Theophobia and Persecution

By Allan Erickson

11.20.08

 

“It is estimated more followers of Christ have died for their faith in the 20th century than in all the 19 previous centuries combined.” *

 

(160,000 killed per year. 438 per day. 18 per hour.)

 

Not long ago I attended a presentation by high school students.  They were introduced as the cream of the crop.  They gave verbal presentations concerning the in depth knowledge they had acquired studying our democratic republic. After the formal presentations there was a question and answer period.  One question posed — Where do we get our rights: from God, or from government?

 

The students agreed: Americans’ rights come from government. 

 

We hear a lot about rights these days, and not much about responsibility.   We hear various groups clamoring for their “rights,” routinely calling on government to secure these “rights.”  (My teachers and my folks told me the only rights I had were to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and if I didn’t shape up and fly right, I’d lose those too!)

 

Homosexuals demand the right to marriage.  Many people claim rights to abortion, healthcare, a college education, a job, secure retirement, and, according to some, everyone has a right to believe and act according to the dictates of his/her own conscience exclusively.  Indeed, one of the published humanist principles is “personal autonomy is a higher good than responsibility to your neighbor, or obedience to fixed moral duties.”

 

In our post-modern, secularized world, everyone has innumerable rights endowed by government, a growing list in fact, more rights than we can fund!

 

Except Christians, doncha know.  People today actually call for diminishing the rights of Christians. Some have suggested we not be allowed to vote.  Not kidding.  Why?  Well, that is simple if you understand that Christians are intolerant homophobes, bigots, racists and fanatics.  So naturally we are increasingly targeted for ostracism, and worse.

 

You know, we all hear endlessly about homophobia these days.   The word resounds 24/7 and seems to have for years.

 

In the interests of equal time, let’ talk about theophobia for a while! 

 

By theophobia we do not mean the “fear of God.”    Biblical “fear of God” means the due respect and reverence one appropriately feels toward the King of the Universe, and such good feelings are said to be “the beginning of wisdom.” 

 

Proverbs 1:7, Psalm 103:13

 

However, a healthy fear of the One who has “the power to throw you into hell,” is quite the motivator as well.

 

Luke 12:4,5 

 

(And now, a theological quiz for the inquisitive:  How is it possible to fear God yet remain unafraid?)

 

What we mean by theophobia here is the irrational and prejudicial fear of all things religious, particularly Christianity, and especially the conservative kind.

 

Considering this definition, is it right to designate theophobic people like Christopher Hitchens, Bill Maher, Michelle Goldberg and Chris Hedges?   All tell us religious people are irrational, even deranged, especially Christians, and conservative Christians are the worst for promoting a new nationalism leading to fascism.

 

“Scholar” Juan Cole, U. of Michigan prof, even went so far recently to say fundamentalist Islam and traditional Christianity are the same: we are ALL theocrats!  Now how is that for academic prowess, deep perception and articulation of nuanced understanding?!

 

Not long ago Cole’s kin—Rosie O’Donnell, Robert Reich, and Bill Moyers—all claimed traditional Christians (all those wild-eyed Jesus lovers opposed to gay marriage and abortion), yeah, all those anti-intellectual knuckle-draggers, well, they are no different than the Taliban, seething masses of morons hell-bent on establishing theocracy.

 

Who wouldn’t fear theocrats?  (It might startle the theophobes to realize Christians are opposed to theocrats too, and that Christians were the authors of the 1st Amendment!)

 

Still, given the many year’s drumbeat about horrible Christians, there are growing numbers of people who hate Christians, really hate them.  So far the persecution has only amounted to a few physical assaults here and there in America, such as the granny confronted by gay activists in Palm Springs last week.  They screamed at her, roughed her up, and knocked the Cross out of her hands, then stomped on it.  Mild in a sense, but a precursor of much worse? 

 

Kids are routinely hammered in school for any expression of Christ’s love.  You don’t have go far to find endless examples of how secular political correctness gives teachers and students permission to confront and denigrate Christian students, from kindergarten through college.  

 

As the anti-Christ sentiment escalates, one wonders how long it will be before we see in America what we’ve seen for years overseas: violent persecution, torture, murder.  Vitriol always precedes outright violence.   Thugs have to work themselves up to it you see. As the anti-Christ rhetoric escalates here in America, is it unthinkable the persecution could ever reach the level of killing?   Are such thoughts plain paranoid?

