Real vs. Fake Christian Persecution: how you can spot the difference

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One of my biggest pet peeves in this world, is when folks in my tribe play the “persecution” card.

On one hand, we can’t help it– we’ve been programmed to label any negative experience related to our faith in the category of “persecution”. However, we should know better– and should know that this is actually hurting the Christian reputation in America.

I remember being well primed to interpret any negative push-back I might receive for “witnessing”, as we were warned about the coming persecution during campfire services at Christian summer camp. I still remember sitting around a campfire in Schroon Lake, New York and hearing: “Don’t worry– when you get back home you won’t have to leave your unsaved friends. When you get home, they’re going to leave you.”

test-di-rorschachIn fact, I remember “Blessed are you when you are persecuted” to be one of the first verses a camp counselor had me memorize.

Ugh. In American Christianity we love persecution.

Like a Rorshach test, we are able to see it anywhere we look.

We are so culturally programmed that there “will be persecution” that we develop a persecution complex which causes us to look at any given ink blot and see an intriguing case of anti-Christian discrimination.

What is most sad to me, is that this is hurting the message of Jesus– a beautiful message that I want everyone to hear and experience. However, because of our persecution complex we are often seen as cry-babies– who are constantly crying “Wolf!” no less. As a result, a lot of people are turned off to Christian culture, and by default turned off to actually wrestling with the message of Jesus.

Yet, have no fear– I am here to help. Today, I’m going to give you a quick and easy walk through of some real scenarios that will help you gauge whether or not you are actually being persecuted for your Christian beliefs.

Persecution Test

Lesson 1:

  • In Odisha, India, some villages have banned Christians from buying or selling in their local markets as well as banning them from getting drinking water from the local well (forcing them to drink non-potable water from the river). When the Christians have rebuffed this prohibition and used the common well anyway, they have been chased down by angry mobs and severely beaten. If this is happening to you– if your neighbors are telling you that you can’t shop at Target because you are a Christian and that you can’t draw your water from the town’s aquifer because of your faith (and beat you mercilessly when you take a sip), there is a good chance that you are experiencing legitimate Christian persecution.

In contrast:

  • annoying-co-workerIf your co-workers leave the break room when they see you coming, no longer invite you to happy hour, and generally walk in the opposite direction when they see you coming due to the fact they are tired of you forcefully trying to convert them in every conversation… you are not experiencing anti-Christian persecution. Instead, you are simply being persecuted for being annoying. Don’t like it? Good news– the persecution for being annoying will stop as soon as you decide to no longer be annoying.

 

 

Lesson 2:

  • If you are a member of the Christian clergy and find yourself kidnapped, beheaded, and the next day find a video of your beheading posted on YouTube, I think you have a legitimate case of anti-Christian persecution. In fact, unless you signed a model release before your execution, you should be able to get YouTube to take the video down.

In contrast:

  • what-to-do-with-bad-coworkers-i15If you are a non-commissioned officer in the Army and find yourself receiving a reprimand because your non-stop, anti-gay statements are making your co-workers utterly miserable, you are not experiencing anti-Christian persecution. Instead, you are being persecuted for updating your Facebook status with: “Lordy, Lordy, it’s faggot Tuesday. The lefty loons and Obamabots are out in full force” (As in the recent case of Master Sergeant Nathan Sommers). When you post nasty, offensive status updates, persecution is a natural byproduct.

Lesson 3:

  • If you are holding a quiet prayer meeting when police decide to raid your home, confiscate your books, and throw you in prison for being a Christian (as happened in Iran to Robert Asserian), you might have a pretty convincing case of anti-Christian persecution. If they keep arresting you over and over, and beat you senseless each time, the case becomes more and more convincing that you are in fact, the victim of persecution.

In contrast:

  • hers_n_hersIf you are facing a massive fine and a lawsuit because you didn’t want a lesbian couple to buy flowers from your shop to have at their wedding, you aren’t facing anti-Christian persecution. You are simply being persecuted for illegal discrimination, and for being a hypocrite. You do know, that at most weddings there’s a couple of drunk people, and that the Bible is quite clear that’s wrong, correct? You must also be aware, that sometimes Christians marry non-Christians (forbidden in scripture), and that some couples (SPOILER ALERT!) have had sex before marriage, which is also condemned in scripture, correct? So, if you have decided that you’re not going to sell flowers to gay people, but that you’ll still allow your flowers to be purchased for events that will include drunkenness and heterosexual fornication, you my friend, are a hypocrite. What you’re experiencing isn’t so much persecution, as it is justice.

 

I think the reason why the American Christian persecution complex troubles me so much is because there is plenty of real persecution going on in the world. Yet, when we take negative push-back we receive as a result of our own arrogance, insensitivity, and hostility– and call that persecution– we cheapen and detract from the real examples of religious persecution in the world.

When Christians who are being thrown in prison or beheaded are overshadowed by stories of American Christians who get in hot water because their public business discriminates, or because they’ve made their co-workers miserable, we become guilty of self-centered arrogance.

Being persecuted for our faith is different than being persecuted because we’re acting like jerks.

 

If you are a Christian in America and frequently feel persecuted, please do us both a favor and examine your own behavior and communication style. Are you accosting people with your views? Are you treating friends and co-workers like objects to be converted instead of people to love? If so, you’re doing it wrong– and you are experiencing justified push-back, NOT persecution.

And, even if you do face some legitimate persecution, just remember– as long as you still have your head on your shoulders, it’s not as bad as what others face.

 realvfake

About Benjamin L. Corey

Benjamin L. Corey, is an Anabaptist author, speaker, and blogger. He is a two-time graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (Theology & Missiology), is currently a 3rd year Doctor of Missiology student (a subset of practical theology) at Fuller Seminary, and is a member of the Phi Alpha Chi Honors Society. His first book, Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus, is available now at your local bookstore. He is also a contributor for Time, Sojourners, Red Letter Christians, Evangelicals for Social Action, Mennonite World Review, has been a guest on Huffington Post Live, and is one of the CANA Initiators. Ben is also a syndicated author for MennoNerds, a collective of Mennonite and Anabaptist writers. Ben is also co-host of That God Show with Matthew Paul Turner. Ben lives in Auburn, Maine with his wife Tracy and his daughter Johanna.

You can also follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Paul

    Thank you ! I have ofen thtought these same things.

  • Danna Watkins

    I met a man named Richard Wumpbrand years ago. He wrote “Tortured for Christ”. He and his wife were held in a Romanian prison for 13 years, and he was horribly tortured for preaching the gospel. He could not wear shoes as a result of it. He told me about torture of Christians in his prison that I have never told anyone because it is so gruesome. He said all he had to do was deny Christ but he would never do that. He said that they have “a woman in the market place” that would inform the Christians of where they would secretly meet each week. As soon as she was discovered she would be imprisoned or killed. The average stay was two weeks. He said they had a two-year waiting list of women wanting to be the “woman in the market place” because it is considered such a privilege. THAT is suffering for the gospel. We don’t even know what that is!

