The ultimate persecution

I was at the Congress on the Lutheran Confessions in Minneapolis last week, giving a paper on how those confessions teach the doctrine of vocation. I had to zip in and out, missing most of the conference (though it did prevent me from posting anything on Friday). Still, I did get to hear a paper by Rev. Fredrik Sidenvall of Gothenburg, Sweden, entitled “Confessing the Faith in an anti-Christian Culture.” It was about the woeful state of Christianity in Sweden, in society but more importantly in the state church. Rev. Sidenvall is involved in the confessional underground in that country. He actually didn’t make it to Minnesota, his flight being grounded by that Icelandic volcano! Still, his paper was read for him, and I got a lot out of it. I’ll be posting samples of what he said.

Early in his paper, he said that even worse than living as a Christian in an anti-Christian culture is living in a culture where Christianity is tolerated. He cited a quotation from Luther: “No persecution is the ultimate persecution.”

Why is that so?