My own understanding of what really constitutes persecution would be when governments directly and systematically seek to remove from believers the ability to live in peace, eat their bread and practise their faith in private. I wouldnt see anything in the public domain as a proof of persecution unless it takes the form of the persecution which Paul and the apostolic fathers experienced when the public domain was used as a theatre for the government to involve those members of the public who are against Christ to participate in and direct the hatred and suffering of the saints. In short a preacher cannot claim to being persecuted because he preaches the gospel and as a consequence he is insulted, ridiculed and hated by unbelievers. Neither is a police officer a persecutor when he seeks to uphold the Law which he is sworn to uphold for the benefit of all persons in the public domain. I have no doubt that others will say that being arrested or the like is a disturbing event. I would say then stop preaching the gospel in public. If being arrested is disturbing you ought not to be preaching the gospel because you are not called to it. Its as simple as that. Do we read of anyone in the scriptures complaining that they were mistreated? On the contrary it was an opportunity. Lets get real and stop playing at being something we are not. Being arrested, hated and ridiculed is an opportunity to bear witness of Christ in circumstances which mark the true evangelist out because in it he is able to exercise true authority and where necessary true compassion despite the circumstance.I learned these lessons on the streets preaching and being attacked, threatened with death, bottled and even told by people in real authority that they would incite an arrest on the grounds of a probable public disorder. In contrast when we stood our ground, spoke with authority in the power of the Holy Spirit we saw police officers defending our position and moving others on. In one instance a police sergeant upon arrival at a deteriorating situation singled the only member of the preaching team out who had a criminal record and asked him directly "what do you want me to do?". It was said to him equally directly, remove these men and women from this ground in order that we might preach Christ crucified for sin. That he did and it was finished. Resisting spiritual wickedness is a matter of authority in Christ and has nothing whatsoever to do with resisting persecution. Persecution is more general and is against all those who truly believe. Which is why when it does come it will finally make for a separation and those who take the name of Christ, yet are not truly His will fall away. Those who are in Christ will learn how to stand. And they will stand because He is able to make them stand even in a wicked day. Our attitude was always "take the ground" in prayer and fasting, in praise of God and in proclamation of Christ. We never ever singled out individuals by sin or by any other measure. Conviction of sin is a matter for the Holy Spirit. The homosexual man or woman knows very well what their sin is when the Lord is present. Just as the thief knows that he is a thief and so on.
That was exceedlingly well stated, amr.
Well written.In short a preacher cannot claim to being persecuted because he preaches the gospel and as a consequence he is insulted, ridiculed and hated by unbelievers. >>>>>so true, just look at Stephan in the book of Acts:)
I would humbly disagree brother. Webster defines persecute as such..PER'SECUTED, pp. Harassed by troubles or punishments unjustly inflicted, particularly for religious opinions.I also think that we should not shy from calling sin, sin...even if it is illegal. After reading the transcript I believe the brother was humble and clearly explained he was not targeting anyone in particular. We will not always get a positive response from the police as some of you have. I can testify to this.
I agree that naming individual sins is necessary. What I said however was that naming an individual's sins isn't. Especially in a public place with a public address system. The woman so named was the same women who phoned the police afterwards. Go figure!
You are right..I personally do not call out specific sins to specific people unless I am sure of what I am hearing. That said , both in scripture and also in history, church history, almost all the ministers spoke to specific sins found in their time and the culture.The true spokesman/woman for God will have no trouble calling out to the baal worshippers of their time and making specific statements. I remember one night when one of the guys on the streets called out to a guy getting ready to mount his motor cycle, he named a specific sin and told this dude that unless he repented and followed through with Jesus tonight, his soul would be lost for good. That guy ignored, rode off into eternity, just 1 mile down the road. Some times the Lord will point out specifics that no one could know outside of the person. In the video however, I do not fully side with the method employed by the street preacher...but that is just my personal preference and nothing that I would base on scripture.Just a personal note to you amrkelly, I did appreciate your explanation on how you understand persecution. It really does help to know where a person is coming from.