  • Terry Firma

    Spot on. Thanks for that. The persecution fetish of American Christians has gotten to be ever more shrill and ridiculous. I hope sane voices like yours will find loud reverberations in your tribe. A little perspective — like the stuff your post is made of — should re-earn Christians a spot at the table with the grown-up, thinking folks.

  • http://notdarkyet-commentary.blogspot.com/ Charles Kinnaird

    You are exactly right about the “persecution mentality” that exists among fundamentalists as well as many other evangelicals. I certainly got a does of it during my time as an evangelical. Jesus said “blessed are you when you are persecuted for righteousness sake.” Often I have wanted to tell folks, you’re not being persecuted because you are righteous, you’re being persecuted because you are obnoxious!. You make the case very well here.

  • Louise Dotter

    This a-theist sends a thank you and a hallelujah AMEN!

  • http://thediscerningchristian.wordpress.com Chris Attaway

    As it were, most of these people with a persecution complex are, more often than not, the people doing the actual persecuting. They are the ones who try to ostracize, shame, and berate people into conformity with their cultural values. I don’t want to demonize them too much, but I have a strong suspicion that the only thing keeping fundamentalist Christian culture from brutally beating people in the same manner as is happening to these Christians in other countries is the fact that they live in a broader society which simply will not accept such behavior. Strip that away, and you find the same cruelty and cultural elitism which perpetuates the real persecution on display in your examples.

  • Stephen Goulet

    I think Christians make a mistake playing the “persecution card” but disagree with the premise in example three with respect to “illegal discrimination”. Arlene is not being prosecuted for being a Christian, she is being prosecuted for exercising her right of self-ownership. A better and I think correct approach to this issue is to refer to the Self-Ownership principle. Gays are free to marry because they own themselves. The State therefore has no business interfering with their rightful power to enter into a voluntary marriage contract. Arlene of the “Arlene” flower case however also possesses the right of self-ownership. To say that Arlene, the private owner of a business has no right to refrain from providing a service violates her right of self-ownership and for the service in question makes her the slave of someone else, clearly wrong, anti-discrimination laws notwithstanding. Arlene has a right to refuse service, there is no need or rightful requirement for her to provide a reason, she should be able to politely refuse. If a sufficient number of customers of Arlene are offended by her refusal to serve gays, they are free to exercise their self-ownership and use a more acceptable supplier who is free even to specialize if they so desire. If the accumulative free actions of self-owners causes Arlen’s business to become unprofitable and fail so be it. Arlene’s rights have not been violated and she is not being persecuted for being Christian just impolite. The government has no need to be involved, the free choices of self-owners in a market environment settles the issue. Our rights pre-exist and supersede the state, the state does not create them it only recognizes them or fails to do so. There have been many stupid laws on the books for instance prohibiting interracial marriage or prior prohibition of homosexual marriage. It is high time we all got our rights and that these “protected class laws” (actually a form of privilege) be eliminated. Self-ownership is a reliable and unbiased guide to protecting our natural rights and allowing for a free society to function without these ridiculous political/legal squabbles. We should beware of these laws enforcing “niceness” fads.

  • Marlene Tuitele

    Great article. My sentiments exactly.

  • Louise Dotter

    @ Chris Attaway – I agree with your premise and up you one google search where you will find more than one example of death at the hands of “good” christians. Children suffocated in exorcism rituals and left to die from untreated diabetes because it is “god’s will”. Even George Zimmerman claimed Trayvon Martin died because it was “god’s will”!

  • http://jesuswithoutbaggage.wordpress.com/ jesuswithoutbaggage

    You are correct; Christians in America that complain about persecution are mostly whining. I have addressed this topic from a somewhat different angle at:

    http://jesuswithoutbaggage.wordpress.com/2013/06/06/are-christians-persecuted-in-america/

  • gimpi1

    Mr. Corey, I have often thought the same thing, as an outsider. Claiming persecution when what you are experiencing is dislike due to obnoxious behavior is as annoying a trait as I can imagine. Clearly, in the world today people are persecuted for their beliefs. Equally clearly, persecution of Christians in the United States is rare to non-existent. Well done for spotting the difference.

    Mr. Goulet, I have to disagree with you. Under your “self-ownership” model, de-facto segregation would still be in place. There’s very little people like better than finding a group to cast in a subordinate position. Race, gender, beliefs or sexual orientation is simply no reason to refuse to do business with someone. And we know from experience, society won’t self-correct as many Libertarians for some reason believe it will. It didn’t happen for black people in the American South, it didn’t happen in the persecution of Christians described in India in the above article, and it won’t happen in cases of religiously-inspired discrimination against gay people.

    We, as a country have had this discussion in the courts, and the Libertarian view lost. The “self-ownership” argument, along with the “states rights” argument and the “private property” argument lost. It lost because without a basically level playing-field, we can’t claim to respect the legal equality of all people. If businesses are allowed to discriminate in who they hire or serve, we don’t have that level playing-field. Discrimination is illegal, and our country is better for it.

  • http://n/a Lisa

    No Stephen Goulet, You cannot legally deny someone service in your PUBLIC place of business. This is a myth.

    The Federal Civil Rights Act guarantees all people the right to “full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.”

    Unless the patron poses a threat or is actively disturbing other customers your business license requires that you adhere to anti-discrimination laws.

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  • http://sukofamily.org Caleb Suko

    I appreciated how you made the comparisons in this post between real persecution and fake persecution. Living in a post communist country I have often been bothered by those who seem to look for persecution around every corner. Christians who have experienced fake persecution often talk about it and use it as a “medal of honor” on the other hand those who have gone through real persecution sometimes have difficulty talking about it or only talk about it if directly asked.

  • http://jonparedes.blogspot.com.br/ Jon Paredes

    Hey, Benjamin.

    Thanks a lot for the insightful posts. I had some questions about the issue myself but never took the time to think it through. Your post has been a great advance!

    Thanks again!

    Jon

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  • Jeremy

    Given the real persecution by the Church, both historical and ongoing, of numerous groups of people – Jews, heretics, Muslims, indigenous peoples, gays and lesbians, etc., I’m always stunned when a “Christian” holds forth about how he (usually a he) has been persecuted. Thanks for the above comparisons, which I may print and show to the next such suffering soul who wants me to hate (fill in the blank) and lecture me about how Jesus would support the troops or give the rich a tax break.

  • Allronix

    I’m a non-Christian in the US. Talk to me about religious discrimination WHEN…

    * The teacher sends your kid home in tears after berating her about the “Satanic” symbol around her neck and scolds her for worshiping the “wrong” God

    * The waitress at the local diner sneers when she sees the cross around your neck, or you nervously have to tuck your cross in your shirt and hope the wrong guys at the bar didn’t see it because you fear a beating.