 

If theophobia is coming to our shores, what does it look like overseas, and what can we learn from observing the treatment of Christians in other countries?  You have to go looking because it’s not roundly reported is it?

 

It has been called the most ignored news story in decades: the global persecution, torture and killing of Christians.

 

Glenn Beck walked into a Wendy’s the other day and was assaulted by a man who screamed at him, calling him a racist bigot (which, of course, is redundant).

 

Beck is a Mormon, and a prominent television news commentator/radio talk host.  This incident was reported on the Huffington Post, link below. The comments from readers following the online news story are astounding and revealing.  The vast majority of those weighing in are viciously condemning and dismissive of Beck, saying he deserved whatever he got.  Many of us in historic Christian denominations agree with Dr. Walter Martin that classical Mormonism presents glaring departures from the tenets of traditional Christianity, yet no one can reasonably challenge the upstanding, family-oriented lives exemplified by the vast majority of Mormon people, and most certainly, Glenn Beck has a right to his faith, and a right not to be assaulted simply for having a point of view having nothing to do with racism or bigotry.  He is a good guy, with a good heart, who, by all appearances, hates no one, and cares deeply about the welfare of everyone.  For this he cannot take his kids to Wendy’s?   

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/11/17/glenn-beck-accosted-at-we_n_144411.html

 

Remember, it all starts with verbal violence.

 

Excerpt from a WorldNetDaily report six years ago:

 

“Christian persecution sounds like something from the distant past – conjuring up images of the early followers of Jesus being thrown to the lions, and various apostles being crucified or otherwise martyred for their faith. (All but John died violent deaths.) In reality, more Christians have died for their beliefs in the last century than in all other past centuries combined. 

 

“The Islamic world is a hostile place for Christians: In Saudi Arabia, for instance, Christianity is illegal, and conversion from Islam is punishable by death. In Pakistan, the death penalty is prescribed for anyone who ‘blasphemes’ Islam – something that occurs automatically during Christian evangelism. In Egypt and elsewhere, Christian girls have acid thrown in their face by Islamic extremists if they refuse to convert to Islam, or are raped, or worse. At best, in the more enlightened Islamic societies, Christians (as well as Jews) are second-class citizens, have a special tax imposed upon them, and do not share the rights of Muslims.

 

“The communist world is no better. According to recent reports from groups monitoring religious persecution, the Chinese government is cracking down as never before on ‘underground’ Christians – those who do not join the ‘official’ Chinese churches. The Committee for Investigation on Persecution of Religion in China published what it said were official documents – implicating top-level Chinese leaders – that outline a campaign that includes torture to stamp out independent worship. Researchers said that in ‘house churches’ (those not sanctioned by the totalitarian government) in 20 provinces, 129 people had been killed recently, 23,686 arrested and 4,014 sentenced to ‘re-education.’ “

 

[WorldNetDaily, 2.18.02]

 

Three examples out of 438 per day:

 

A Christian aid worker, a woman not involved in evangelism, a British citizen, was gunned down recently in Afghanistan.  She was targeted for assassination by Muslim leaders solely for her Christian faith.  She was there helping the disabled.

 

http://www.persecution.com/topstory_afghanistanWorkerKilled.html

 

Iraq – Two Christian Sisters Killed

 

On Nov. 12, two sisters were killed and their mother wounded by a gang of Islamic extremists in the Al Qahira section of Mosul, Iraq, according to VOM contacts. The gunmen shot one of the sisters as she was waiting for a bus outside their home. They then stormed into the home, killed the other sister and injured their mother. A bomb placed by the assailants at the entrance of the house detonated as police arrived on the scene, injuring several officers.

 

http://www.persecution.com/topStory_twoSistersKilledInIraq.html

 

The situation for Iraqi Christians has been intolerable for years.

 

“Between 1991 and 2002, 300,000 of them migrated out of the country.”

 

http://www.christiansofiraq.com/eve.html

 

Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been displaced since the 2003 invasion, and many thousands have been slaughtered by Muslim extremists.

 

And it all goes unreported, though there are efforts to identify and confront the atrocities.

 

“The persecution of Christians, especially in Islamic and communist countries, gained a much higher profile beginning in early 1996. It is estimated more followers of Christ have died for their faith in the 20th century than in all the 19 previous centuries combined. In his Focus on the Family Newsletter, James Dobson wrote, ‘More than an estimated 160,000 believers were martyred in 1996, and countless others were subjected to unimaginable horrors. And the persecution appears to be escalating exponentially.'”

