MANHATTAN — I have discussed in past articles the fact that persecution of Christians has come to America. Scripture gives us advice on how to handle this when it occurs. For instance, 1 Peter 3:15-16 states. “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.”
Sometimes God allows persecution so that He can use us to glorify himself through a miracle or provision that He performs on behalf of the persecuted. I will give two examples.
The first is Mike Adams, a professor of criminology in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. He was hired in 1993 while he was an atheist. In 2000, he became a Christian and began writing for TownHall.com. He also started doing radio interviews. Both of these were done on his own time.
In 2006, Mike was denied a promotion to full professorship, because an atheist professor and a feminist professor objected to this man’s belief in Jesus Christ. He sought legal help, because he felt his First Amendment rights had been violated. Four years later, an appeals court ruled that his rights had been violated. But, the court went even further, ordering the university to give him his promotion, as well as $50,000 in back pay! During this entire time, Mike continued to teach classes to the best of his ability.
Another example is that of Craig James, who was fired by Fox Sports due to a statement he made some time before when he ran for Congress. In answer to a question he was asked, he stated that he believed in the biblical position concerning marriage. He said that marriage was an institution created by God to be made up of one man and one woman. Fox found out about it, courtesy of some folks who disagreed with him. Those folks filed a complaint with the Texas Workforce Commission. Craig was fired one week after he was hired. He had worked for ESPN before that with no problems.
After Fox Sports dismissed James, the Liberty Institute launched an investigation against the network. This is a major step toward holding Fox Sports accountable for violating James’ Constitutional rights, as well as, possibly violating the law. James was recently hired by the Family Research Council.
God saw fit to protect these men and restore their loss because they were willing to lay everything on the line for Him. Obviously, God does not always do this as witnessed by the young lady who had her mouth and one eye sown shut, because she proclaimed the name of Jesus in a Muslim country.
The question is, “Are we willing to do the same for Jesus and the moral standards that He represents?” A recent poll by the Barna Group seems to indicate that we may not be as willing as these men were. Maybe that is why Jesus told us in Luke 12:28, “I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God.” His statement is an excellent motivator in a society where persecution is relatively new.
Frank F. Clark is the author of the column “Frankly Speaking.” His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.