Our generation loves social justice, don’t we!? We genuinely believe that we can make an impact by righting some of the wrongs we see in the world today. As Christians, we are called to work for justice, to care for the poor, the oppressed and the needy.
You might assume that persecution falls into the poverty/justice category. But persecution is not a social justice issue. Let me tell you why.
1. Following Jesus is about dying
As a pastor, I believe Christians shouldn’t have to die for their faith.
I read this quote from a well-known Australian pastor recently, and I immediately thought, “This guy has missed the whole point of following Jesus.”
Compare this with Pastor Trung who I met in Vietnam. Trung had been in prison for 6 years for sharing the Gospel and he told me, “I die with Christ every day!”
By definition, being a Christian is about dying – dying with Christ, dying to sin, dying to self, dying for Christ. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor-theologian who was killed by the Nazis, said it best, “When Christ calls a man he bids him come and die.”
There is a cross to carry, but this pastor missed it. He’s missed Jesus’ call for His followers to deny themselves and take up their cross.
Over the next week we’re going to be looking at four reasons why persecution is not a social justice issue. I hope you can join me for the ride!