    * You know you have no hope of being an open Christian and getting elected. Politicians still have to pay lip services to churches and crosses. Sometimes, they can get away with paying lip service to rabbis and synagogues, but try worshiping at a mosque, praising Ganesha, mentioning the Mother Goddess, or saying overtly you do not believe in Gods at all. NOW, try getting elected to anything.

    * Being in the Armed Services, prison, hospital, or university and never finding a chaplain of your faith ANYWHERE, or being “solicited” constantly by imams, archakas, Scientologists, and the like. How about being forbidden Bibles or rosaries while seeing your neighbor allowed his prayer rugs or candles?

    * Having your ex use your Christian faith as a weapon against you in court to take your kids away, or the President of the US declare your religion isn’t “valid” and try to ban it from the Armed Forces Chaplain’s handbook?

    Now, this is **every day life** for American religious minorities; the Hindus, the Buddhists, the Neo-Pagans, the Muslims, the Baha’i. Mr. John Stewart said it more eloquently than me; they are mistaking not being catered to with overt discrimination.

  • KishinD

    This guy. I like this guy. (Too bad he doesn’t have a name on the article.)

    Keep keepin’ it real.

  • Ephirius

    First of all, with the general thrust of the post, I agree; don’t call something persecution when it is not persecution. In the United States, persecution -does- happen, but it is very rare, at least historically.

    @Lisa:

    You said:

    “No Stephen Goulet, You cannot legally deny someone service in your PUBLIC place of business. This is a myth. The Federal Civil Rights Act guarantees all people the right to “full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.” Unless the patron poses a threat or is actively disturbing other customers your business license requires that you adhere to anti-discrimination laws.”

    We are on shaky ground at this point. The Catholic, Orthodox, most Protestant denominations, and many secular folks don’t define marriage in an open-ended way. If such a person owns a business that caters to marriages, then the denial of goods, services, et al, for what is not marriage is not discrimination.

    Suppose this, for a moment: A business that does photography only for graduating seniors is sought out by a customer who wants photographs for their son who just graduated elementary school. When told they only photograph seniors, the customer turns around and sues them for discrimination. We’d all probably find the customer pretty silly in this case, even if the customer had a deeply held conviction that their son’s graduation was the equivalent of a senior graduating high school.

    It is the same in this case. We could argue all day long about homosexuality or same-sex marriage or what-not, but in the end, either you allow business owners to follow their consciences, or you force them to do otherwise. If it is against the law to do so, I suggest that the law needs to be changed. The Freedom of Conscience is protected by amendment. The freedom to get services on your own terms from a business is not.

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  • http://standingatthecrossroad.wordpress.com/ Mark

    This article was recommended by a friend. It is beautiful…simply beautiful… (especially the example with Kirk Cameron).

  • Randy

    Regarding the lions in the top picture, it’s my understanding that historians have been unable to find evidence of Christians being thrown to lions.

  • Emily

    I also go crazy when i hear whining about the “war on Christmas” stuff. I mean … Really!? People actlike they are literally martyrs because they arent allowed to say Merry Christmas to their customers at work or something. I was at a meeting where someone wanted me to sign a petition to keep the nativity on public grounds and I just said no politely but inside I was thinking, “Is this really THE cause you are devoting your time and money to?”

  • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen

    The definition of the word persecution from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is as follows: to harass or punish in a manner designed to injure, grieve, or afflict; specifically: to cause to suffer because of belief

    The definition of martyrdom is this: the suffering of death on account of adherence to a cause and especially to one’s religious faith

    You, Sir, appear to be muddling the definitions of the two words together in your misleading essay.

    Obviously, there are varying degrees to persecution, but that does not negate the reality that Christians living in the United States are genuinely persecuted in varying ways. (Declaring that Christians are not persecuted in our nation is akin to saying that just because someone’s stillborn baby never drew a breath, she was not fully human, and how much could she genuinely be missed.) This ploy is one those in the SUBmergent church are prone to using of late, I’ve noticed. My own extended family has devastated my heart and caused such desolation in my life and mind by distancing themselves from me, refusing to spend time in my presence, judging and refusing to forgive me, telling lies and gossiping about me, calling me things such as a “bad mother,” in their attempt to cause me to feel less than, while puffing themselves up in the process, as they attempt to justify their hate of Jesus in me. As Jesus declares in Matthew chapter 10, “Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave. As you enter the home, give it your greeting. If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn

    ‘a man against his father,

    a daughter against her mother,

    a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—

    a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’

    Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”

    No, I’m not in danger of being physically abused or killed by them, but I am definitely mentally, spiritually, and psychologically abused by them. Since all facets of one’s being are intricately intertwined, one’s physical health is also compromised when one’s mental, spiritual and psychological health is at risk.

    Consider love, if you will. The Greeks have a few different words to describe it, while we English have but one. Perhaps there’s a need for different words to adequately describe persecution?

  • Elizabeth

    I remember back in high school going to youth group and church services, getting the idea that the level of persecution you faced was in direct proportion to how much God loved you and how much the “devil” was fighting you. You really wanted the devil to fight you as much as you wanted God to love you. The idea that I got (not sure if this was expressly stated or just gleaned from bad examples and bad theology) was that if you were having a bad time in the world, then this was proof that you were growing in your faith and doing great things “for God”.

    I was aware enough to realize that I was not being persecuted or even being ostracized for my faith — but this fact made me feel ashamed and unloved, thinking that it must mean something was wrong with my faith. I was also very afraid of this hell place that everyone kept talking about. I thought that if only I had some persecution in my life I would have some assurance that I was safe from that place. It took time and distance for me to realize that this whole persecution complex is unhelpful and ridiculous at best.

  • Scott McPhail

    . . . .ahh yes, if your a 70 year old woman facing a court case, a large fine, and possibly losing your livelihood because you don’t approve of gay marriage (see flower case) then apparently you’re just a whiner. Freedom of marriage=great . . . freedom of conscience=outrageous!!

  • Gen X Humanist

    As an ex-Christian missionary, I dealt with the murder of friends who had converted to Christianity. I supported others who had lost everything, with not a penny to their name, because of what I had convinced them to do with their lives. How do you honestly look into the eyes of a orphan and explain to them that they will never have a father again because of something that you convinced his father to believe?

    Yes, this is the face of real persecution, but it is also a created persecution. Western evangelical missionaries convince the poor and marginalized that following Jesus will give them an amazing life in heaven if they convert. They then put another notch in their convert belt, retreat to their guarded compounds, and send these bold converts back out into a hostile society.

    Would the Christian God really condemn these people to hell if they died never hearing the gospel? If not, why are Christians converting them and sending them to early graves, likely condemning their families to lives of poverty and exile. Are Christians really that desperate to win the convert game? Just leave well enough alone.

