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Persecution

The dangerous calling of Christian missions

America’s evangelical Christians are facing a critical time of testing in the 21st century. Among the most important of the tests we now face is the future of missions and our faithfulness to the Great Commission. At a time of unprecedented opportunity, will our zeal for world missions slacken? Just as doors of opportunity are…

SBJT 18.1: Reflections on Persecution (Complete)

The colonial ‘spirit of Massachusetts’ stirring anew in America

  Baptists in colonial America learned what it meant to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). They experienced various kinds of persecution because they rejected infant baptism and the authority of the state to coerce in matters of religious duty. Many Baptists refused to pay taxes imposed to support…

From bombings to bobblehead income: The diversity of persecution in new testament perspective

  According to the New Testament, persecution occurs in various forms — from beatings (Acts 5:40), stonings (Acts 7), and imprisonment (Acts 16) to insults (Matthew 5:11), slander (Acts 14:2), and lies (Luke 26:59). The New Testament does not define persecution by the kind of action taken against Christians. Rather, the New Testament defines persecution…

Religious liberty and persecution: a global perspective

  Eerie. That’s the only word that comes to mind when I think about standing a hundred yards away from North Korean soldiers who were staring right back at me with weapons in their hands. I was in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), a small strip of land that cuts the Korean peninsula in half. Approximately…

Table of Contents (Spring 2014)

Reflections on Persecution Editorial: Stephen J. Wellum 3 Thinking about the New Covenant and Persecution: Gregory C. Cochran 7 Christian Persecution as Explained by Jesus (Matthew 5:10-12): Gregory C. Cochran 33 What Kind of Persecution is Happening to Christians Around the World?: Paul Hartog 49 The Maltreatment of Early Christians: Refinement and Response: G. Stephen Weaver, Jr. 81 “Patiently…

Editorial: Thinking about the New Covenant and Persecution

When we compare and contrast life under the old covenant versus life under the new covenant there are a number of differences which immediately come to mind. Obviously the greatest difference is what the old covenant typified and  anticipated has now come to pass in Christ. So, for example, and certainly not limited to these…

Christian Persecution as Explained by Jesus (Matthew 5:10-12)

About ten years ago, an occasional paper titled “The Persecuted Church” was presented at the Lausanne Conference on World Evangelization. That paper reminded its hearers that the original Lausanne Conference in 1974 had asked for scholars to study “the relationship between human suffering in general, suffering for Christ’s sake, and Christ’s own suffering.”1 Three decades after…

What Kind of Persecution is Happening to Christians Around the World?

Philosopher Regis Debray, a French revolutionary who went to prison decades ago for fighting alongside Che Guevara in Bolivia, has spent the last ten years of his life decrying the maltreatment of Christians throughout the Middle East. Debray has not converted to Christianity. Politically, he still votes to the left of the left in France.…

The Maltreatment of Early Christians: Refinement and Response

Many individuals have a simplistic view of the persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire. As Laurie Guy laments, “Despite mountains of contrary evidence, many myths are so deeply embedded in consciousness that they are almost impossible to dislodge. Such is the case with the mountains of myths surrounding the topic of the persecution of…

“Patiently to Suffer for Christ’s Sake”: Hercules Collins as an Exemplar of Baptists During the Great Persecution” (1660-1688)

“Patiently to Suffer for Christ’s Sake”: Hercules Collins as an Exemplar of Baptists During the Great Persecution” (1660-1688)1 In 1682, in a work provocatively titled, Some Reasons for Separation From the Communion of the Church of England, London Baptist pastor Hercules Collins declared to the state church, “If you do persecute us for our Conscience,…

Persecution and the New “Normal” World: “When persecuted, we endure.” (1 Cor 4:12)

No one saw this coming so soon or so fast. From mid-December 2013 to January 2014, various Western media outlets ran headlines and articles reporting an alarming rise in religious persecution. WSJ1, Reuters2, AP3, BBC4, Fox News5, and CNN6, among others, reported that Christians now rank as the most persecuted believers, the world’s largest minority…

Heaven for Persecuted Saints

Heaven for Persecuted Saints1 Seven of the eight Beatitudes that begin the Sermon on the Mount are about the character and behavior of blessed persons. Only the eighth is about what is done to blessed persons by others: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt…

Sermon: “Don’t Be Surprised When You Suffer for Christ, But Rejoice!” (1 Peter 4:12-19)

Introduction I want to highlight four truths from this text. First, don’t be surprised when you suffer for your faith in Jesus Christ (v. 12). Second, rejoice, and glorify God when you suffer for your faith in Jesus Christ (vv. 13-14). Third, don’t be ashamed to suffer for your faith in Jesus Christ (vv. 15-18).…

The Spring 2014 SBJT Forum

SBJT: What does Revelation 12 teach us about the cross of Christ and persecution? Thomas R. Schreiner: Revelation 12 teaches us that the church faces persecution because of our great adversary the devil. In v. 7 we read about a great war in heaven between Michael, the archangel, and Satan. Michael defeated Satan, and he…