It’s “open season” on Christians in Australian society. What comes through the media, politics and general social attitudes, is a subconscious acceptance that Christian truth, and anyone who holds to it, must be absolutely opposed as illegitimate, and considered “evil”.

This is not a shocking surprise, but the fulfilment of Jesus’ words of prophecy in the Bible (Mt 10:22-25). This is because the values of the Christian Gospel are precisely upsidedown to those of the world around us. Jesus Christ taught that we are to show mercy and love to all – especially to those who wrong and hate us! – while the world operates on a basis of favours to those who do what we want, and payback to those who don’t (Lk 6:27-36).

Of course, persecution of Christian people is mostly social and psychological at this time in Australia (although not the less insidious and effective!); in many places in the world it is also physical, and to the point of death.

Jesus, of course, taught us how to respond to those who attack Christian truth, and ourselves as believers. That is, to love them, having mercy and compassion toward them as those who are lost; to publicly hold to the truth of Christ as the only way of salvation and fulness of life – for ourselves and our enemies; and to cop the attack.

Because persecution confirms that we do indeed belong to Christ, it is actually a “blessing”, and we may “rejoice” in it! (Lk 6:22,23)

Grace and peace, Jonathan.