Monday, May 18, 2009

Christian Persecution

Here's a promise:
"...all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution." II Tim. 3:12

I am convinced that, for the most part, Christians in America today know very little about real persecution. I know of some who consider it persecution whenever someone makes fun of their faith or says mean things and hurts their feelings. Nevertheless, there are definitely times when Christians are significantly disadvantaged or suffer loss because of their faith. Recently, we saw Carrie Prejean suffer some pretty disgusting verbal attacks but she probably should have expected that to come her way. The very nature of the contest she chose to enter and her career choice with its requisite, skimpily clad appearances and the resulting risque photo sessions were certain to raise eyebrows and criticism from Christians and non-Christians alike.

We all watched in horror a few years ago as, seconds after takeoff, the space shuttle Challenger exploded in midair, killing all the astronauts on board. NASA claimed that the explosion was an accident, but an investigation revealed that a small, defective O-Ring was responsible for the tragedy.

Roger Boisjoly was an engineer for the company that manufactured the O-Ring. He suspected that the device was not ready for use and repeatedly warned the company that the device would fail. Roger’s honesty and integrity earned him nothing but pain. The company fired him. His neighbors shunned him. His life was threatened. His stand for truth resulted in great loss and persecution.

Most of us will never suffer that kind of persecution but Christians often find themselves in situations where they are disadvantaged or suffer some loss because of a simple decision to do right. We should not be surprised when it happens; in fact it should be expected as a normal part of the Christian life.

During the Easter season several years ago, Marc Luker, a high school softball coach in Perris, California realized that the team had a game scheduled with another high school team on Good Friday. For religious reasons, Coach Luker and most of his team members did not want to play in order to observe the Christian Holy day. So they called the opposing team’s coach and asked if they could reschedule the match. If not, the team agreed that they would not be able to play on Good Friday. The other coach declined their request and the Perris team forfeited the game.


"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
Matt. 5:10

3 comments:

Ron Livesay said...

Come on Ralph, what did you expect the coach of the other team to do? How could he justify changing a game just because the other team had religious convictions. After all, winning is what matters, even if you have to win by forfeit. That's much better than actually playing the game and risking losing. It's not about the kids having the fun of playing the game... it is about WINNING!

I’m sure you know these famous quotes:

•“Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing.”
•“Nice guys finish last.”
•“Second place is the first loser.”
•“There’s no such thing as a good loser.”
•“If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.”
•“Cheat until they catch you.”

You just don’t understand how important sports are and what their real purpose is. WIN, WIN, WIN!

Note: You can read my articles on Christian athletics http://buffalonoise.blogspot.com/search/label/Athletics

Stan McCullars said...

I have inside information regarding NASA and Roger Boisjoly.

My sources told me years ago that it was not a matter of an employee concerned about safety before the fact. It was about an engineer that was such a wimp that he would never sign off on anything because he could not be 100% certain that it would work. He was more of a coward than anything else.

At least that's what my sources close to the situation told me years ago.

Ralph M. Petersen-Always Right; Sometimes Wrong! said...

Stan,

Thanks for the perspective from an insider. I can't argue for it or against it; I wasn't there and, like they say, "...there are two sides to every story."