by Doy Moyer
Christians ought to see themselves as living out the story of Jesus. Since He suffered, we should be willing to suffer. As He gave Himself for others, we ought to be willing to give ourselves for others. As He submitted, so ought we to submit. As He loved, so should we love. As He forgave, so ought we to forgive. We follow His example, His way, His will. “Not my will, but Yours be done.”
It doesn’t matter who the governing authorities are. It doesn’t matter if they are nice to us or not. It doesn’t matter whether or not we agree with them or like what they do (I Peter 2:13-25). If we are oppressed for Christ, then we are to rejoice that we are considered worthy to suffer shame for his name. In that case, we are to keep preaching and teaching Jesus (Acts 5:41-42). If it happened to Christ and His chosen disciples, shall we think we will escape the derision of the world? Disciples are not above their Lord.
“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed" (II Timothy 3:12-14).
Our calling is sure, and it is to follow the crucified Christ. We are not to deviate from His plan. We are not to see ourselves in roles to which He did not call us. There is no call from Jesus to violence or insurrection. The good fight of faith is just that. It is of faith. That fight can be justified only by the authority and grace of the One in whom we believe. We must set aside our desires, our love of this world, and put on the armor of God. Our sword is the Spirit’s sword, the word of God, and we are never to underestimate that power because it is directly tied to God Himself (Ephesians 6:10-18; Hebrews 4:12-13; Isaiah 55). If we are to be subversive, it is in the relentless teaching of His Word and the living out of His story in this world.
“My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world” (John 18:36).
“Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:60).
Trust God. He will handle the avenging of His people.
“Come out of her, my people,
lest you take part in her sins,
lest you share in her plagues;
for her sins are heaped high as heaven,
and God has remembered her iniquities” (Revelation 18:4-5).
In the meantime, teach Jesus. The chips will fall where they may, and we will either be found for Him or against Him. The world will think us weak. Even many who believe will think that what we are saying here is “weak.” Yet there is a pervasive theme throughout Scripture that we ought to know well: strength is made perfect through weakness. God takes what appears to be weak and makes it strong. It is not strength as the world sees it. It is not strength by political means. It is the strength He alone provides to live out the path of His kingdom, to live His will on earth as it is in heaven. It is the way of the cross, and the resurrection is coming. This is the Gospel.