I saw a cartoon by Dave Walker the other day which got me thinking:
If you listen to a lot of Christian speakers, the church in this country is being persecuted left, right and centre. There are plenty of stories about people who were forbidden to wear crosses at work etc (I’d find a few stories on BBC News but I can’t be bothered… hey, I’m in my lunch hour, I haven’t got enough time to do research!). And every time that something like this happens, there seems to be an uproar from the Christian community (or at least, certain vocal members of the Christian community). For example, when the Jerry Springer opera aired on the BBC, hundreds of people wrote in to voice their complaints – I think there might even have been demonstrations.
That got me thinking: is it really our place to stand up and fight for our rights as Christians? We should definitely stand up and fight for justice for the oppressed, the poor, and so on — in other words, take a real stand for social justice — but I don’t know whether fighting tooth and nail for our own “rights” is a good idea.
I think people making a fuss every time something comes in which might be conceived as ‘persecution’ for the Church is actually in the end bad for the Church: do we really want to be perceived in a petty, whining, moan-at-anything, don’t-really-believe-God-is-sovereign kind of way? Do we really want to crush the mustard seed of the Kingdom of God under our feet as we rush to defend our own ‘rights’ as Christians? What would Jesus have done?
I don’t really have all the answers, and I’m definitely not saying that we shouldn’t always stand up for our ‘rights’, I just think that it’s worth thinking about…