  • Louise Dotter

    Gen X Humanist – hope you aren’t guilt tripping yourself too much over your missionary history. We do what we are raised to do and then we learn the truth – often it is painful for ourselves and others! I too have asked the same questions about christian dominionists’ insistence on converting everyone to their version of reality instead of enjoying and celebrating the differences of all cultures. They remind me of the class bully who is always spoiling for a fight and then turns into a whiney wimp when he loses the fight! Take care

  • WingedBeast

    You know who I blame for the American Christians who claim persecution for such cases as having their faith criticized? Jesus.

    He had a great message for how to act when you are powerless and being oppressed by those in power. Stay strong, but do not repay cruelty with cruelty, violence with violence, or evil with evil. Passive resistance, and that kind of Buddhist stuff.

    But, he just didn’t have much to say when it came to the issue of what to do if Christians were ever really in power… or even found themselves oppressing others. So, while they have a great language of powerlessness, it just doesn’t apply in America, where declaring yourself a Christian is declaring yourself to be the in the majority.

  • Jake

    I love when non-fundamentalist Christians think it’s annoying when fundamentalist Christians try to save people. It’s so annoying for you. Must be much easier to just let all the heathens burn in hell.

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  • JDE

    Ginny Bain Allen,

    I looked at your blog. Trust me, your family isn’t ostracizing you because you’re a Christian; they’re doing it because you’re obnoxious.

  • John Davidson

    Persecution is on all levels. Seems like you are being a tad too self-serving. I disagree with about 90% of what you are sating here.

  • Louise Dotter

    Jake and Ginny Bain Allen,

    I don’t need you or any of the rest of the fundie freaks to save me. YOU are being more than annoying you are being insufferable! BUTT out of everyone else’s life and clean up your own act!

  • Steve

    You forgot the companies complaining about the birth control mandate in the ACA. You could also mention that there are seven states in which atheists cannot hold public office, which is more discrimination than persecution, but still not a problem for Christians.

    Other than that excellent piece that I have shared.

  • EmpiricalPierce

    When you think you are being persecuted, there’s a good test to keep in mind. Just ask yourself: “How would things be different if we changed the religion/race/sexual orientation/etc. of those involved?”

    For example, let’s say a Christian monument like the ten commandments is taken off of government property. Is this persecution? To find out, ask yourself questions like “Would this happen if it was a Muslim monument? How about a Hindu monument, or an atheist monument?” If the answer is “yes, it would be taken down” in those other cases, IT IS NOT PERSECUTION.

    In fact, that example is rather misleading. Odds are if the monument was not Christian, it would never have been allowed to go up in the first place. The fact that Christians can get monuments up on public property where other groups cannot, despite it being a violation of the first amendment, is a demonstration of Christians having PRIVILEGES that other groups do not. Do not confuse an attack on your privileges for an attack on your rights.

  • Costache

    @ Danna Watkins

    Richard Wurmbrand wasn’t arrested, tortured and persecuted by the Romanian Communist Regime because he was a Christian preaching the Gospel.

    Richard Wurmbrand (A Lutheran) was arrested because he used his religious beliefs as a platform to speak out against both the Communist Government in Romania, and also to speak out against the Romanian Orthodox Church.

    Christianity was officially recognized (Romanian Orthodox Church) by the Communist State, and the Romanian Orthodox Church was one of the only Churches in the Communist Eastern Bloc that was allowed to freely publish religious and liturgical works, including materiel translated from English.

    The majority of Christians in Romania successfully navigated through Communist times, as long as they kept their faith limited to spiritual matters, and held to the traditional Christian maxims of “Render unto to Caesar that which is Caesar’s” and didn’t practice, or preach anything that would challenge, or infringe upon the authority of the State (“My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting…… As it is my kingdom is not from the world”).

    Richard Wurmbrand was more politically persecuted than anything else.

  • RC

    The seminal 1967 US Supreme Court decision of Loving v. Virginia (http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0388_0001_ZO.html) declared states laws against interracial marriage to be unconstitutional. Unfortunately, the justification of these laws by their racist supporters were often bible verses. (http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Bible-Verses-About-Interracial-Marriage/)

    For those here that think that businesses should be able to discriminate against gay people, refusing to do business with them for their weddings, and calling it a free speech issue, would you support the rights of a florist that won’t serve an interracial marriage based on bible verses? Nearly 50 years ago, this was an identical issue.

  • http://2000ah.blogspot.com/ edward

    excellent article. really got me thinking about all the whining that i have heard.

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  • PatrickG

    @ Ephirius:

    TL;DR: You’re wrong, and your comparison of school photography to religious belief is rather offensive. But more, it’s hilarious.

    “We are on shaky ground at this point. The Catholic, Orthodox, most Protestant denominations, and many secular folks don’t define marriage in an open-ended way. If such a person owns a business that caters to marriages, then the denial of goods, services, et al, for what is not marriage is not discrimination. ”

    In the absence of recognized — as in, legal — religious exceptions (e.g. no church is forced to recognize or solemnize a marriage), this is totally false. If you run a public establishment, you are subject to laws governing public establishments, notably the Civil Rights Act.

    Offensive: denying people basic rights based on sexual orientation is cruel and malicious, in my judgment. Bigotry is never justifiable. And, it’s actually discrimination as defined by several states. Come to think of it, I think it’s your ignorance of the law that’s most offensive

    Hilarious: you then construct a parallel case based on a person’s “deeply held conviction that their son’s graduation [from elementary school] was the equivalent of a senior graduating high school.

    Let’s reflect on this a moment, shall we?

    You directly compare the belief that marriage is “One Man, One Woman” to … the belief that elementary school is equivalent to high school. I agree with you when you claim the latter belief is ridiculous. But if It then follows that “deeply held conviction” is a poor standard, and we can chuck out the convictions on marriage with ease. It also follows that YOU think a religious belief on marriage can be judged equivalent to a ludicrous and easily dismissed concern.

    Well, thanks for saving me the trouble! OBVIOUSLY denying people service based on sexual orientation is ridiculous. Just on the face of it!

    I’m sure you’re going to protest that of course you weren’t equating the two. You were just trying to highlight the problem right? But surely you could have come up with an example that is actually COVERED BY LAW. Let’s talk about that a bit, shall we?

    States and municipalities are allowed to enact anti-discrimination laws more sweeping than the federal standard. Example: California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act prevents discrimination against individuals based on “sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, marital status, or sexual orientation.[1][2][3] This law applies to all businesses such as hotels and motels, restaurants, theaters, hospitals, barber and beauty shops, housing accommodations, and retail establishments.” Other states have similar laws, most notably Washington, where the florist case happened. Go look it up. hum.wa.gov has some helpful reading.

    Note that part about RETAIL ESTABLISHMENTS. This includes florists. It also includes photographers, but sadly for your case, NOT in situations regarding grade level. Now, you can refute me easily. Just find “grade level” in ANY statute regarding discrimination. Pro-tip: The Onion is not a reputable source.

    “The Freedom of Conscience is protected by amendment”

    Sure. But the Freedom of Expression is NOT. Your right to speak/believe does not necessarily protect you from the consequences of your speech and actions.

