The Resistance

The Resistance October 18, 2018

Martyrdom is the true resistance to the powers and principalities that rule in heavenly places.

Witnesses broke the old creation order. Martyrs shattered the Roman world, so that God’s throne was set up in Europe and began shaking things.

Early Christians were witnesses against the religious foundations of Rome. Rome existed because of a “social contract” between gods and Romans; as long as the Romans honored their gods, the gods would give Rome success.

Christians broke the social contract by their silence, by their refusal to worship Caesar, by their insistence that Jesus is Lord.

As Steven D. Smith has pointed out (Pagans & Christians in the City), we have now reached a point in the U.S. where Christian transcendence challenges the underpinnings of social order.

He describes a shift in the basis for religious freedom claims. Older forms of religious freedom required the courts to recognize the possibility of a higher calling, a higher law and authority to which the court too is accountable.

This is now seen as “an impermissible relinquishment of the community’s complete sovereignty.” Conscience is the higher power, the sacred, that must be protected.

Christian talk is seen as discriminatory and bigoted, intolerable in public. And, as Smith says, the space of the public is increasing.

Religion has been squeezed from public into a relatively free space outside the walls. But this space is shrinking “as the public sphere has expanded, leaving less room for the private.” Antidiscrimination laws apply to institutions and businesses: “Antidiscrimination laws have the effect of annexing the marketplace, once mostly thought of as a private sphere, into the public domain, at least for many important purposes.” We’re still free to practice religion in private, “but the ‘private’ no longer includes the domain of business, or economic activity.”

Reasonable opinions are permissible in public, but religious opinions are by definition irrational. Thus Robin West demands that we “accept the ‘shared’ public norms as a condition of participating in the public sphere, including the economic marketplace.”

As in Rome, Christians are deviants; we don’t accept the rules of the game. When we say Jesus is Lord, we’re saying that the people are not. that God imposes limits on human freedom.

We don’t need to seek martyrdom. Living a faithful Christian life will put us at odds with the rules of the game. If we teach our children that the Bible is true, we’ll be considered by some to be child-abusers. If we say that abortion is murder or that sodomy is an abomination (which is what the Bible says), we’re bigots. If we try to live Christianly in public – including the workplace – we may well face the wrath of the gods.

Every time we bear witness, every time we say “we must obey God rather than man,” we are challenging the very foundations of contemporary political order. We are messing with the gods of conscience and consent as surely as the early Christians messed with the Roman gods.

Every time we resist by faithful witness, we prove the impotence of the gods who oppose us.

Every time we bear witness, we put another crack in the firmament, and the throne of God, flashing with lightening and rumbling with thunder, descends to earth to shake Babylon to the ground.

 

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  • chemical

    Christian talk is seen as discriminatory and bigoted, intolerable in public.

    That’s because you didn’t throw your intolerant bigots out of church.

    “Antidiscrimination laws have the effect of annexing the marketplace, once mostly thought of as a private sphere, into the public domain, at least for many important purposes.” We’re still free to practice religion in private, “but the ‘private’ no longer includes the domain of business, or economic activity.”

    I’d be very careful before complaining about anti-discrimination laws. You’re fighting against your own rights, including religious freedom. If you actually succeeded, then people could get fired for being evangelical Christians, or refused service.

    …every time we say “we must obey God rather than man,” we are challenging the very foundations of contemporary political order.

    Well, we agree there, as what you are challenging is democracy and freedom. That phrase, “We must obey God rather than man” is something every ISIS and al-Qaeda member also believes. You’re advocating for establishing a theocracy. Just like Iran. Just like every other terrorist. You can take your Sharia Law and shove it.

    • Evermyrtle

      These seem to be the thoughts of all who are antichrist! Christians believe that GOD and HIS SON JESUS CHRIST are the makers of heaven and earth! Another thought: all Gods are not our GOD, who made the heavens and the earth!!!

      Referring to bigots, they have thrown the maker of the heaven and the earth under the bus, but in the end, each of us will stand before HIM and be judged, like it or not! But remember, it is the duty of the Christian to do what he/she can do, to see that every person, who lives to be old enough to make her/his decisions, will stand before GOD! He/she will be judged, according to our decisions, our treatment of other people, while living on the earth, that HE made! Christian or non christian who may say he/she have committed no sin against GOD, is a liar and the truth is not in him/her!

      Christians have always striven to make it possible, for every person to have a chance to know GOD and HIS SON! Many liberals are fighting these facts, tooth and nail, they do not want fairness, they wan to change the Christian world to an Satanic world! It is not going to get any better, either, remember this when you decide to have children, what they are going to live with and in; because the WORD OF GOD tells us that these evils will get worse and worse until GOD decides to take the world away from us, see Timothy 3! Excuse me, antichrists do not believe in the WORD OF GOD, until they stand before HIM and HE may all unbelievers and promoters of evil, “Depart from me, I never knew you!” I wonder, where they will go!!!!!!

      • chemical

        Excuse me, antichrists do not believe in the WORD OF GOD, until they stand before HIM and HE may all unbelievers and promoters of evil, “Depart from me, I never knew you!” I wonder, where they will go!

        If God lets you into heaven, then hell suddenly doesn’t seem so bad. I think you need to work on your threats a bit more.

        If I ever come face-to-face with God, I’ll ask him to stamp “Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200” on my “Go directly to Hell” ticket.

        You aren’t the first Christian who’s threatened me with eternal damnation. You’re not even in the first thousand. But I do have a question for you: How does it make you feel, knowing that I’m going to burn in Hell forever?

  • TinnyWhistler

    Ya know, this might come across as more sincere if you made an effort to engage with *why* Christians are seen as discriminatory, bigoted, and intolerable. The article seems to just shrug that off.

    You bemoan loss of freedom to antidiscrimination laws. Can we look at a case where an antidiscimination law was used against an undeniably Christian institution? Let’s talk about Bob Jones.

    Bob Jones chose to lose its tax exempt status for decades because it insisted on upholding anti miscegenation policies that it claimed were part of its Biblical foundation. Is that the sort of legal ramifications for discrimination that you’re upset about? Because that case has definitely shaped how the wider culture views conservative Christianity.

    • Evermyrtle

      Don’t expect this kind of consideration from antichrist peoples, in our world, today! They are not there to promote the truth but will support antichrist actions, always! Christians believe in “Love thy neighbor as you love yourself!” and to always to stand for the truth, no matter how we may be condemned, because of it! The Bible tells this will come with the last days of the earth’s existence, it will not last but HE will give us a “New heaven and a new earth, where I believe all “Satanic actions will be prohibited, all actions, considered by GOD, to be evil will never be allowed to enter, unless he/she repents of his/her evil!!

      • TinnyWhistler

        I have a few questions.

        1) Who are antichrist peoples? Could you clarify who you’re talking about?
        2) I agree that Christians claim to love other people and to fight for the truth. Do you believe that Christians always do this, or do they sometimes do the opposite?
        3) What do you consider to be a Satanic action?