Friday, November 30, 2007

"No offense to any Religious People in Here": The Sting of Persecution

Yesterday in class, I heard a comment that won't leave me. Even now, after nearly a full two days (and a night of sleep), I still can't stop thinking about this comment.

We (well not me, but some of the students and the professor) were talking about school, and one thing led to another, and it got to the topic of private schooling and taxes. My professor said he doesn't want his tax money going to private schools because most private schools are religious schools and he doesn't want his tax money being spent on kids to learn about Jesus, he'd rather it go towards public schools where kids can learn about civil matters. It hurt. It still hurts. It didn't surprise me, but it didn't make it easier. I wish now I could go back and say something. But, I remained silent. I honestly don't know what I would have said. The angry, upset me wanted to say "Well I don't want my tax money going towards murder (abortion) but it does and there is nothing I can do to stop it." The compassionate part of me wanted to share the gospel with him. But the dominate fear of man part of me is what won, and I said nothing. I justify my action by saying that because I don't talk much in class it would have been weird for me to say something. But, I know that is wrong. I am thankful for a forgiving God a God who loves me despite my sins. The persecution I receive is nothing compared to what He recieves.

John 15:18-25- The World Hates the Disciples

18"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.'[b] If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me. 22If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin. 23He who hates me hates my Father as well. 24If I had not done among them what no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: 'They hated me without reason.'[c]

1 comment:

Leanne said...

Those types of comments can be difficult to handle, especially when you don't come up against them often. Some people might disagree with me here, but in my experience, speaking up in the type of situation you were in might not have been the best course of action, as the professor may have felt that you were trying to attack his view in front of the class (which isn't always the most effective method of evangelism!). But...I think you hit the nail on the head when you talked about your heart behind the choice you made, because we often do make those decisions out of a sinful fear of man. It is difficult to gain the discernment of what to say and when to say it, and I think God uses situations like this one to teach us how (and when) to stand up for ourselves. Don't be condemned by what you did not do - God has forgiven you!

My "similar" (definitely not as blatant, but similar heart) situation at work is the joke my coworkers have about how they're all bad and going to hell. How do you say "well yeah, you are, unless you know Jesus"? They have no idea what they say.