How do you kill a Christian in America . . . and get away with it?
Imagine an America where killing Christians is not only socially acceptable, but also considered beneficial and even enjoyable. What social dynamics would have to exist in order for a society to reach this point?
Let’s do a little reverse engineering.
3. A government that takes the life a Christian (solely for being a Christian) must first make Christianity illegal. Even though capital punishment isn’t as popular in America now as in previous decades, our government already possesses the power to dispatch those individuals whose crimes are so egregious that the public must be protected from them at all costs. But that’s not currently true of Christianity in America. So, what would have to happen to make Christianity illegal in the U.S.?
2. A government that makes Christianity illegal must first convince the culture that Christianity is harmful. All laws are created because the law-givers (parents, teachers, kings, and republics alike) have decided that certain words and actions – and in some dystopian fiction even thoughts – are harmful to the culture. In America, our Constitution allows for representatives of the people (who act in accordance with the people’s wishes) to create laws. Therefore, the majority of people would have to be persuaded that the beliefs and actions of Christians are so harmful to the public that laws must be enacted to protect the nation from Christianity. Some would argue that this has already happened to Christians in America. But for those who do not see those laws as being designed to target Christians, how would a government demonize Christianity if they did want to make it illegal?
1. A government that demonizes Christianity must first persuade the nation that Christianity is divergent. Not all things that one people group find harmful are viewed the same by another. A facet of the U.S. believes vaccinations are deadly while another believes them to be necessary for survival. How does one group persuade others to join their side? The best way to convince the nation that Christianity is harmful would be to provide factual evidence of the destructive nature of Christianity. But since there is no contemporary or historical evidence of negatives growing from biblical Christianity, naysayers will have to either lie or take the sneaky approach – generalization. The sins of Christians – which are clearly condemned by Scripture – must be made to seem like the actual tenants of Christianity, or at least stereotypical of the whole. Christians must be defined by the worst of their kind: hypocrites, crusaders, and bigots. And when that fails because the listeners are capable of logical thought, then the God-haters will have to resort to making Christians look weird, awkward, fanatical, strange, and untouchable. Because Christianity cannot be proven to be genuinely harmful, people must be made to believe that it is divergent from the enlightened path.
This is happening every day in America.
- In science the nation believes we lack logic and reason. In politics we are made to look old-fashion and anti-progressive.
- In psychological discussions Christians who take a biblical approach to mental “illness” appear utterly asinine.
- In cultural forums, Christians are verbally eviscerated for rejecting culturally “beneficial” practices like abortion and homosexuality.
- And of course, in matters of philosophy, atheists try to convince the general populace that Christians are infantile and backward for believing in a supernatural deity.
There are countries in the world where it is legal not only for the government to kill Christians, but also for common citizens to get involved. Their are countries in the United Nations that have made Christianity illegal. And of the three steps to making it legal to kill Christians, America is fully invested in the first.
I’m not going to provide a prediction or a timeline. I believe history does that just fine. But I will say that if Christians do not take this reality seriously, most of us will be completely blindsided when we discover that our faith in God is now illegal and punishable by death.
I am not suggesting we fear that day.
I am suggesting we do the following:
- Obey the Bible. It will be hard for people to believe that Christians need to be locked up if every Christian they know is more loving, respectful, gracious, honest, obedient, and forgiving than they. Sure, Christians in a secular nation will still be the outliers. We’ll be strange. But it will be difficult to demonize us if we commit ourselves to God’s plan of loving, Truth-proclaiming, redemptive relationships. Being different isn’t inherently bad, and the world knows that.
- Stand against those who don’t. Christianity will be easily demonized as more and more of us are characterized by hypocrisy, pedophilia, embezzling, adultery, hatred, legalism, violence, and vitriol. When a professing Christian falls into these sins, those of us who love the Lord must first confront the sinning brother in a biblically loving way. We cannot afford to ignore it. Peter did it. Paul did it. Christ did it. We must as well. And if the erring brother refuses to accepts God’s Truth and repent, then we must act biblically and publicly remove that individual (and his organization) from the church (Matthew 18:15-17). If biblical Christians publicly reject Westboro Baptist Church, then biblical Christians cannot be lumped together with them. If Christians biblically condemn professing believers who blatantly disobey God’s Law, we testify to the public that those people do not deserve to define God’s Christianity.
I believe there’s hope for individual revival in America. I believe that by the grace and power of God, American Christians will still be able to share the Truth even if we are persecuted for doing so. But I also believe there’s still much to be done before we see the first American martyr.