    If you made it this far, thanks for reading! Got a bit long-winded here.

  • Cactus Wren

    Scott McPhail @27: Try substitution the word “interracial” for “gay” in your little screed.

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  • gimpi1

    Ephirius,

    Do you believe that a florist who believed interracial marriage was a sin (and yes, some people believe that) should be able to deny services to an interracial couple? If not, what is the difference?

    I, personally, don’t understand this need to approve personally of everyone one does business with. I have worked in the wedding industry, in the 1970s, making gowns with my mother. Divorce was the big issue then. I never heard a wedding planner, photographer, florist, caterer, entertainer or anyone else say, “This marriage won’t last 6 months. I won’t do business with a couple that I don’t approve of.) What’s the difference? Why do you need to approve of someone’s relationship in order to sell them flowers? How is your conscience harmed by simply selling a commodity to someone you don’t approve of? Doing business with someone is in no way a sign of approval.

  • http://www.truthwinsout.org Evan Hurst

    Ginny,

    Others have already said it, but before I even clicked over to look at your blog, I could tell by the tone of your self-righteous comment that YOU are the problem. Refer to the parts of the blog post above about how you’re not being persecuted for your beliefs, you’re being shunned because you’re insufferable to be around.

    I’ve always thought that the verse directly after “blessed are those who are persecuted” should have been directly followed by a “THIS, BY THE WAY, DOES NOT GIVE YOU LICENSE TO BE AN OBNOXIOUS PERSON TO BE AROUND,” but I suppose the biblical author didn’t have the modern American fundamentalist in mind when he wrote that.

  • Rachael

    As a Secular Humanist, I really appreciate this post. I can tell you with a great amount of certainty that if American Christians were truly being persecuted, a large portion of us (the Humanist community) would, without hesitation, stand with them and fight for their right to believe what they wish.

  • http://stillfinditsohard.wordpress.com Dean McIntosh

    Point of order here about an otherwise excellent article.

    If you are reprimanded, demoted, or even fired for being a Christian and making bigoted or murderous remarks about co-workers on the basis of their sex, sexuality, neurology, race, or institutionalised delusions, you have no business saying that you are being persecuted at all. Imaginary or otherwise. Because you are not. What you are experiencing is being told that you are not allowed to persecute others in a manner that your ancestors might have been allowed, and that the organisation you are part of is going to kick you back in place before the person you are trying to persecute does it for them. Given that people who know genuine persecution tend to lash out very hard at people who propose to subject them to more of it, you can thank the organisation for stopping you from making the victim decide they wish to hurt you.

    People like Kirk Cameron should be subjected to the lives of people who are being persecuted in ways they have never heard of. Believe me, if most fundies had to live every day for a couple of years with an organisation soliciting funds to perform Auschwitz-like medical experiments on them, and being told that it is a good charity organisation in the US in response to their protests, they would think very differently about their privileged positions under normal circumstances.

  • twinkie1cat

    It’s a fundraiser. That is all it is and extremists love a controversy to raise money. Remember, the Religious Right is feeling very threatened right now. They lost the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. They never got over that. Last year they lost DADT. Now they have lost DOMA. And there is this problem of this black guy in the White House. The fundies are very unhappy.

    We have elections coming next year for Congress and there is no better way for arch-conservatives to raise money than to claim that Christians are being persecuted in America. This is what Tony Perkins (Family Research Council) is trying to do. He is behind this “persecution” thing. He wrote a big letter to the editor of the Baton Rouge Advocate about this military persecution accompanied by a teaparty congressman from Louisiana who has to run again soon.

    Since Perkins is a former state legislator, he can pretty much get anything printed he wants to in Louisiana. Perkins also just recently became the Interim Senior Pastor of a mega-church, Greenwell Springs Baptist, near Baton Rouge. (Why an interim pastor would be designated a senior pastor does not make sense to me.) So he is really feeling his oats with all his new sheeples lapping up his every word. Louisiana has a lot of very conservative christian people who believe a preacher’s every word. It also has a small but vibrant Metropolitan Community Church (MCCBR) with a powerful pastor, Keith Mozingo. So there is hope.

  • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen

    JDE, Louise and Evan, understanding and compassion ooze from your every pore.

  • Louise Dotter

    Ginny dear, it is because I DO understand you and your fellow dominionists that I have NO compassion and will continue to oppose your attempts to control everyone else. As I said previously, look at the “log in your own eye”!

  • Mike

    I think those of us who have placed our trust in Jesus Christ for Salvation should spend our time doing as Christ asked us to do,,,,,sharing Christ with those who don’t know him. Spending time trying to figure out who are fake Christians is not very good use of our time. I’ve heard Kirk Cameron, (the one you have labeled as a fake above) sharing Jesus with a lost world on a continuous basis so I would suggest all of us could take a lesson from him and keep our focus on Christ and not on those we want to accuse of short comings that don’t really exist (i.e. the Log in our own eye).

  • http://katanapen.wordpress.com Setsu

    “[In a US presidential election] an actor who reads his Bible would almost certainly defeat a rocket scientist who does not. Could there be any clearer indication that we are allowing unreason and other-worldliness to govern our affairs?” – Sam Harris

  • WingedBeast

    Mike, two things for you to be clear on.

    1. Formerly Fundie did not claim that Kirk Cameron was not a real Christian, but that the persecution that he faced was not real persecution.

    2. Kirk Cameron is lying to millions, showing an image of Christendom as self-absorbed, dishonest, and egotistical using God as a means displaying false humility. He’s not spreading Christianity, he’s making you look stupid and he’s making the god he believes in look like The Party from 1984. (the book, not the year.)

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com Benjamin L. Corey

    @ Mike– the entire post was about a “log in my own eye”. I am a Christian, in America (and I am white). Which basically means I am super privileged and don’t have much to worry about. The beam in my eye is that my own tribe is constantly complaining about persecution and discrimination, and that is actually HURTING the cause of Jesus. So, I denounce it– because I don’t want anything to detract from the beautiful message of Christ.

    @WingedBeast– thanks for chiming in!

  • Linda Groom

    I do appreciate your answer and I understand what you are saying, but personally I feel that God and his Son, Jesus Christ are my best friends. I could give you many reasons why I feel this way but there are so many that I won’t. A

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  • Daniel

    @Jake

    I understand wanting to save people. the problem isn’t wanting to save them, but is saving someone by trying to put the fear of god in them, make them want to do something simply because they don’t want to burn in hell? Sure be afraid of burning in hell, it is a scary place. But Jesus came down because the heads of religion was pretty much bible thumper who pretty much said I did more right than you today, so I am closer to got, and you’ll burn in hell before I would, and God does not want that. he wants you to love one another, and respect one another. He wants you to believe in him, but he wants you to respect and love one another. Talking to people about you religion to show them your belief, is different than shoving the religion down their throat.

  • Brian

    I think he hit every straw man so stop complaining when the government jams homosexuality down you and your kids throat. After all, ppl get drunk at weddings.

