“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
I am a christian.
Which means I am subject to all sorts of assumptions about what I actually think and believe and a huge part of history is not on my side.
I mean, there were the Crusades and imposed Indulgences and racism and slavery and the subjugation of women, and child abuse.
If I am indeed guilty of even one of these things, then heaven help me.
But, what if I didn’t put the sword to whole villages of Muslims,
or took money for prayers,
owned another human being,
sat at the front of the bus,
kept women in their place,
or forced a child into a darkened room.
What if I am doing everything I know how to do to live at peace with all men and I am still
passed over for promotion,
slandered in the media
just because I say
I am a christian?
Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely on account of Me.
The other day a friend whispers to me about their belief in marriage of one man, one woman.
Me, too, I said.
Why does this feel dangerous all of a sudden?
Will I be fed to the lions of culture
because I simply want to follow Jesus and do what He says?
Rejoice and be glad for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
This is where things get real.
On one occasion, after being warned that his Christian writings would destroy his academic career, C.S. Lewis quoted General William Booth of the Salvation Army, who had famously proclaimed: “If I could win one soul for God by playing the tambourine with my toes, I’d do it.”