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Dear Ignatius,

I apologize if my comments seem brash, they were not meant that way, though it definatly comes across so. My kids are your age biggrin , I guess I was talking like a mom, sorry. I would not have said it much differently to my sons.

My dad is a WWII vet, now 83, and only in the last few years has he been diagnosed with Post Tramatic Stress from WWII. If there is a VA center around you, consider going in and checking it out.

Your faith will sustain you, but sometimes, just sometimes we need the help of counselors and discussion groups. You have tread in places that your wife can only imagine. Your job with ordinance was an unbeliveable job, surely not something she - as a young wife can grasp. I know myself - as a VietNam era vet - had to struggle with things seeing up close and personal the results of being in Nam did to our guys.

Anyway, just a suggestion.
God bless you!
Pani Rose

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Originally Posted by theophan
[What do you think . . . ] your life would be like if it were very difficult to remain a Catholic or Orthodox Christian? Where would you see yourself?

This is not a flip question and it is not something that has an easy answer. If you've got an easy answer, you either don't see the potential for active persecution out there or you're telling yourself it can't happen in the United States or other Western countries.

Reread the British thread about thought control.

Take a look at the conditions people endured under militant atheism.

Understand that the Bible is considered hate speech in certain of its verses in some Western countries at this writing.

Look at the annual attempts to censor Christmas and the discouragement of Christian students in public schools over various issues while it is okay to have them recite Muslim prayers and study the Quaran in some places in the name of "diversity."

BOB




Bob,

I really don't see a persecution coming. I used to think that way, a few years ago, because of abortion and the other social changes. But the sky hasn't fallen, and life is improving in many ways.

Besides, I don't see the kind of fear and hatred that motivated the 20th century persecutions in Mexico and Eastern Europe and in former European colonies. Those were in response to the Church and State being too close and too corrupt, or too closely associated with colonialism (respectively).

In America, I don't see that. In America, I see a lot of people being upset with the sins of religion --corruption and so on. But, significantly, a lot of people still believe in religion itself as well as their own specific religion.

Instead, what is changing is the framework of society. It's becoming more secular. And that means that religious people won't automatically see their views in the laws or in the popular culture; indeed, they will sometimes see the opposite.

In a way, though, I think that improves religion. That makes religion into something that people must choose, instead of something that people practice because everyone else is doing it.

What is most sad, and worrisome, to me is when people stop caring at all about religion. That is increasing, and that is the main issue that concerns me.

-- John


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Originally Posted by harmon3110


Bob,

I really don't see a persecution coming. I used to think that way, a few years ago, because of abortion and the other social changes. But the sky hasn't fallen, and life is improving in many ways.

Besides, I don't see the kind of fear and hatred that motivated the 20th century persecutions in Mexico and Eastern Europe and in former European colonies. Those were in response to the Church and State being too close and too corrupt, or too closely associated with colonialism (respectively).

In America, I don't see that. In America, I see a lot of people being upset with the sins of religion --corruption and so on. But, significantly, a lot of people still believe in religion itself as well as their own specific religion.

Instead, what is changing is the framework of society. It's becoming more secular. And that means that religious people won't automatically see their views in the laws or in the popular culture; indeed, they will sometimes see the opposite.

In a way, though, I think that improves religion. That makes religion into something that people must choose, instead of something that people practice because everyone else is doing it.

What is most sad, and worrisome, to me is when people stop caring at all about religion. That is increasing, and that is the main issue that concerns me.

-- John



Interesting and well taken points, John... I hope that you are right about not fearing a persecution of Christians!

Perhaps religion and religious rights will not be so taken for granted anymore in the new America...Perhaps we will now appreciate what we have.

You mention society being more secular and religion not reflected in laws, but all religions share some basic beliefs which are reflected in laws...so this 'secularity', as it were, is what exactly? confused Is it paganism all over again? Is it also a religion of sorts--the religion of 'anti-God', 'pro-feel good', 'pro-self', and/or 'anti-religion'?!? confused

Ofcourse baby boomer and older Americans will always lament the homogenous Christian morals and values of a bygone America that they once knew..It was a much easier environment to grow up in and to raise your children in. No fears of anything inappropriate or contrary to Judeo-Christianity to worry about...

In the meantime though, imho, we do need to be on our guard, because people *do* get ostracized for not going along with or for speaking out with Christian values against what is politically correct in many venues. That can easily lead to persecution of various sorts...(not necessarily being thrown into a gulag or being sent to the guillotine...)

I am happy when there is a public backlash to that--it helps keep things from the scales being tipped one way (from being too morally liberal), it keeps discussions more open and more objective; it shows that there can be more than one way to think...for instance: Donald Trump defending and giving support to Miss California and her viewpoints regarding gay marriage in a press conference; Bill O'Reilly on his show about many topics (not all); Bill O'Donahue of the Catholic League about many topics; etc...

I think this is a healthy thing for our present society, despite how a person votes or how he categorizes himself politically. Balance is always a good thing, and something which we should all strive for as a society, as individuals, and as Christians (hard though it sometimes can be in the case of balancing the secular with the spiritual).

All in all, these are confusing and stressful times for most Christians of traditional convictions.

In Christ,
Alice


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The Church and our faith grows when it is persecuted.

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Interesting points, Alice.

