to bless the persecutor with the love of Christ, God. Works every time.

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52 comments on “How should a Christian respond to persecution?

    • Larry, it may be backed up, but look at the sources of these tests. Are the tests biased? Are these tests an accurate/reliable sample of the population? Are the researchers biased when they set out to back up their claim? I am willing to bet, based on the claim, that the tests are not accurate and unbiased. I mean, really, what kind of claim is that? It’s a ridiculous generalization.

      Here’s something you should see –

      • What does that video have to do with anything? It’s completely irrelevant. Anyway, back to the actual discussion, we’re not saying ALL religious people are less intelligent, just that there’s a general TREND. Saying “it was probably biased” does not prove it was biased at all. Of course, you operate outside the realms of substantiation, I know.

        Einstein was not religious, by the way.

      • Prove it is unbiased. If you are to make that claim, you need to substantiate it. It is relevant because Einstein is intelligent. And I know you argue for God being evil, so I felt like showing that video to you. I simply cannot believe those samples are reliable because that claim is ridiculous. I know many intelligent Christians. How about less than intelligent atheists, do they exist or are all or most atheists intelligent because they don’t believe in God? Larry, I do not feel that your claim is accurate.

        In any event, Larry, this blog has to do with handling persecution and not talking about ridiculous claims.

  1. I don’t argue for any gods being evil; for the last time, NO GODS EXIST in my worldview. Do you really not understand my views? I keep having to repeat that over and over, since you always talk about me as though I do believe in gods…

    Of course Einstein was intelligent; he was also an agnostic. My claim was never that atheists are more intelligent, it was that more intelligent people *tend* to be atheist. It seems pretty obvious, because if you’re more intelligent, you’re more likely to use logic, questioning and critical thinking rather than blind devotion to a concept.

    I substantiated my claims with those studies. As the article clearly states:

    “Overall, we cannot simply and flatly say that all atheists are more intelligent than those who believe in God. However, we can make a reasonable conclusion based on extensive scientific study that on average somebody who does not believe in God is more likely to be of higher intelligence. The justification for this may not be difficult to understand, for people who are the best at understanding information, applying that knowledge and solving problems are in fact more likely to analyse the claims of theism – they are less likely to hold blind faith, whereas those of lesser intelligence are less likely to critically think about religious claims and are more accepted to hold a form of blind faith.”

  2. Btw, I find it quite funny…you happen to be devoutly infatuated with a concept that has no substantiation, yet when I back up my claim with tens of major studies, you ask for more. I think that’s hypocrisy of the worst kind.

  3. Btw, you define “persecution” like that? Really? So if I insult your taste in music, that’s persecution? If I insult your political beliefs, that’s persecution?

    Funny thing is, you see any logical argument against gods as being “persecution”…and your justification that this is wrong comes from the book everybody is asking why you believe to be true in the first place. Unbelievable.

    • You don’t give me logical arguments, Larry, but biased attacks against my faith. Hence, persecution. Calling me irrational, when in fact you are the one who irrationally goes off on me and others, and saying that most Christians are less intelligent is persecution. Your belief that we are smug is persecution designed to lead others away from God. Your attacks are persecutions against the faith. If you judge my music, it isn’t persecution but your opinion. You attacking me is persecution. You attacking my belief is persecution. But saying God does not exist is blasphemy. It doesn’t affect me, but you. Larry, God loves you. Stop persecuting His people.

  4. Let’s go through your logic, logically:

    Claim 1: Everything thats exist has an explanation.
    Claim 2: God has no explanation.
    Conclusion: Therefore, God cannot exist.

    • God does have an explanation. It’s in His nature. First, He is outside of time, and eternal. He exists by the necessity of His nature. I define explanation as things having a cause to their existence.

      If you ask me what caused Him, I ask you, “What does the color blue taste like?”

  5. Alternatively:

    Premise 1: Everything needs an explanation (causation).
    Premise 2: God may exist and know how to create a universe.
    Premise 3: God has an explanation (causation).
    Possible Conclusion 1: God DOESN’T exist.
    Possible Conclusion 2: God exists and can be explained because he was caused / created by something.

