Persecution

hateCNN had an interesting story yesterday.  The headline: “When Christians Become a Hated Minority.”  Like so many other current cultural debates, it assumes that Christ followers are camped out on one issue.  Maybe that’s because that issue is the one place, seemingly, where the world has managed to join forces with the tide of popular opinion.  Now anybody who speaks out against homosexual behavior or gay marriage is a hate-filled bigot.

The article fairly raises the question of whether Christian-haters are the new bigots.  It points out that many believers avoid saying anything about, well, anything for fear of the backlash.

This raises a painful question for Christians:  Why are we being trampled on?  It sure seems that anywhere you turn anybody and everybody has the right to say whatever they want, do whatever pleases them, and demand to be accepted.  But let somebody mention Jesus or the word “Christian” and the arrows fly from all sides.

Here’s the problem:  We’re asking the wrong people. [click to continue…]

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The Underground Project

by Andy Wood on September 25, 2009

in Turning Points

PoliceLights2You up for a little side trip?  This one rolls down Memory Lane in a church bus with papered-up windows, wide-eyed teenagers, and me in handcuffs in the back of a police car.  This is the (true) story of what happens when non-planning randomizers like me actually take the time to plan something.  This is the story of The Underground Project.

Once upon a time (hey, I said it was a story), I was a youth pastor in Lumberton, Mississippi.  I was fairly new, and school had just let out for summer.  For the folks at First Baptist Church, that meant one thing:  Vacation Bible School.  And I was expected to have something each night for the youth group.  So I planned to do something unique and special each evening.  Can’t remember which night it was for sure – I think it was Tuesday.  But on the promotional information, I said very little.  I just said come later – at 8:30 – for The Underground Project.

Use your imagination.  Be an energetic teenager in a small, south Mississippi town in the early summer.  You arrive at the church to see a painted sign attached to the chain link fence that says, Closed by Order of the State.  (What’s funny about that is that the old church building actually had a bad flood/mold problem and had been ordered closed within a year or so.)

Ex-pec-tant and excited, you enter the fellowship hall, where you are asked to have a seat and wait for instructions.  Then in groups of 6 or 7, you are invited into a room.  There I explain that I have some important information for you. [click to continue…]

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