Recently I had someone seek me out to let me know they’re on a journey to Christ to escape from a troubled past. This person is having a difficult time because everyone’s laughing at him. It reminded me of my journey many years ago in which I endured much the same even more so a family member tried to have me unsuccessfully sectioned. Coming out Christian these days to a modern secular family, is similar to a homoesexual man coming out gay to others in a culture hostile towards homosexual people, so extreme are the opposite views. The level of tolerance for Christians is at an all time low in the mainstream.
It begs the question, why do people persecute the person who is either righteous or on a path towards becoming righteous? Why do people laugh at us for believing in God and having a desire to follow Christ?
Have you ever noticed how they try to trap you by getting you angry or by tempting you to break your fast or laugh at their dirty jokes and when you refuse they become angry with you in a bid to purposefully try and get you to fall so that they may laugh and you and say ”some Christian you are now…wow what kind of Christian are you? How Christian of you to behave and speak to me like that”. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve heard people say that to me over the years.
The reason for this is because people who lead an ungodly immoral life believing in nothing are so convinced of their self styled philosophy that, life is short and we should just plunge into the orgy, enjoy the sex, the drugs and the nightlife because there’s nothing after we die. They persecute others because they have something to prove to themselves that Christianity doesn’t work and only the god of themselves and their pleasures that they worship reign supreme above everyone and everything else.
I’ve explained the modern persecution which can get physical but within a familial setting can express itself often just in verbal persecution and destruction of a persons reputation or direct confrontational anger.
However in history all the way back to the Roman empire, the emporers would often torture a Christian woman for not marrying him or perhaps a man for refusing to worship the roman gods. They would inflict cruel tortures upon Christians by having their arms cut off or slowly peeling their skin off them whilst still alive and throwing them on hot iron grates. They wanted the Christians to deny Christ in the midst of such persecution to prove that Christianity was nothing and that only the power of this world reigns supreme. Imagine their frustration when many did not deny Christ? Even so, such a witness to the faith would not convert some yet converted most people.
I took it back to the Roman Empire because I wanted to show you that no matter what year it is, human behaviour does not change. The hatred of the godless for the religious remains the same today as it was back then. Hey! If you want me to take it back further you can look at Jesus Himself on the Cross who was tested and laughed at by the High priests and pharisees of His day. These were the people who were supposed to be religious they weren’t even godless. This is proof that even the religious can be menacing people themselves.
You know what? Let us take it back even further again to around 80BC when the book of Wisdom was written that speaks of Jesus of whom Matthew uses in chapter 27 of his Gospel. What are these words? Wisdom:2:16-20 ”According to him we have low standards, so he keeps aloof from us as if we were unclean. He emphasizes the happy end of the righteous and boasts of having God as father. Let us see the truth of what he says and find out what his end will be. If the righteous is a son of God, God will defend him and deliver him from his adversaries. Let us humble and torture him to prove his self-control and test his patience. When we have condemned him to a shameful death we may test his words. ”
You see that even Jesus himself endured this kind of persecution that we all experience today? What we experience today such as laughter and ridicule from close family and friends or even starngers is nothing different than Jesus endured on the Cross. But if we hang in there and endure to the end we are told by Christ that we will be saved.
The presence of a person living a good life and who desires truth and justice disturbs the conscience of those in which such traits are absent. This is why in the workplace everyone complains about the person who does right by trying to oust them from their position or whispering false rumours in a bid to destroy that persons reputation and life. This is why they try to ”test his patience” to prove to ourselves that being patient isn’t possible. To catch him in the act of not loving others to prove that real true, sincere and undiluted love is not possible that we may justify our godless life and philosophy and carry on being evil.
If you can survive them, you can only do it not by reliance on your own powers but only by the Grace of Jesus Christ Himself.
Don’t worry about people laughing at you, it’s actually a blessing that adds to the investment of a rich life with Christ in heaven.