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Navigating Moral Persecution in America

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Our Christian farmer friends in Oregon recently shared they’ve stopped allowing weddings on their property. As a result, they’ve lost a lucrative stream of revenue.

They did it to protect themselves. A war is waging in their state with lawsuits levied against businesses and farms who opt not to allow gay marriage ceremonies on their property. 

Our friends have witnessed business and farm owners mercilessly crucified, labeled as bigots, and fined. Businesses have gone under due to the financial hardship and negative publicity. 

Media attention, community persecution,  legal ramifications, and financial hardship have taken their toll on entire families. Some family farms handed down from generation to generation are now extinct.

Does this sound ridiculous and far-fetched? Sadly, it’s true.

Moral persecution in America is real. Those with moral standards of conduct are increasingly vilified and discriminated against for their Christian beliefs – particularly in the realm of traditional marriage and family values. 

Check out these true stories of moral persecution:

The Benham brothers lose their HGTV show due to their views and beliefs.

Privately owned Liberty Ridge Farm refuses to allow a same-sex marriage on its property. They are fined $13,000 and forced to teach sensitivity classes imposing the state’s view of marriage to their employees.

Christian ministers are threatened with jail time and up to $1,000 in fines for each day they refuse to perform a same-sex wedding ceremony.

The Atlanta fire chief loses his job due to content about Biblical morality in a book he wrote for his Bible study group.

SMSgt Phillip Monk – fired after 20 years of service because he “wasn’t on the same page” with his commanding officer’s views regarding same-sex marriage. This led to the Air Force pursuing a court martial and disciplinary action.

 An Army Chaplain disciplined for sharing the story of how his faith helped him counter depression during a suicide prevention training for fellow soldiers.

journalist fired for beliefs he shared on his personal blog regarding the Holy Scriptures and traditional marriage.

FOX Sports Southwest fires Craig James (former college and NFL player, college football analyst, and sports broadcaster) because of his views on same-sex marriage and homosexuality.

Moral persecution in America has severe ramifications.

The challenge is figuring out how to maneuver the culture in a Christ-like way without giving in to anger and bitterness . . . and determining how to affect the situation in a positive way.

1) Subjective morality vs. objective morality

Attempting to understand the mindset of people inside and outside the Christian faith is helpful. 

The Bible tells us there are people who are steeped in futile thinking, ignorant of God, and hostile to his ways. They cling tightly to living life their way with no restrictions. 

It’s important to understand that many in the culture today honestly believe morality is subjective.

To them:

  • Truth and morality are relevant to the needs of the moment and the situation at hand.
  • Morality is defined by the society you live in.
  • Morality is what an individual regards as “right” and “wrong.” It’s based on personal beliefs, views, ideals, desires, principles, and uniqueness.
  • Morality is subjectively dependent on one’s definition and perception of God. 

Those who believe morality is subjective typically misjudge those who adhere to objective morality.

Due to their views on morality, they live with the daily assumption that conservative Christian beliefs about  homosexuality and same-sex marriage are a matter of opinion based upon personal desires and biases.

This may explain why Christians are often labeled as “evil” and “cruel.” 

Objective Morality

“Christianity is a way of seeing all of life and reality through God’s eyes. That is what Christianity is: a worldview, a system, and a way of life.” Chuck Colson (Founder, Prison Fellowship Ministries)

Christians doing life with a Biblical worldview embrace the reality of objective morality.

Those with a Biblical worldview believe:

  • God is real and created the universe. They live in a personal day-to-day relationship with him.
  • The Bible was inspired by God.
  • The Bible is relevant and accurate in all of its teachings and principles –  including what it says about God, man, Jesus, and salvation.
  • Unchanging moral truth exists.

Objective morality means recognizing and respecting a higher moral law that is defined by the Bible – not by personal whims, desires, or needs of the moment. 

It’s understanding the highest purpose of the mind is to receive revelation from God which in turn guides our conduct and decision-making. 

Complicating Factors

Only 9% of born-again believers have a Biblical worldview. This creates a real problem. It makes our witness as representatives of Christ confusing and misleading. We’re inconsistent as a whole.

I heard a reporter actually accuse the Benham brothers (see above) of being “political” because of their stance on  traditional marriage. She believed it had to be political because she knows so many Christians who support same-sex marriage.

The Desperate Need for Unity

If you’re a Christian, have you ever considered the damage you may be causing by failing to embrace a Biblical worldview? 

When the secular world is confused by the conduct and beliefs of Christians, the only conclusion it can come to is that those who uphold traditional, Biblical values are evil bigots.

In John 17, Jesus prayed for spiritual unity . . . a unity where the body of believers would be united in their:

  1. Love for God.
  2. Obedience to his word.
  3. Commitment to his will.

This type of unity is lacking in the body of Christ today.

Questions to ask yourself:

  •  How do you determine what’s morally right and morally wrong? What’s your plumb line?
  • How are you adding to or detracting from spiritual unity in the family of Christ?

What you can do to navigate moral persecution in America:

  • When someone does not understand or agree with your beliefs, treat them with love, compassion and grace. Recognize the misunderstanding that arises as a result of differing worldviews.
  • Stay strong in your faith and beliefs. Don’t retreat or waver. The culture has no power to root Jesus out of you. It cannot remove your love for God. 
  • Prioritize the approval/applause of God above the world’s. His is the only one that matters. He deserves your loyalty.
  • Find strength and support by connecting with the community of believers in the local church. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
  • Be involved in the political process. Vote. Write your representatives. Run for office.
  • Stand together under the banner of Christ by privately and publicly supporting/encouraging fellow Christians when they’re persecuted. 
  • Consider adopting a Biblical worldview if you haven’t already..
  • Pray for patience. Things will hopefully come back to center soon.

 Related link:

How Christians Can Respond

 Standing with you in the faith . . .

Lisa~

 


 

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2 Comments

  1. dee dolloff says:

    Profound insight! Great information! We as Christians must lovingly cling to the absolute truths of the Bible and not back away. Thank you for sharing, Lisa!

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