Have you been in a swimming pool 🤿 when it is being filled up? For a while, you get so busy cleaning the water, straightening out the liner, and generally fixing issues that you don't notice it slowly filling up. 🏊 It's not until you looking around you realize you are surrounded by water.
This reminds me of the world in Rome about the time the Apostle Peter wrote what we now call "1 Peter." In the culture, more and more people were noticing these Christians walking around. They did not support the terrible excesses of the Roman world, the sexual promiscuity, and brutal forms of entertainment. These new Christian people promoted holiness, community life, and honoring God above everything else. The Christians were beginning to experience social persecution and being ostracized from the community. At this point, there was not much being done to them physically. They were mainly becoming social outcasts.
This makes me think of what is happening to the Biblical-Worldview-Christian world. I have to say it like that because there are about a million different flavors of Christianity these days. However, the ones who are experiencing a quiet form of persecution are the ones who stand apart from culture and live according to God's Word. This persecution is not physical (for the most part), but is still happening. It is also growing. There are a few things I have noticed most recently about this new form of quiet Christian persecution.
*Disclaimer- It feels weird to even call it persecution compared to the extreme violence happening to Christians all over the world. While this is not much compared to our brave brothers and sisters elsewhere, this is what is currently happening in our world.
1- The mounting American persecution is subtle but potent.
Someone sent me a Joe Rogan podcast the other day where he said the Christian worldview is so easy to mock. This is true. You do not often hear anyone mocking any other religion, but you will hear any number of people saying whatever they want about Christianity with little reprisal. Some of this may be from oversaturation. Everyone has some idea of what Christianity is in the West. However, it is also because we Christians have not taken our relationship with God seriously for a while. Because of this, no one else does either.
The final result is more and more people mocking Christians and Christian values. It is becoming something more and more people are embarrassed to embrace. They will say they are a Christian but then stutter when asked if they believe what Christians believe.
2- The mounting American persecution is socially charged.
A few months ago, someone told me they do not post anything on their social media accounts about standing up for Christian values because they own a small business. He said his business depends on word-of-mouth advertisements and cannot afford for people to stay away. The fear of other people not agreeing with your worldview has caused more and more people to "get into the closet." When you think about it, we Christians are the only ones being put into the closet. We live in a culture that celebrates whatever you want to be. You can even identify as an animal and people will say, "Who am I to judge? You do what you feel?" However, if you say you are a Christian, you will hear, "Who do you think you are? That's dumb. You can't stay here." None of this has to do with Jesus. Most of it has to do with a lot of weird Christians saying and doing weird things for a long time. Now, we are living with our desire to be so inclusive that we never stopped the crazy trains that came with our attempt to love everyone. We should always love everyone, but we are also loving people when we tell them that some things are not correct.
3- The mounting American persecution is becoming more noticeable than we realize.
In this video, you can hear how some of the most famous music artists are now including Christian themes in their music... and it's not to promote Christianity.
4- In the future, the mounting American persecution will help us easily know where we stand. The more difficult thing will be realizing who is not standing with us.
This is the one that hurts. We Christians have done such a bad job of learning what it means to be a Christian for so long that we now have many out here who are clueless. As cultural persecution ramps up, it is going to become easier to figure out where we stand. The hard part will be seeing who is not willing to stand with us. When it comes time to say that I love you but I do not agree with you... who will still be standing beside you?
I am not predicting disaster or a dark season for the church. When Peter wrote his second letter we now call "2 Peter," persecution had become physical and they were experiencing bad days. I don't believe we are headed there any time soon. I am saying we Christians need to figure out what we believe and what "hills we are willing to die on." Then, lock arms and stand in the face of this quiet opposition. There is more around us on our team than we realize. We just need to find each other and prepare to stand.
Jesus remains undefeated. We will be okay. We simply must open our eyes to see the real struggle all around us so we can start taking intentional steps toward taking back our friends and families.