    If we run with Conclusion 2, for the time being, what caused God, and what is its explanation? Maybe we’ll find out if we run it through again:

    Premise 1: Everything needs an explanation (causation).
    Premise 2: God’s Creator may exist and know how to create God and thus a universe as well.
    Premise 3: God’s Creator has an explanation (causation).
    Possible Conclusion 1: God’s Creator, and thus God, DON’T exist.
    Possible Conclusion 2: God’s Creator and God exist and can be explained because God’s Creator was caused / created by something.

    So, you’ve basically conceded that EITHER God doesn’t exist, OR that there are an infinite regression of intelligent designers, each with increasingly complex intelligence…

    What sounds more possible to you?

  6. So YOU’VE decided everything in space and time have an explanation, and YOU’VE decided that God is outside of space and time and therefore doesn’t. No evidence, just your opinion.

    How convenient.

    Either way, are you agreeing that these are the three premises to your argument?

    Premise 1: Everything inside of space and time needs an explanation.
    Premise 2: The Universe is inside of space and time.
    Premise 3: God is outside of space and time.
    Conclusion: Therefore, the Universe needs an explanation and God doesn’t.

    • If we are in agreement that is your argument (and we definitely should be), it can be refuted thus.

      Premise 1: Everything inside of space and time needs an explanation.
      Premise 2: The Universe is inside of space and time and exists.
      Premise 3: God is outside of space and time and exists.
      Premise 4: According to your own beliefs, God is also inside of space and time, because he interferes with his creation.
      Premise 5: Because God also exists inside of space and time, like all things that exist inside of space and time, he needs an explanation.
      Conclusion: Therefore, God cannot exist, OR he only exists outside of space and time and cannot have created the universe because the universe exists inside of space and time.

    • No, Larry. God created space and time. The Big Bang if you will. Theory of relativity too. God is outside of time, or He couldn’t have created it. But, he can interact with the universe. This doesn’t mean that He doesn’t exist. It means that He interacts with the universe, and is outside if it or separate from the universe. He is bigger than the universe. To ask if God was created is going outside the nature of God, and it is an illogical question. What does the color blue taste like is a similar question. God has an explanation, but you aren’t seeing it as such. Let’s turn to math. What is its explanation? It’s cause?

      • You’re wildly speculating. Your opinions are based on no evidence whatsoever. You’re making massive leaps of faith about what God is, and you’re extrapolating mildly; even deviating from the human-written book you worship so intently.

        If God created space and time, why couldn’t space and time have always have existed? After all, no matter can be created nor destroyed.

        And if it’s in his nature not to have an explanation, why can’t the universe not have a causation?

        You asked me to substantiate a tiny claim I made, and I did. I ask you to substantiate a claim you have about the entire cosmos, and you can’t. It’s very sad to see you being so hypocritical.

      • Again, you are not seeing the point. God is not space and time. The universe cannot be eternal for it is dying. The big bang leads to the big freeze, yes? If the universe is eternal, there would be no end. God created the universe, so He is outside of time. Time is tied to the universe, or relative to it, yes?

        I have substantiated it. God has an explanation in the same way numbers do. They exist by the necessity of their nature – there is no cause for they cannot not exist. Sorry for the double negative – they have no cause for they exist. There are two forms of explanation. Necessity and contingency. God exists necessarily because of His nature. Show me how it deviates from logic and or the Bible, please.

  7. You’re wildly speculating. Your opinions are based on no evidence whatsoever. You’re making massive leaps of faith about what God is, and you’re extrapolating based on your thoughts; even deviating from the human-written book you worship so intently.

    If God created space and time, why couldn’t space and time have always have existed? After all, no matter can be created nor destroyed.

    And if it’s in his nature not to have an explanation, why can’t the universe not have a causation?

    You asked me to substantiate a tiny claim I made, and I did. I ask you to substantiate a claim you have about the entire cosmos, and you can’t. It’s very sad to see you being so hypocritical.

    You also haven’t explained the infinite regression argument. If the universe can just be, why can God just be? Answer: he isn’t.

  8. You haven’t even refuted the point I made using your own extrapolated logic!

    If the universe exists INside of space and time, God, regardless of whether he created it, would only be able to interact with it INside of space and time.

  9. I said SUBSTANTIATION.

    sub·stan·ti·ate (sb-stnsh-t)
    tr.v. sub·stan·ti·at·ed, sub·stan·ti·at·ing, sub·stan·ti·ates
    1. To support with proof or evidence; verify: substantiate an accusation. See Synonyms at confirm.
    2.
    a. To give material form to; embody.
    b. To make firm or solid.
    3. To give substance to; make real or actual.

