As you are reading this, the most populous country in the world is giving signals that it has begun a campaign of oppression, and repression, of philosophies, and religions, other than the one supported by the government.
Individuals, families, and churches are facing persecution, prison, and, possibly, death. This was the reaction of Rome in the days of Jesus. This has been the reaction of governments since that time.
How should God's family respond?
• Scripture says love your enemies.
We could respond with "an eye for an eye," but Jesus said to respond in a way that is the opposite. Governments persecute, and hurt. God's family should love, serve, and bless.
• You are the body of Christ.
God's family has many parts. All parts make up his family, no matter who, or how different. Disciples of Jesus in Asia are the right hand. Disciples in North America are the left hand. What happens to them does matter to us. Each of us needs to position our hearts with them.
We need to initiate an offensive of prayer. We should pray for: protection and provision, penetration of the Spirit into government officials, workers of the gospel, planting of seed, watering of the crop, and a reaping of the harvest.
• It backfired with Rome.
When persecution was the strategy of dealing with God's family for the Roman empire, when arrest, prison, and dying in the arena were tactics Rome used, it backfired. When God's family responded to persecution with peace, and joy, when God's family responded to persecution with love, and blessing, the responses proclaimed the gospel was true, and more powerful than the government, and its philosophy. People gave their allegiance to God in spite of the persecution. Satan's tools, which were intended to push people away from God, resulted in people being drawn to him.
We should pray for God's spirit to fill this boomerang effect.
Scripture says Satan will attack anyone who gives their allegiance to Jesus, and seeks to live a life of obedience.
Scripture also says we love, and honor Christ, if we live lifestyles of obedience. Almost like being attacked is an indicator of obedience, of love toward God. I sometimes wonder if God's family in the west is really being "persecuted" for acting like jerks.
God's family does need to stand for truth. the most important truth, the one we need to practice above all, is love. We cannot do the first, and forget the second. we need to promote the counter-cultural stands of God's kingdom, of which love is first.
And we need to remember our brothers and sisters, who are in need, who are suffering, by our love, definitely by our prayers, and maybe with our physical assets, or our physical labor.