Moody Bible Pres.: Prepare for Persecution

Moody Bible Pres.: Prepare for Persecution February 19, 2015

Dr. J. Paul Nyquist, president of Moody Bible Institute, has a new book out in which he tells his fellow Christians that they have lost the culture wars and now is the time to prepare to stand bravely in the face of (non-existent) persecution. The press release for the book says:

“The culture war is over—and we lost.” So says Dr. J. Paul Nyquist, president of Moody Bible Institute, in his latest book, Prepare: Living Your Faith in an Increasingly Hostile Culture (Moody Publishers).

However, this is not an alarmist rallying cry nor a white-flag opus, but rather a prophetic call for American Christians to prepare to live righteously in the face of persecution, not pining for the “good old days.”

For nearly 250 years, Christians in America were able to live in relative freedom from persecution—the societal marginalization of believers with a view to eliminating their voice and influence. “We’ve enjoyed freedom and respect from broader society for our entire lives. With those privileges rapidly disappearing, we don’t know how to respond,” the author explains.

American believers expect their lives to be marked by general prosperity and societal acceptance … persecution is strange. But biblically, it’s reversed.

“The American church has missed a vital element of discipleship. Important spiritual formation cannot be realized without experiencing suffering,” Dr. Nyquist says.

With America’s cultural shift, the church has an opportunity to revisit the New Testament and learn how to apply the many passages on persecution in new ways, he adds: “Persecution gives us the chance to demonstrate to a watching and hostile world what true discipleship looks like. Persecution supplies the life-shaping tools God skillfully uses to mold us into Christ’s image. It’s the next chapter in our stories. Now’s the time to prepare.”

All this is nonsense, of course. Yes, they’ve largely lost the culture wars, though border skirmishes remain to be fought. But that does not mean they’re going to be persecuted. As has been the case in every previous civil rights battle, they are losing is their ability to persecute others. And in all those other battles, they absurdly claim that if they are not allowed to oppress others, they are themselves being oppressed. It’s not much of a basis for such a claim, but what else do they have?

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