The ‘P’ word (persecution) is being thrown around a lot lately in the Christian community in America. Particularly in response to the growing disconnect most Christians experience in academia, with the main stream media, and in the increasingly secular American culture. It is serious, uncomfortable, and our rights are being threatened but it doesn’t really rise to the level of real persecution. At least not yet.
What we are facing here is far less than what can historically be referred to as ‘persecution.’ In the past the church has had to go underground, worship in secret, or immigrate to new locations. Real persecution is what is happening to Christians in the Middle East and in North Africa where believers are being beheaded, churches are being burned, families are losing their homes, and women and children are being kidnapped and enslaved all in the name of religion. The two should not be confused.
We recently suggested using the word- ‘Christianophobia’ as a label for what conservative Christians are now facing in the West. It was originally coined by George Yancey. The following is a link to an interview of Yancey about where we now stand in America. He also talks about how important it is for pastors and Christian leaders to prepare and train the America church on how to respond to what we are now facing and for what the future may might soon have in store for our community. Here’s a quote (actually the conclusion) from the article:
…Today there are powerful individuals who seek to supplant that morality with one that devalues Christianity and depersonalizes Christians. Historically, Christians know what it is like to have minority power in a society. Unless something drastic happens that is likely to be the case again.
To this end, it is important that Christians do what is necessary to protect our culture and our voice as a religious community. Thus, pastors and church leaders should help Christians overcome racial and denominational barriers. In the coming times, a blessing that may arise is that we can see steps towards real Christian unity in the body of Christ, but such unity will not come without great effort and humility.
I really do believe that what we are facing in America can be called ‘Christianophobia’ and that it could ultimately be a unifying force in the Christian community. It could hopefully bridge the racial and denominational divide. But before that can happen, a major split will take place between Christian churches and leaders who want to be more culturally acceptable and those who want to continue to follow the Bible. *Top