-- John

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I agree with you theopan! I think if you asked me this question just a year ago I might have said I don't think Christians will ever been persecuted, this is the United States. Well, I believe that it is as possible as another major terrorist attack on the US soil is(which I never thought was possible). I see the current trend in secular law which could effect our religious law. The Constitution could be amended to require absolute equal rights for everyone in every situation. Ex. Homosexuals must be allowed to be married even in churches , homosexuals transgenders people must be allowed to be priests and bishops, bishops must have the opportunity to be both man and woman and married and or transgendered, congregations must be allowed to democratically control their church buildings. And over time can dictate to the Churches what is offensive and must be changed in their beliefs. In short Christianity can be legally picked apart and we could get in legal trouble for not following the law. This type of persecution is already starting in England. I seriously don't think its impossible to happen here!

I would be difficult to live in a culture that persecuted Christians. Way more difficult for my daughter than myself. I can put up with the looks and comments and even legal trouble but I really don't want my child to go through any of that! It would be difficult but can be done.

There is another futuristic trend that may save Christianity here in America. The Hispanic population will no doubt become the majority and at least now they are still pretty heavily Christian. However in W. Europe(unless they start having children) they will be populated by Muslims. So, religious people may be persecuted for a while but then those countries may become religious again. Only God really knows! The future can be a difficult thing to figure out.


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Let's get a grip, folks. We most of us belong to Churches that have suffered real persecution, sometimes for centuries: priests, bishops and monastics murdered; imprisoned, churches, schools and monasteries closed, destroyed or desecrated; worship in public banned under penalty of law; Christians reduced to servile status living at the sufferance of non-Christians. Listen to yourselves, worrying each other silly over the nasty looks you might get, the laws that might be passed, the things that people might say about you. That's not persecution, folks. It's not even close. Pray you never discover what real persecution is--in fact, that precisely what you are doing when you say the Lord's Prayer, for "Lead us not into temptation" is more accurately translated as "Put us not to the test"--and that is what real persecution is, a test, where the question is "Who do you say I am?", and the answer determines your fate for all eternity.

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Originally Posted by StuartK
Let's get a grip, folks. We most of us belong to Churches that have suffered real persecution, sometimes for centuries: priests, bishops and monastics murdered; imprisoned, churches, schools and monasteries closed, destroyed or desecrated; worship in public banned under penalty of law; Christians reduced to servile status living at the sufferance of non-Christians. Listen to yourselves, worrying each other silly over the nasty looks you might get, the laws that might be passed, the things that people might say about you. That's not persecution, folks. It's not even close. Pray you never discover what real persecution is--in fact, that precisely what you are doing when you say the Lord's Prayer, for "Lead us not into temptation" is more accurately translated as "Put us not to the test"--and that is what real persecution is, a test, where the question is "Who do you say I am?", and the answer determines your fate for all eternity.



Strongly put, and well said.

-- John


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Quote
you either don't see the potential for active persecution out there or you're telling yourself it can't happen in the United States or other Western countries.


Coming again to the question of my brother in Christ, I think there is a consistent potential for active persecution.

And I think that America is menaced as well, not only Europe. The evil has many forms. What if someday there will be a law forbidding wearing a cross in public, making the sign of cross in public, talking about Christ in public [religious harassment] etc? If so and you wear a cross and you have a job and your employer puts you off, or you get a financial penalty for breaking such a law, and you must choose, what will you do?

History is no more than men who lived their lives at their time. We now must make our own choices.

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Serge, I guess we have to politely disagree on this.

First, let me ask, if a government passes a law, or series of laws that directly contradict a belief and or a religious law, religious rite or ceremony and that Christians would then have to perform their rites in secret, is that not religious oppression?

I say that persecution doesn't have to be drastic or physically spectacular. Being put in jail for you beliefs is persecution, being dictated by the government what your ceremonies should include or not include is oppression(a precursor to persecution) and I don't think that's impossible anymore!
I agree with you notion that we should pray that we don't get put to the test! I believe that we must stop the persecution when its "soft" and never allow it get to the point of "hard" persecution(the test)! The greatest damage we can do to our religion is "indifference". Now, there is no debate at all that all of us here care deeply about God and our religion , but in a country and a western culture that is increasingly becoming indifferent to religion I think it would be wrong to stand by and allow the laws of this country to be altered to allow for legal persecution!

By the way we are still dealing in a hypothetical, ok so lets all understand we are not saying this is happening right now or that it will happen tomorrow, just ideas!

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Originally Posted by Marian
Quote
you either don't see the potential for active persecution out there or you're telling yourself it can't happen in the United States or other Western countries.


Coming again to the question of my brother in Christ, I think there is a consistent potential for active persecution.

And I think that America is menaced as well, not only Europe. The evil has many forms. What if someday there will be a law forbidding wearing a cross in public, making the sign of cross in public, talking about Christ in public [religious harassment] etc? If so and you wear a cross and you have a job and your employer puts you off, or you get a financial penalty for breaking such a law, and you must choose, what will you do?

History is no more than men who lived their lives at their time. We now must make our own choices.


Marian, Dear Brother, that is already happened here. People have been persecuted for it, let go from their jobs, told they can't wear one in school. However, the lawsuits have ensude and they have won the victory to wear their cross. These battles are truly increasing in number. God have mercy on us all.

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Nothing good can come out of a country that is becoming increasingly more secular.

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Originally Posted by Pani Rose
Marian, Dear Brother, that is already happened here. People have been persecuted for it, let go from their jobs, told they can't wear one in school. However, the lawsuits have ensude and they have won the victory to wear their cross. These battles are truly increasing in number. God have mercy on us all.


Yes, I know that what Pani Rose is saying to be quite true.

Fortunately there are legal teams out there comprised of Evangelical Christians who have been fighting these types of religious oppressions over the years. We just don't hear about it in the mainstream media.

Alice

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