Are Christians Persecuted In America?

I am preaching again on August 21. The passage I'm covering is Acts 4 where Peter and John are called before the Sanhedrin for "teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead." Recently Jon Stewart discussed the issue of religiously motivated terrorism, highlighting the difference between how Christians and Muslims are treated in the American press.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
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And here is the rest of the segment, where Stewart continues to discuss the "victim card", albeit with a more political slant.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
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The topic of Christian persecution is not new territory for Stewart. Here are a couple recent quotes from him:

"Does anyone know...does the Christian persecution complex have an expiration date? Because...uh...you've all been in charge pretty much since...uh...what was that guys name...Constantine. He converted in, what was it, 312 A.D. I'm just saying, enjoy your success."
- Jon Stewart


"I have to say, as someone who is not Christian, it’s hard for me to believe Christians are a persecuted people in America. God-willing, maybe one of you one day will even rise up and get to be president of this country - or maybe forty-four in a row. But, that’s my point, is they’ve taken this idea of no establishment as persecution, because they feel entitled, not to equal status, but to greater status."
– Jon Stewart to Mike Huckabee on The Daily Show


As I dig into Acts 4, I see great opportunity to speak on the issue of real religious persecution around the world. But at the same time, I have heard WAY too many sermons where Christians in America are told they are victims. Ever hear of the Humanist Manifesto? Francis Schaeffer? Dominionism? Do you have a worldview? Is your worldview in competition with someone else's? This is a topic that runs very deep. If you've never studied it, perhaps this post has piqued your interest? Or piqued your disinterest?? Love that verb!

4 comments:

An Apprentice of Jesus said...

Are Christians persecuted in America? Hardly. Are all religious beliefs frequently either mocked or ignored in the larger culture? Yes. (Especially Christianity, *because* Christians were in charge for so long.)

Thus I understand the fear of the Christian Right, which does indeed "feel entitled, not to equal status, but to greater status" because they are convinced that they have the only Truth. And when part of that belief is that everyone who doesn't agree with you is going to Hell, it becomes the very important job of anyone with a remotely Christ-like attitude to save others from that fate.

Please note: It is possible to be a Christian without this belief. It is even possible to be a disciple of Jesus and have doubts about his divinity. I'd rather have someone devoted to following Jesus' Way of love as the disciple of a great rabbi than someone devoted to believing all the "right" things and convinced that makes them better than anyone else.

My blog, apprenticesofJesus.blogspot.com, wrestles with these questions.

Ken said...

Obviously the word Christian means different things to different people. Some have a very strict definition, some a much looser one. For example, Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses consider themselves Christians, but there are others who do not agree. Some even go as far as calling them cults.

And yes, Jesus had many disciples who did not believe Jesus was divine, mainly because they didn't even think to ask that question. It is debatable whether even the apostles themselves understood this. Having doubts is normal and healthy. Thanks for the comment! I will check out your blog.

Soli Deo Gloria said...

Doubt is normal but not always healthy, Syncretism is the mixing of Christianity with other religions. When a person or group of people take what they think is the best of all religions with an effort of making a better religion or belief we are commuting the the most covert form of idolatry ( creating a God to suit our sins, thoughts, opinions)

Because of this truth we must have very hard cut-and-dry basis for what is truly Christianity. So just because 44 presidents have claimed to be christian does not make them so. Jesus said that make will come to him in the day of judgement and saying haven't I do this for you. and He will answer depart from me you worker of iniquity.

A person my say anything of himself but the bible and only the bible give us knowledge to discern the truth.

Jared said...

I am not a Christian, and I never really comment on blogs. I found this while searching for the source of a Jon Stewart quote. I will never be a Christian. However, I was impressed that this is the first time I've ever looked at the comments section of a blog about a religiously themed comment that was non-inflammatory, and concerned itself with the actual meat of what was being said instead of a bunch of vitriolic insults. I'm impressed, and you people are some of the only sane ones on the Internet.