 

http://joyfulministry.com/prscut.htm *

 

This site confirms the figure of 160,000 Christians martyred annually.

 

http://www.gordonconwell.edu/ockenga/globalchristianity/gd/gd16.pdf

 

Most notable aspect of this study:

 

Total number of Christian martyred through the year 2000:  70 million

 

Those most responsible for killing Christians between AD 33-2000:

 

 

State ruling power             55,871,000

Atheists (overlap with above)       31,689,000

Muslims                          9,121,000

 

 

Any wonder Christians are a little leery of government, especially atheists in charge of government, and Muslims too?  Oh, but wait: the moment you say something like that you are branded a religious bigot and shouted down, or shot down. 

 

All this comes as no surprise to serious Christians.  After all, the Lord told us flat out we would be hated for loving him, and following him, and he says the time comes when people will believe they are doing God a favor killing us. 

 

Even so, God protects us from government because we get our rights from God, at least that’s what the Declaration says, and government is supposed to serve the people.  By taking God out of the arrangement, government inevitably replaces God, and then, people are made subservient to government, a prescription for tyranny.

 

Elementary, high school and college students throughout the country are being systematically indoctrinated, contrary to the Declaration, taught to embrace government as god, and reject God himself, while there appears growing persecution of Christian students.  (Natural selection and survival of the fitness don’t you know?) 

 

How is that for a stunning realization:  your tax dollars wasted on a massive scale, used to corrupt youth leading to the destruction of America? All of it because Christians have allowed themselves to be cowed by secular humanists, atheists and theophobes of all stripes.

 

Bill Ayers is grinning in the dark like the Cheshire Cat.

 

Osama bin Laden doesn’t have to lift a finger.

 

How can anyone blame sinners for acting like sinners?  They don’t even know what they are doing.

 

On the other hand, the Lord will hold us accountable, especially if we fail to act like the holy-fired Christian soldiers he requires, because, he has opened our eyes and we do know what we are supposed to be doing.

 

In the end, fellow Christian, we only have ourselves to blame despite theophobes and persecution.

 

 

 

 

RESOURCES:

 

http://www.wallbuilders.com/

 

http://www.restoreamerica.org/index.asp

 

http://www.intellectualconservative.com/article4086.html

 

 

IRONY CENTRAL:

 

Given the fact we were founded by Judeo-Christian principles, and the fact those principles account for our freedom and prosperity, why would anyone willingly crush this shining city by destroying the foundations?  But here we are!

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18 Responses to Theophobia and Persecution

  1. jesurgislac says:

    As the anti-Christ sentiment escalates, one wonders how long it will be before we see in America what we’ve seen for years overseas: violent persecution, torture, murder.

    You’re already seeing it – or rather, you’re completely closing your eyes to it, given that the victims of violent persecution, torture, and murder in the US are not the middle-class straight white self-identified “Christians” who are evidently the only people in the world you feel any concern for.

  2. Allan Erickson says:

    Speaking of blindness, have you noticed Christians come in all colors, shapes and sizes, and from all socio-economic classes.

  3. jesurgislac says:

    Allan: Speaking of blindness, have you noticed Christians come in all colors, shapes and sizes, and from all socio-economic classes.

    Yes. Hence my comment.

    Christians in the US who are not middle-class straight white self-identified “Christians” are subjected to violent persecution, torture, and murder. Not because they are Christians, but because they are black; because they are poor; because they are lesbian or gay; because they are transgendered. Your blindness to the existence of these Christians and their suffering, your assertion that violent persecution, torture, and murder will only be “seen in America” when it happens to Christians who are white, straight, and middle-class, suggests that you have no idea that Christians come in all colors, from all socio-economic classes, in all sexual orientations, in all gender identities.

  4. Allan Erickson says:

    jesu

    Torture in America? Source?

    Persecution? Source?

    Murder? All kinds of people get murdered everyday for all kinds of reasons. The claim homosexuals are singled out more frequently than others simply for being gay is a claim I’ve yet to see verified.

    My Swedish grandfather stepped off the boat in about 1905 and had rocks bounced off his head in school because he only spoke Swedish. Everybody gets their share of abuse. Blacks have received much more than their share, leaving the rest of us to silence in the face of it.

    Steinbeck wrote a great book on the subject:

    “America and Americans”
    New York : The Viking Press, 1966.

    “The writer must believe that what he is doing is the most important thing in the world. And he must hold to this illusion even when he knows it is not true. ” Steinbeck

  5. jesurgislac says:

    Torture in America? Source?

