CGG Weekly, January 17, 2003

"No wise man wants a soft life."
Alfred the Great

Little has been overtly said this week by the liberal news media about the making of a movie, produced and directed by Mel Gibson, about Jesus of Nazareth. However, there has been a furious reaction by a few conservative news agencies. This reaction over the anti-Christian bias, which has been building among the liberal press and is now seen developing behind the scenes, has come as a result of the escalating attack on one of Hollywood's beloved actor/director's and action heroes. Mr. Gibson says some media types have covertly attacked his family and himself because he is shooting a movie favorable to Jesus. Hollywood does not even exempt one of their own from their liberal scrutiny and attack when it comes to promoting Jesus in a positive light.

Bias toward Christians is flagrant in much of today's media coverage. Secular philosophy among some powerful editors has led to an open bias toward anyone who admits admiration of and/or allegiance to Jesus Christ. Verbally vilify a homosexual, a pro-abortion advocate, or Muslim terrorist, and it is a "hate crime." Do the same to a Christian, and it is free speech, separation of church and state, and downright chic.

We live in a very prejudiced and violent world that hates the teachings of Jesus Christ. Even the mention of His name is enough to stir many to riotous behavior. Professing Christians in Asia and Africa live in daily fear of their lives because, although they know little of God's truth, they gather under the banner of the name of Jesus Christ. And for that label they suffer persecution in verbally abusive and even physically violent ways. They are staunchly loyal to the name of the Christ of today's mainstream Christianity. Their loyalty is indeed impressive!

As Christians, we hope and pray that our faith will be strong enough to endure such persecution—unto death if necessary. As of yet, however, most of us have not been tried to such an extent. As we near the end of this age, and as we approach the culmination of all the evils of this present Babylonish society, our day of the ultimate test may very well come.

In his letter to the Romans, the apostle Paul asks several questions that help put into perspective our Christian perseverance in the face of persecution:

Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:34-39)

Those professing Christians losing their lives at the hand of Muslims in Africa, India, and Indonesia are not, for the most part, receiving persecution for walking in the footsteps of Jesus—living as He lived, doing what He did. Those Christians are being persecuted for association to a name—and a very powerful name indeed!—but without following the example of how Jesus lived. However, true Christians—those who have repented of their sins, been baptized, accepted Jesus as their personal Savior, received the Holy Spirit and who live and obey the teachings of Jesus Christ—suffer with Christ all day long because living God's way of life is contrary to every aspect of secular society. Our daily reckoning "as sheep for the slaughter" keeps us from being separated from the love of God. That makes us more than just associates of a name; it makes us more than conquerors. It makes us the very children of God!