“Christianity especially has always thrived under persecution. At such a season she has no lukewarm professors; no adherents concerning whom it is doubtful to what party they belong. The Christian is then reminded at every turn, that his Master’s kingdom is not of this world. When all on earth wears a black and threatening aspect, he looks up to heaven for consolation; he learns practically to consider himself as a pilgrim and stranger. He then cleaves to fundamentals, and examines well his foundation, as at the hour of death. When Religion is in a state of external quiet and prosperity, the contrary of all this naturally takes place. The soldiers of the church militant then forget that they are in a state of warfare. Their ardor slackens, their zeal languishes. Like a colony long settled in a strange country, they are gradually assimilated in features, and demeanor, and language, to the native inhabitants, till at length almost every vestige of peculiarity dies away.”
William Wilberforce, Real Christianity
This is so true Christina! It reminds of a story about John MacArthur – a Russian pastor was visiting his church and MacArthur asked him a question in regards to how difficult the pastor’s ministry must be in Russia with the intense persecution they faced. The pastor said, it was not difficult at all because he knew exactly where everyone stood – rather ministering in America was the far more difficult ministry.
Thank you for this good reminder.
Jon J. Cardwell says
Thanks for that quote from Mr. Wilberforce, Christina. Love the quote. Loved his biography. Wasn’t crazy about that Amazing Grace movie though. Albert Finney’s portrayal of John Newton was simply terrible, unflattering, and untrue. But I digress. Mea culpa. Great post.
Blessings to you, jon
Wayne Sedlak says
God blesses sufferings of Christians who endure persecution fof His name’s sake for it matures them and his Kingdom, bringing a strong witness of his Righteousness to the world about.
Thanks for the Wilberforce reminder!
PaulandJen Dare says
So true! Reminds me of what someone once said about the difference between Christianity and Islam:
“Islam has spread when it has taken up the sword against those it would convert. Christianity has spread when the sword has been taken up against it by those it tries to convert” – unknown.
thanks for the post, great reminder.