The popular choices under persecution are ‘turn, run or burn’.
The first is secular repentance, the second looks like cowardice, and the last is the wicked solution imposed by control freaks. In former times in the UK it was literal burning, but nowadays persecution burns a hole in your pocket, your wallet or your reputation.
As aggressive secularism grows more vocal, domineering and physical, Christians will need to consider these options.
The first option for Christians is to stand and fight ungodliness Eph 6:10-19, although the Christian must remember that their weapons are not material, carnal ones 2Cor 10:4. However, when the opposition turns physical, risking life and limb, then Christ gives us guidance.
Thankfully, God in His benevolence does not give us a choice as He knows we will make the wrong choice – so He tells us: “Choose life!” Deu 30:19.
In this context, it means ‘run – for your life’. Christ tells us to run, to live to fight another day. It looks like cowardice, but rather ‘discretion is the better part of valour’ – and Jesus taught it to His disciples Mat 10:23.
There are many examples of aggressive secular persecution, and yesterday I drew attention to the ‘turn’ response to secular aggression. It looks as if Eugene Peterson had his head turned by homosexual Christians, then within 24 hours he ran from the evangelical backlash. It is now a question if his reputation will burn at the hands of the evangelicals or at the hands of the homosexuals.
He has put himself on the horns of a dilemma, like Peter denying his Master, and will he now weep, repent and bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ 2Cor 10:5?
Either way, he will burn at someone’s hands. It would have been better never to have turned – but that is what secular repentance and peer group pressure do to a person. Peterson is not the first, nor the last victim of “the sin that so easily besets us” Heb 12:1. But he may be an example to the rest of us, just as David’s fall is, as Peter’s denial is, as Moses’ unadvised speech is, as Sodom and Gomorrah are, and as the global flood is 2Pe 2:5-6. The list is long, but is it heeded?
“He that has an ear to hear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” Rev 2:7,11,17,29 and Rev 3:6,13,22.
17 Oct 2022: a Hindu US Congresswoman has left the US Democratic Party accusing its leadership of persecuting Christians in particular.
28 Jan 2023: persecution of Jordan Peterson threatening his credentials and his Clinical Psychology License.