  • https://www.facebook.com/joseph.coyle.5 Joseph Coyle

    We would do well to keep in mind that Christian’s aren’t the only one’s who are persecuted for reasons of faith. It seems to me that the standard pattern of persecution is for the dominating faith and culture to persecute those who don’t align with it’s views.

    In the USA it’s an issue of Islamophobia. Of course Christian persecution happens, but we shouldn’t forget our history (and yes the Catholic church is our history) of crusades and witch hunts. The church killing alchemists as witches for having alternative ideas or scientists for simply proposing something that was against high church doctrine. The USSR persecuted ALL forms of religious practice of any kind demanding a public atheism and now, under Putin, is using the culture of the Orthodox church to persecute LGBT people. Uganda, as a “Christian” government has made LGBT punishable by death.

    I know this is not a popular sentiment because it’s too “Rob Bell kisses Universalism” in it’s flavor but I would contend that it’s time for the church to stop seeing persecution as a thing against Christians and start seeing it as a thing against those who walk the spirit of Christ, which is freedom. There is a much larger picture of what persecution looks like and in some cases Christians are the persecuted, but more often than any of us want to deal with, Christians are the persecutors.

    Christians and Muslims join together in Cairo to fight an oppressive and persecuting regime because the people are being treated unjustly. The spirit of Christ is freedom and was staunchly opposed to the abuses of the powerful and wealthy as wee see with the pharisees. Those Muslims and Christians are experiencing persecution together.

    In North Korea people are tortured and put into concentration camps for no reason than being even a perceived threat to the current regime. Regardless of the faith of those being so harshly tormented you can bet your ass that the spirit of Christ is freedom and that those people are the church. They are being persecuted because they stand against those things which destroy life and reject grace.

    If you want my honest understanding of this then here it is: Jesus didn’t see it as “World vs. Christians.” Jesus saw it as “broken world vs. healed world” or to put it in more social gospel terms “Oppressive systems against beloved and cherished humans.” IMHO the church needs to see any of the oppressed, and of the needy, any people who are persecuted, bullied, abused, used, hurt, raped, disenfranchised, or rejected as PART OF the church, not as lost souls to be collected. Jesus understood broken people and he loved being with them because broken people were the one’s more capable of love and more capable of exhibiting the spirit of Christ, even if they don’t profess the name Jesus on their lips.

    There are many people who have never revered the name of Jesus who are closer to God’s kingdom than many of the Christian leaders who are zealously and passionately sure of their theology.

  • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen

    In all actuality, today, worse then the persecution being faced by true American believers (in Jesus) is their seduction by the world.

  • Cheri Remily

    As I read through the many comments I can see the differences between the brainwashed by Christian fundies since a young age and the regular Christians. When a ‘faith’ starts to use brainwashing techniques on children from a young age then it has stopped being a ‘faith’. One of the biggest problems I am noticing is how our public schools are being defunded and how ‘Christian’ voucher schools are replacing them. As the blogger wrote, his indoctrination began early on in ‘church’ life, fortunately he has found a way to be stronger than the programming forced on him.

    ‘Brainwashing Techniques

    In the late 1950s, psychologist Robert Jay Lifton studied former prisoners of Korean War and Chinese war camps. He determined that they’d undergone a multistep process that began with attacks on the prisoner’s sense of self and ended with what appeared to be a change in beliefs. Lifton ultimately defined a set of steps involved in the brainwashing cases he studied:

    Assault on identity

    Guilt

    Self-betrayal

    Breaking point

    Leniency

    Compulsion to confess

    Channeling of guilt

    Releasing of guilt

    Progress and harmony

    Final confession and rebirth”

    Taken from How Stuff Works. Do not think for one minute these techniques are not used on children within the fundamentalist Chruchs and schools. Now, take a look at people like Ginny and Jake. You can tell they were pretty much indoctrinated very early and in these methods. You will not really be able to get past this indoctrination simply because in order to do so they have to actually start questioning the indoctrination and belief programming which a deep seated fear was implanted into them to NOT to do so. This form of brainwashing doesn’t just happen over night, it takes places over years of RE ‘education’ and programming.

    I am not a Christian but I do remember as a 5 year old Catholic (former now) child attending a ‘class’ with a friend who was not Catholic. I remember going to a house and a woman, with her son, talking about hell and the Bible. I understood none of it. However, imagine having to attend that every Sunday. Eventually there would be a breakdown in the psyche.

    I am not against real Christianity. It has a good strong message about how to forgive passively and real, it has a good message about to take care of others who are needier than yourself. And the best Christians I have ever met have been those who are full of doubt and question everything. Sadly, the majority of churches do not want their congregation to have more knowledge or to seek the spiritual truth inside themselves. Where’s the money in that?

  • Britney

    I’m glad I came across this blog entry! Many were upset about Tim Tebow being let go. They claim it was because of his Christian faith. It wasn’t. They had too many quarterbacks and he didn’t make the cut. He’s on another team now. Comparing Tim Tebow’s being let go to real persecution (like many did) is completely absurd.

  • Jason

    Just 1 question………. “have had sex before marriage, which is also condemned in scripture

    ……where in scripture can you find this?!?!

  • it doesnt matter

    While I agree with the level of persecution that other countries are experiencing, without people standing where the Word of God stands this country will soon be a nation of persecution.

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  • Dan Schwartz

    Ha ha ha . . . to say nothing of the incredibly fake – and I DO mean FAKE – ‘Christian’ online forum moderators with their army of sappy (and/or vicious/vindictive) sock-puppets/hackers and their very visible “GIVE” signs . . .

  • JDE

    “While I agree with the level of persecution that other countries are experiencing, without people standing where the Word of God stands this country will soon be a nation of persecution.”

    Right, because as the majority, your civil rights are in imminent danger.

    The persecution myth is the cement holding together the conservative evangelical subculture. You may want to try listening to someone other than your pastor and Fox News.

  • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen

    For God to entrust children to the care of human parents is an awesome responsibility, one not to be taken lightly, Cheri. How ultimately irresponsible it would be to not instill in our children the precepts set forth in God’s Holy Word. After all, God’s Word is the standard by which all else is measured. Do you have children of your own, or are you one of those who simply have all of the answers but none of the problems?

    As an impressionable nine year old attending Catholic vacation Bible school, a priest informed me that the Bible was filled with myths and fairy tales. At that young age, the Holy Spirit gave me discernment, and I knew what he was saying was lies. As a mere child myself, I was horrified that he was brazen enough to attempt to lead children astray. As an 18 year old college freshman, sitting in biology class, I discerned the lies of Darwinian evolution as they spewed forth from the professor’s mouth. I had yet to surrender my allegiance to Jesus, receiving His free gift of salvation, but was still guided by the Holy Spirit.