    You’ve just made seemingly infinite claims about the nature of the universe. When I made one tiny claim about multiverses, you went crazy and asked me to substantiate it (and then I explained I didn’t believe we were in a multiverse). Difference is, you DO believe this stuff, and THIS IS ALL ONE WAY. You never EVER substantiate your claims and it’s really irritating me. I know you’re not used to doing something productive in that way, but you’re not going to convince me with your imagination.

  10. I have found, most often, when I go through hard times (trials) there seems to be opportunities within a short time for me to offer encouragement to someone going through something very similiar (if not the exact same). It helps me to remember, when times are tough, I can use the experience to help others later.

  11. “Big bang, big freeze, and the theory of relativity are wrong now?”

    What the hell does that have to do with your “scientific” assertion that there’s a God, all the stuff about Demons, all the stuff about spiritual realms and cosmic battles and magical creation conjuring tricks? What does that have to do with the fact you denied the Big Bang and evolution for ages, claiming they were fraudulent theories put there by Satan (or some such rubbish), and suddenly you’re now saying God likes them after all?

    There’s evidence for the big bang, but there’s NO evidence for creationism, creation, God or the Bible being true.

    EVEN if you could prove creation, it STILL wouldn’t prove the Judeo-Christian God. In fact, it still wouldn’t prove it was even a god in the first place.

    Really, you’re arguing from a point where you cannot defend yourself whatsoever. It’s saddening, and every time I ask for evidence, you cannot submit one shred.

    • How can you be so adamant about these theories being theories but the theory of evolution is fact? You contradict yourself again, Larry. You can’t redefine theory because it’s a different topic. :)

      • Of course they do. The expansion of the universe is evidence for the big bang and the big freeze. The theory of relativity has no evidence? Really? Read a science book, Larry. (I remember you telling me to do that before).

      • No you did not support your logic with theories of science. No theory of science even alludes to the existence of God, or the need for causation. You seem to know barely anything about science, and the REALLY funny thing is you don’t think I notice.

        Why not get some kind of scientific education, THEN try to prove God? If you can, you’d be the first person in history and would win many prizes. More likely, you wouldn’t, because, as it always has been, it’s impossible to even make a convincing logical argument for God in the first place.

  12. BTW, to pretend we know the universe has a beginning and an end is kind of ridiculous. It’s theories, and we don’t really know what happens. A very quick Google of a science forum led me to the answer “That ‘freezing’ of the universe is just another state of the matter, so the universe as we know it ceases to exist, but no the matter, matter is there but in another state that is unknown to us, but is there, so the universe we can see is not eternal, but matter and energy are eternal, they have been changing of states forever and will never end. So the universe has been exploding, expanding and ‘freezing’ always, and will always be so.”

    That’s just a guess, but they claimed it was a guess. The religious equivalent would be to write books about it, paint about it, write music on it and criticize everybody who isn’t dumb enough to submit.

  13. “Of course they do. The expansion of the universe is evidence for the big bang and the big freeze. The theory of relativity has no evidence? Really? Read a science book, Larry. (I remember you telling me to do that before).”

    Those theories have nothing to do with god

    • Sure they do. The universe exists. The universe has a beginning (big bang) and an end (freeze). The idea of it collapsing again is absurd, what would cause that? The universe couldn’t have created itself, as it had to have been in existence first (common sense) in order to have done so. So, something OUTSIDE the universe created the universe. The universe is all space, time, and matter (theory of relativity). Something outside time created it. Could be an abstract idea, but have you ever seen a number affect something? What else is outside the universe? Nothing. So, nothing comes from nothing (common sense). Nothing isn’t the creator. So, it’s a disembodied mind that created it. It is outside time, space, and matter. It’s a disembodied mind because there is no other answer.

      I can create a sand box, and I am not a sand box. I can still interact with the sandbox while remaining separate from it. In the same way, God interacts with us. I attribute this mind to the Judeo-Christian God. The logical answer is there, even if you are blinded to it.

      • I wasn’t entirely sure how to respond, but I knew you were seeking counter-arguments, so I asked Tobie on forums. Here’s his response:

        “This is the “uncaused cause” argument, though I’ve never seen it in quite this format before.

