Written by Jesse Hove of Toronto, Ontario
Thousands of Christians are martyred every year. Around the globe Christian persecution has increased in many countries. This can sometimes cause us Christians in the Western world to want to claim this persecution for ourselves. Our loss of place in politics and mainstream culture make us envious of a time when society was once generally deemed Christian. But it is a mistake to lump in our cultural persecution with the life-threatening persecution faced by our brothers and sisters around the world, and diminishes the great sacrifice they make for the sake of the gospel.
We are not persecuted in the Western world – more often we are ignored or other groups are favoured, and that might not be such a bad thing. With a diminished role in the power and politics of society, we can more closely emulate Jesus’ commands, and the early Christian followers living under Roman rule. Hebraic prophets like Daniel give us insight into how to follow God while living under a different worldview than our own. To be honest, we’re not great people when we have power anyway (most human beings aren’t due to our sinful nature).
We still play an important role for our brothers and sisters being persecuted around the globe. We can bring both awareness and monetary funding to wherever Christians are being persecuted. We can also support immigration policies of welcoming others. Contrary to some popular political opinions, welcoming all nations and religions increases not only the number of devout Christians in our country, but more generally increases the type of social policies which give value to our relationship with the Creator.
As more people in our society uphold a belief system based on our creaturely relationship to God, the less power individualistic humanism will have on our society.
This doesn’t mean we don’t distinguish the truth of Christ against other religious belief systems. But it does mean we will learn to work more closely with all religions which respect this creature-and-Creator relationship.
As we celebrate both our similarities and differences we will be able to garner more democratic influence upon the governing policies of our country. This is one way to affect the political sphere without being tempted by the universal human lust for power.