    Is it a better option for our vulnerable children to be indoctrinated into the anti-Jesus, secular, humanist, modernist, narcissistic, socialist, elitist government schools, Cheri? Is it a better option for them to be taught to look out for numero uno and question their parents’ authority than it is to to be taught to serve God and others in His name? Is it better for our children to be brainwashed to shed their morals, followed by their Christian worldview, by our almighty state?

    What are “regular” Christians, Cheri?

    What exactly is so heinous about teaching our children to be ladies and gentlemen who are generous, modest, kind, disciplined, hard-working, responsible, with servants’ hearts, who put others above themselves and love a holy God above all else?

    Actually, a necessary fear was placed in me as a child – the fear of God. That is one of the main problems in our nation; the fear of God is sorely lacking. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, and I suggest you acquire it, Cheri.

    Lastly, although I could write much more, but have been admonished against it:

    Doubt will lead to one of two inevitable consequences. Faithful doubt leads to a deeper embrace of the truth, with doubt serving to point us into a deeper knowledge, trust, and understanding of the truth. Pernicious doubt leads to unfaithfulness, unbelief, skepticism, cynicism, and despair. Christians who are struggling with doubt, need to seek help from the faithful, not the faithless. ~Dr. Albert Mohler

    The British nineteenth-century poet Lord Tennyson made this point rather nicely in his poem The Ancient Sage:

    For nothing worthy proving can be proven,

    Nor yet disproven; wherefore thou be wise,

    Cleave ever to the sunnier side of doubt.

  • JDE

    >>Comment by Ginny Bain Allen — September 3, 2013 @ 10:11 am

    I’ve seen your comments here and on Amazon. You are profoundly mentally ill, and are in desperate need of psychiatric treatment – preferably in a hospitalized environment.

  • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen

    Stalker, I’m a fool for Christ, JDE. Whose fool are you?

    You may not fear God now, but on the dreadful day of Judgment you most assuredly will, when your kneecaps shatter as you fall to the ground……. trembling and………… swallowing your pride.

  • JDE

    Stalker? Seriously?

    Here’s a newsflash, Ginnie: you don’t speak for God. What you are is a raging psychopath.

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com Benjamin L. Corey

    Okay guys- debate is cool, but lets not let the individual messages get lost in name calling.

    Cheers,

    Ben

  • JDE

    You really want to approach this as a level playing field? You think my comments are equally as offensive as hers? In fact, you think her comments have any value at all?

    If you see it that way, Ben, you aren’t as “formerly” fundie as you think you are.

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com Benjamin L. Corey

    No, I don’t think they’re equal. Was just trying to be diplomatic. Don’t go anywhere, I’m glad you’re here!

  • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen

    For you, Ben, as well as for your exemplary buddy, JDE

  • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen

    Lemme make a guess here. JDE is related to RHE? Mmm hmm.

  • JDE

    I’m related to a Reversible Hydrogen Electrode?

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com Benjamin L. Corey

    Maybe he is. Any friend of RHE is a friend of mine.

    I’m not sure you’re aware the amount of damage you are causing to the Jesus you’re trying to follow- I’ve seen your blog, and honestly it’s the reason why I exist– to help people deconstruct all the damage that fundamentalist religion does, in hopes they’ll discover that Jesus is way, way different.

  • JDE

    Who is RHE?

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com Benjamin L. Corey
  • JDE

    Oh! Yeah, I know who she is. No, no relation.

  • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen

    JDE, there’s no need for me to speak for God Almighty. That’s the reason for His Holy Word. Check it out! You won’t get the Truth from Ben for he’s willing to keep telling you what your itching ears want to hear.

    Ben, your blog is not aptly named, unless fundies and true believers are one and the same. Apparently you are blind in one eye and can’t see out the other, for your chum threw some nasty words, meant to wound, my way. Fortunately, I’ve developed a thick skin due to encounters with many such people online, and I’m not catching what they’re throwing. How sad that atheists and progressive “Christians” alike sound like a broken record, making exactly the same statements. What a commentary about those who were formerly fundie, huh? You say you exist because of people like me. I am driven by the Holy Spirit to be outspoken about those who preach another gospel, one that is definitely NOT the Truth which is Jesus. At least you don’t attempt to cloak your disdain for me under the guise of love and peace like some do. Proverbs describes their hypocrisy in chapter 10, verse 18, “He that hideth hatred with lying lips … is a fool,” and it’s so easy to discern their true motives.

    Sadly, I have a friend who’s attending Gordon-Conwell at this time. Many years ago, my faithful pastor told me that seminaries are truly cemeteries. Since then, I’ve heard many a sad tale that affirms his wise statement. Some friends were attending a Baptist church where their pastor preached powerful sermons on the Truth which is Jesus. Then he made the mistake of attending seminary. Upon his return to that same church, his sermons had become like watered down Hallmark cards, devoid of any life that could help transform lives in Jesus’ name, for His glory. I’ve seen men on the nightly news who had once been true believers, who have left their first love, Jesus, due to attending seminary, and are now faithless, adrift in their pernicious doubt. Dietrich Bonhoeffer saw firsthand how Union Theological Seminary in New York City did not teach the Gospel of the Good News, when he was there close to one hundred years ago. We have Germany to thank for much of our secular, humanist, modernist views. What a pathetic state the postmodern church is in, not the genuine Body of Christ, of course. The SUBmergent church is akin to the Reich church, which was in stark contrast to the confessing church, which was the authentic Body of Christ, led by true believers such as Bonhoeffer. Do you appreciate men such as John Stonestreet, Eric Metaxas, Eric Ludy, Franklin Graham, Dr. James Dobson, Ravi Zacharias, Josh McDowell, Dinesh D’Souza, William Lane Craig, David Wilkerson, Chuck Colson, John Piper, Matt Walsh, Paul Washer and David Platt or do you consider them to be sociopaths like me?

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com Benjamin L. Corey

    Ginny,

    Many of my readers, like me, have been deeply wounded by fundamentalism and have come here to wrestle with Jesus without the nonsense which we found so harmful. So, when you come here so frequently to debunk me and my readers using the same tone and language which drove us here in the first place, you can’t be surprised when you receive push-back.

    No, I’m not fans of the people you mentioned, especially Piper. But Eric Metaxas? That made me laugh. He’s not a theologian or minister- he’s just a writer. His book on Bonhoeffer was universally rejected by every Bonhoeffer scholar. I’ve personally discussed this with Eric, and his answer is “I’m not a theologian”. So it’s strange you’d mention him.

    If you don’t like my blog, the emergent church, or progressive Christianity, perhaps you should blog about it and compete in the arena of ideas. But coming to my audience and trying to convince them how wrong I and they are, is something that’s probably going to net you more and more push-back, and won’t be effective for your cause. They’ve left fundamentalism, and aren’t interested in going back.

    Plus, it’s really not the loving thing to do- and love is the command from Jesus.

  • JDE

    Well, Ben, you know the answer to that one – we’re all going to hell, so the unloving thing would be not warn us.