        One of the main flaws is that the big bang theory does not state the universe at one point did not exist, it says that it existed as a singularity, so the universe doesn’t need to be created, as it is already there.

        The “logical” step from disembodied creator to judeo-christian god is another huge flaw. The only thing that this (flawed) logic alludes to is the existence of said disembodied creator, and there is no basis for giving it the properties of the judeo-christian god.

        So in all, this argument is based on a (probably) faulty premise with a highly flawed jump to the judeo-christian god.”

      • I didn’t say there was a logical step between God and the disembodied mind, merely that I ascribed those attributes to it. The disembodied mind idea is just a logical conclusion to the existence of the universe (incorporating science). The Big Bang theory doesn’t say that the universe was always there though. But, I’ll accept that. What caused it to explode again? Well, to my understanding “explosion” is a reach. More of a poof, there it is.

        Who is Tobie?

  14. I quote somebody I know studying science

    “There is only one thing that seems certain – there is or must have been something that had an infinite past. Since the future has not yet occurred then it would be premature to say anything about that direction.

    The proof is simple – if there was a point somewhere in the past where nothing existed then there could never have been a cause for anything to follow and we would not be here.

    In this light the actuality of infinity is a necessity.

    Entropy: A much maligned and misunderstood concept. The correct definition is very specific and constrained to a closed system. I.e. something that has specific boundaries. Anything infinite by definition is something specifically without boundaries so the concept of entropy cannot be applied to the universe.

    The observation of physics indicates that nothing is either created or destroyed, so this is indeed a strong position for an infinite universe.

    Perpetual motion is usally considered impossible because external influences are always present and introduce some form of friction and hence the cycle is inherrently finite, however, there is nothing external to the universe so there is nothing to prevent a perpetual cycle. In this case an infinite bang/crunch sequence appears logically possible.

    Where does that leave us and our understanding of universe origin? The best we have is that it appears impossible to create something new or destroy it. How the dynamics of that matter form into a steady state active universe is not yet understood. But at the very least there is nothing to suggest anything supernatural need be invented to explain what we don’t know.”

    • There are things external to the universe. Math, which is not dependent on anything to exist. Laws of the universe which govern how the universe works, but exist without a universe. And God.

  15. Oh, they’ve added one more thing:

    “Minor point compared to the rest of it, but since they are relying on it as a supporting factor, you might want to tell them that the Theory of Relativity says nothing of the kind – whether they’re invoking Galileo’s relativity principle or Einstein’s Special and General Relativity.”

    • I disagree with these forum gurus. Here is something Einstein said in response to a Times correspondent:

      “The term relativity refers to time and space. According to Galileo and Newton, time and space were absolute entities, and the moving systems of the universe were dependent on this absolute time and space. On this conception was built the science of mechanics. The resulting formulas sufficed for all motions of a slow nature; it was found, however, that they would not conform to the rapid motions apparent in electrodynamics.

      “This led to the Dutch professor, Lorentz, and myself to develop the theory of special relativity. Briefly, it discards absolute time and space and makes them in every instance relative to moving systems. By this theory all phenomena in electrodynamics, as well as mechanics, hitherto irreducible by the old formulae–and there are multitudes–were satisfactorily explained.

      “Till now it was believed that time and space existed by themselves, even if there was nothing else–no sun, no earth, no stars–while now we know that time and space are not the vessel for the universe, but could not exist at all if there were no contents, namely, no sun, earth and other celestial bodies.

      “This special relativity, forming the first part of my theory, relates to all systems moving with uniform motion; that is, moving in a straight line with equal velocity.

      “Gradually I was led to the idea, seeming a very paradox in science, that it might apply equally to all moving systems, even of difform motion, and thus I developed the conception of general relativity which forms the second part of my theory.”

      You see, Larry, Einstein’s theory of relativity states that time is relative to the motion of the universe. In other words, time and space exist dependently, or contingently, with the universe.

      “…now we know that time and space are not the vessel for the universe, but could not exist at all of there were no contents…”

      (time unknown, but this can be found in the introduction to “The Einstein Theory of Relativity”, by Dr. Lorentz, H.A. Downloaded it on my kindle so don’t have page numbers, but can be found at location 26 of 268)

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