I guess any Christian living in the UK will be alarmed by the way an increasingly militant secularism and aggressive political correctness is stifling the public witness and worship of Christian believers. A number of recent court cases have shown that the law is not on the side of Christian conscience:
- A council worker who would work on a Sunday
- The ruling against prayers at council meetings
- The gay B&B case
Whatever the rights and wrongs of these cases, one thing is clear, a Christian’s conscience and beliefs are treated with little value by society and are legal systems.
This has of course been highlighted this last week as campaigns are launched ahead of the ‘consultation’ on ‘gay marriage’. It would be well worth signing the petition here to support the ‘Coalition for Marriage’.
We’ve been getting into the book of 1 Peter at church recently. Peter speaks a fair bit about persecution, not really the being thrown to the lions kind, but rather the persecution of an indifferent society. Peter’s recipients are facing everyday battles as Christians with unbelieving spouses and bosses and feeling alienated in the culture they live in – every day 1 Peter seems more and more relevant.
Now here’s where perspective comes in. If you’re Pastor Nadarkhani, or any other Christian living in an Islamic state then you do face the lion-like persecution. The latest news is that the Pastor has been sentenced to death for converting to Christianity.
“The world needs to stand up and say that a man cannot be put to death because of his faith”
Let’s campaign for the rights of a Christian conscience and values in our country. But let’s keep persecution in perspective. Pray for Christians around the world not fighting for laws but for their lives.
Appropriate that today is the day that the church remembers Polycarp. A second century Bishop, burned at the stake for refusing to worship the Roman emperor. His final words…
“Eighty and six years I have served him. How then can I blaspheme my King and Saviour? Bring forth what thou wilt.”