    Re: Piper et. al. – I certainly consider those people to be sociopaths. I have an article of Piper’s that he published thirty years ago, How Does a Soverign God Love, in which he states (with a great deal of pathos and melodrama):

    I have three sons. Every night after they are asleep I turn on the hall light, open their bedroom door, and walk from bed to bed, laying my hands on them and praying. Often I am moved to tears of joy and longing…

    But I am not ignorant that God may not have chosen my sons for his sons. And, though I think

    I would give my life for their salvation, if they should be lost to me, I would not rail against the

    Almighty. He is God. I am but a man. The potter has absolute rights over the clay. Mine is to

    bow before his unimpeachable character and believe that the Judge of all the earth has ever and

    always will do right.

    In other words, if God has predestined his kids to hell, he’s just fine with it. Imagine growing up in that environment, knowing your father feels that way. His youngest son, Abraham, tried to break away a few years ago, but in the end, he went back. The indoctrination was just too strong, and I understand he couldn’t function on the outside without the support of the community. I think that keeps a lot of people in.

  • http://fibrodiary.tumblr.com fibrodiary

    Ouch :(

    Jerk is ableist language originating as a way to mock people with cystic fibrosis, and that’s pretty obviously the kinetic shock value that sets it apart from a term like ‘arrogant’. I hardly think this is an occasion to mock people with cystic fibrosis. Perhaps any of the other words for a bad person out there? It’s like calling someone “spaz” like it’s a bad thing. I know a lot of people are ignorant about this, but thankfully you know now.

    loved & tumbld the article though! great examples and explanation.

  • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen

    G. K. Chesterton said, “You can only find truth with logic if you have already found truth without it.”

    “Too many evangelicals are more concerned about being ‘nice’ and ‘tolerant’ than being Biblical or faithful to the exclusive Gospel found in their Bibles.” ~Douglas Groothuis

    Love is not love if not illuminated with Truth.

    Benjamin, I listed men who live exemplary lives for Jesus, men who write, preach, speak and teach the Truth, such as Benjamin Wiker, Del Tackett, Mike Adams, Joshua Harris, C. J. Mahaney, Dr. Ben Carson and Nate Phiel. I did not say Eric Metaxas is a theologian, but he’s certainly not “just a writer.” He’s a fabulous communicator/speaker with a great sense of wit, and surely has a good grasp on apologetics, eh? I’ve met him and he signed my well-read copy of Bonhoeffer.

    As a matter of fact, Benjamin, I do blog about the SUBmergent church. :)

    I’m sorry you have been hurt by fundamentalism. One of the inevitables in life, along with death, taxes, and change, is that when we spend enough time with someone, we will be hurt. What is significant is how we react to that hurt. Do we allow it to be a refining process to make us more like Jesus, or do we allow it to fester, making us bitter, resentful and unforgiving? Hurt people hurt people.

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  • Cynthia Mahan

    Very well said

    This is the reason I can’t get behind the owner of “Hobby Lobby” for threatening to close down his business and fire thousands of good employees because he doesn’t want to provide insurance plans that will provide abortions on demand.

    Now, I’m not for abortion on demand either. And I don’t think a right thinking person would be in 99.9% of the cases. There is always that .1 that I have to allow for, although I don’t know what the reason would be yet that would justify it.

    But he is hiding is true motive, which is it will hurt his wallet to provide insurance for employees who are full time. Yes, it will cost more. But he can afford it. And the few employees of his that might resort to abortion are in his employment now, he just doesn’t know which ones they are. Trying to control the lives of your employees is not the role of a Christian businessman.

    I suggest he accept the court decision when it comes down, and continue to do the Christ-like thing by NOT FIRING THOUSANDS OF GOOD EMPLOYEES in the odd chance that a small percent of thing may sin. He is counting that one sin of abortion above all other sins. In God’s eyes, is greed (or self-righteousness) a lesser sin than abortion?

  • moral soldier

    As a christian, I have my God-given right and duty to shine His truth unto all whether or not they ask for it. Any attempt to silence the truth is persecution. If I can’t profess the immorality of homosexuality, atheism, ect. to the masses, I am being persecuted. I am simply warning those who dismiss the truth of the inevitable, horrible fate that awaits them and if anyone ignores me or disagrees, they are persecuting me. I will maintain my patience while working towards the day that God’s law is established over this nation and/or the earth and secularism is rightfully erased. But I will not be silenced.

  • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen

    Right on, Moral Soldier! You’ve certainly got a good, strong name! Endure to the end, MS!

  • JDE

    “and if anyone ignores me or disagrees, they are persecuting me”

    “Right on, Moral Soldier! You’ve certainly got a good, strong name! Endure to the end, MS!”

    Right – so we’ve gone beyond the point at which refusing to allow a fundie to thrust his/her beliefs into others’ faces is persecution. Now, merely disagreeing with their positions is persecution.

    Ben, so many former fundamentalists want desperately to believe the beliefs held by their friends and family members are merely the result of early childhood indoctrination, and that they’ll one day follow them out into the light of day. It simply won’t happen. This is not, for the most part, learned behavior; this is psychopathy.

    In any case, I’m unsubscribing from this thread, and I don’t think I’ll be back. Ben, you seem like a decent enough fellow, but I can’t say I care for the company you keep. My time is too valuable to be wasted wading through the psychotic ramblings of people who ought to be institutionalized.

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com Benjamin L. Corey

    JDE-

    I agree, and appreciate your thoughts. However, since this is a public blog and I really try to not block comments unless they are over the top offensive, there’s a mix on here. I hope you won’t judge me personally based on fundies who comment here– I’m a blatant progressive, and that’s the company I keep. Allowing comments doesn’t mean I approve.

  • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen

    Yes we do become like the company we keep. Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future! Those who keep company with Jesus become like Him, and they will live eternally with Him! :)

  • JDE

    Well, there goes the neighborhood.

  • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen
  • JDE

    Here’s a newsflash, Ginnie: He ain’t your abusive Dad, either, as much as you want him to be.

    Look up the word “projection”.

  • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen

    How right you are, JDE. God isn’t my abusive Dad, nor anyone else’s abusive Dad. God is Love! :) Amazing that you and I agree on something so fundiemental. :)

  • Larry Thedishguy Blake

    If you ask me, the reason these “Christians” do those kinds of things in the first place (the “Contrast” examples you gave) are because they’re trying to cover up or disassociate themselves with anything else that could be considered a sin in the bible (although IMO they generally do a pretty lousy job – I think the first few verses of Matthew Chapter 6 alone are verses these people violate on a regular basis). Since they don’t want to talk about their sins, or won’t admit that they’ve sinned just like everyone else, they try to find something else to pass off as an even greater sin.

    That said, it certainly does irk me when they try to claim they’re being “persecuted,” as persecution actually DOES exist in the world, and I think being beheaded or brutally beaten because you’re praying silently in your own home is a far more equatable scenario to persecution than being told to shut up because you’re irritating the people around you with your whole “God this, God that” mumbo jumbo.

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