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1 & 2 Peter

12.22.2010

Back when we were reading and discussing John 15, I questioned whether modern, American Christians can really consider themselves persecuted and bemoaned how quick we are to say that the world hates us because we’re Christian.  There seemed a disconnect to me between the Biblical meaning of persecution and the relationship that exists between the church and American culture. 

Peter is here, however, to nudge me off my high horse.  In 1 Peter 4, Peter includes among our persecutors those who malign us because we do not partake in the hedonistic lifestyle of the pagans.  Elsewhere, he says that we will suffer at the hands of scoffers for continuing to profess the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Peter recognizes what I didn’t: that living for Jesus in a broken world entails sacrifice, and that sacrifice will look different for different people.  I don’t say this to equate wearing a WWJD bracelet with courage, but there is still opportunity to earn the battle scars of spiritual warfare even in an environment as affluent and legally permissive as ours.

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