My below remarks are in the context of, and response to, what most refer to as “persecution,” or “harassment;” for sharing or preaching the Gospel.
When evangelists in the USA get cited or arrested, we need to respond like Biblical Christians, not like Americans. In the book of Acts the Apostles didn’t complain, nor did they get their panties in a bunch. But they rejoiced in their sufferings, they went out and preached again and again, all the way to their deaths. Yes our U.S. Constitutional “rights” are a blessing, but never forget how the Lord Jesus did not demand His “rights” on that cross (Isaiah 53). Nonetheless, Christ is the Captain of our Salvation, and the Anchor of our soul, henceforth we do not need a Constitution to preach, He’s already given us His marching orders.
My dear friend Ronnie C. is a great example. He’s been arrested multiple times (for preaching), even ‘processed as a felon’ in booking, where he even endured a humiliating ‘body cavity search.’ Though he was horrorstruck by that treatment, he never once complained, he never pulled the ‘persecution card,’ and he always rejoiced for the glory of the Lord. My dear friend Brother Tatsuo is another good example (as well as a couple other Facebook friends).
Admittedly, 18 years ago when I went through a ‘particularly difficult trial,’ in response to that trial I displayed a ‘sinful complaining’ heart. I demonstrated more ‘horizontal frustrations,’ than I did ‘vertical faith.’ I was more concerned about the ‘false deity of me, myself, and I.’ But by the grace of God, today I am understanding more the weight of the sin of complaining. LORD let me be less American, and more like Christ. Enable me to get my eyes off my own circumstances, and more on You.
Let that be your prayer too.
From this point on, I am proactively asking my Christian friends to hold me accountable in this regard. Because if the world hates me, I’m doing something right.
As the Lord Jesus forewarned ~
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause” (John 15:18-25).