    Ever looked into what happens to prisoners in the US prison system, Allan?

    Persecution? Source?

    Are you seriously trying to claim you have no notion that Hispanics are persecuted for being suspected illegals, black people are persecuted for being suspected criminals (a recent survey showed that a white applicant with a criminal record was statistically more likely to get a job than a black person with no criminal record), and that LGBT people are persecuted out of the military if they try to serve openly and that there are statutes on the books in more than half the states in the US banning lesbians and gays from marriage? That homophobic bullying – which has been known to lead to murder – is rife in US schools? (While we speak of bullying, let’s not forget Jena High School, where white students threatened black students with a “joke” about lynching for trying to sit under a shady tree: the Jena Six were imprisoned, no white student was harmed.) Are all black people, all Hispanics, all LGBT people so invisible to you?

    The claim homosexuals are singled out more frequently than others simply for being gay is a claim I’ve yet to see verified.

    Would you ever notice if it was? Given that racist persecution is invisible to you, that the institutionalised torture in US jails is invisible to you – somehow, I don’t see you having much difficulty overlooking the murder of LGBT people, either.

  6. Allan Erickson says:

    Done graduate work in statistics. You know what can be done with statistics? Prove most anything you want. Some statistics indicate reverse discrimination is no more prominent.

    Been doing prison ministry for five years. Prisons are ugly places. Guards do the best they can. American prisons are best in the world.

    I have worked in the fields with Hispanics over the course of many years. Sure they suffer discrimination, but persecution? No. Do they whine and complain? No. They outwork everybody, learn English and raise their families, and vote for Prop. 8. You ever worked in the fields with Hispanics? (didn’t think so)

    Count as friends many Blacks. They don’t whine either. They work hard, raise their families and make progress. Discrimination. Sure. Persecution. No.

    You appear to be the only one with the persecution complex.

    Are we Christians witnessing persecution from the LGBT community? In certain sectors, at certain times, you bet.

    You are the ones who need to repent.

    As to the military, it’s obvious what the problem is there. But here again, your “rights” are more important than national security, or any other consideration apparently.

  7. jesurgislac says:

    Been doing prison ministry for five years. Prisons are ugly places. Guards do the best they can.

    If you’re not lying about “doing prison ministry”, that makes you a complete hypocrite, doesn’t it? You don’t care about the guards torturing and abusing the prisoners; they’re just there for you to “visit”, and you’re happy for the guards to do what they like so long as they keep them in line.

    American prisons are best in the world.

    Well, they’re not the worst. But they’re pretty bad.

    I have worked in the fields with Hispanics over the course of many years. Sure they suffer discrimination, but persecution? No. Do they whine and complain? No.
    Count as friends many Blacks. They don’t whine either. They work hard, raise their families and make progress. Discrimination. Sure. Persecution. No.

    Unlike you, huh? Whining and complaining all the time because you think white middle-class Christians might someday be discriminated against? Wow. For someone who admires people who “don’t whine” you surely do your share. Aren’t you ashamed of whining and complaining about things you think might happen, when you claim to work with, be friends with, and visit with, people to whom far worse things have already happened?

    Yet you accuse me of having a “persecution complex”?

    Are we Christians witnessing persecution from the LGBT community? In certain sectors, at certain times, you bet.

    Yet you accuse me of having a “persecution complex”? What a whiner you are.

    As to the military, it’s obvious what the problem is there.

    Yeah. Straight white whiners like you who think their “rights” are more important than national security, or any other consideration apparently….

  8. Allan Erickson says:

    jes is reduced to “nanner-nanner-nanner.”

    Run along, run along.

    Go find somebody else to play with.

  9. jesurgislac says:

    So, basically, Allan: you whine. And when it’s pointed out to you you’re whining, you sneer.

  10. Allan Erickson says:

    Turn or burn jes, turn or burn.

  11. Allan Erickson says:

    Jes,

    A PS concerning prison issues. Until recently I went most every Friday night spending 2-3 hours each Friday night with inmates from all over the world. Most of the abuse is inmate-on-inmate, and we have been useful in helping prison authorities create a safer environment on more than one occasion. It will also be useful for you to know prisoners have appellate processes and can lodge complaints against guards, and the entire place is video taped 24/7. May I ask what you have ever done to address any of the grievances you advocate? Have you ever put your hand to the wheel, or do you just sit back and complain?

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