Genesis 46-50; Matthew 10

Matthew 10:22 “You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved.”  It is amazing to me the extent and the vehemence of Christian persecution around the world.  Christians are sinners like everyone else, of course, but I don’t think I’m going out on a limb by saying by and large practicing Christians are good citizens in relation to the State.  We “render unto Caesar”, paying our taxes and obeying the laws.  In relating with our fellow non-Christian citizens, we are enjoined to “love our neighbor as ourselves.”  What’s not to like?  Yet we have Christians every day somewhere in the world being oppressed, imprisoned, or even killed because of their faith.  I feel ashamed sometimes to talk about “persecution” in my own country, when I read or hear about a Christian village in India or the Middle East having its residents hacked to death with machetes, being burned alive, or beheaded.  Yet here we do see an escalation of the intolerance for “Christian intolerance”: certain beliefs can be held but not expressed in the public square.  Mary and I are taking part at our church a six-week course called “Beloved”, examining the meaning and the mystery of marriage.  The continuous theme is the Scriptural and sacramental basis of marriage rooted in male and female complementarity.  I wonder if some day such a gathering will have to be clandestine to avoid the alerting the Thought Police.

GOD’S ANSWER: Despots don’t like Christians ultimately answerable to a higher authority, and relativists don’t like anyone who professes an absolute Truth.  And remember Satan tirelessly sows discord: if you were just harmless crackpots, why else the resistance?

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