Thursday, September 03, 2009

Persecution

"It is absurd that the name "Christian" should be taken by so many as synonymous with respectable, middle class, or conventional. It was first used to refer to disciples--thos under discipline of the Master--and it was coined in the midst of persecution (Acts 11:26). Should we stop accommodating ourselves to the prevailing norms, we can expect to be treated in the same fashion. We have allowed ourselves to be bought off with our free education, prosperity, and tax deductions. The persecution may begin when we renounce all that and indeed become disciples." Herbert Schlossberg Idols For Destruction pages 330-331

"How should we react to the threat of persecution? Paul's famous passage on obeying rulers, so often misused to justify the domination of despots, offered a subsidiary reason for obedience: the maintenance of a clear conscience (Rom. 13:5). It is absurd to weaken oneself by violating the law for a trivial reason like evading taxes. The Christians of the first generation, undergoing severe persecution, "joyfully accepted the plundering of [their] property," and those who live now can do the same, rather than cheapening their resistance. Ayn Rand caught perfectly the power that a clear conscience gives one who is persecuted, in the words she put in the mouth of Dr. Ferris, a scientist who served the state in its quest for power:

...there is no way to disarm any man except through guilt... If there's not enough guilt in the world, we must create it. If we teach a man that it's evil to look at spring flowers and he believes and then does it--we 'll be able to do whatever we please with him. He won't defend himself. He won't feel he's worth it. He won't fight. But save us from the man who lives up to his own standards. Save us from the man of clean conscience. He's the man who'll beat us."

Herbert Schlossberg Idols For Destruction page 332

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