Have we Christians of America forgotten who we are? Have we become so enamored with our rights and the so called American dream that we have lost sight of the fact that even as our King suffered, we too have been called to suffer for his name’s sake? I think the reaction of many in response to the recent Duck Dynasty incident reveals a common misconception prevalent among us.
Somehow, we who have given our lives to the One who said, “You are blessed when the world hates you. If they hated me, they will also hate you.” react with anger, disbelief and call for boycotts when persecution for the gospel is encountered. The cry to stand up for our rights drowns out the gentle whisper of the One who opened not his mouth as he was led like a lamb to the slaughter. Those who follow Jesus have been promised that they will encounter mistreatment at the hands of the world even as their Lord did. How is it that we as slaves have elevated ourselves above our Master?
In the days ahead we spoiled and coddled Christians of the West may indeed face suffering the likes of which we have never known, and we must remember that it is not those who build dynasties and protest our mistreatment who will overcome. No, it is those who by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony, who love not their lives even to the point of death who will be victorious. It is the cross, that nasty, despicable emblem of suffering, rejection and death which reveals true glory. While every fiber of our American being demands that we protest and be heard, is this really the way of our King who was denied his rights, reviled, falsely accused, beaten and crucified?
“But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.”