Governmental Persecution

Last Sunday we considered the words of Jesus in Matthew 10:16-33 regarding governmental persecution of the church. In context, we saw that it is not just being a Christian that brings such opposition, but it is the “proclaiming from the rooftops” that will bring all of the hatred and consequences Jesus warns of. On the same day, our local newspaper ran a front-page article where our Mayor publicly denounced our church for “disrespectful and harassing behavior that was not acceptable.” One city councilor said in an opinion piece that “we can fix” the problem of Wellspring’s “threats,” and “discrimination and bullying.” "Fixing" us is clearly a threat to find a way to silence us.

Let us think rightly about Wellspring’s activities being decried as harassment. Before God, we are glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ and loving our neighbors by preaching the gospel in hopes to save sinners from the hell they deserve. Now while we don’t expect God-haters to understand this, that is what our outreaches to the pride community are—loving, bold evangelism for the good of souls and our city.

But even from a purely human standpoint, our outreaches are simply First Amendment protected protests based on a difference of opinions. So from a human standpoint, what is so evil about what we are doing? Is it now the case that showing up in protest of something you disagree with and want to see changed that it is “harassment” and “unacceptable” behavior? Is this the new definition of harassment? We know the left is good at controlling language and changing words to indoctrinate the culture.

Think about this—our local government has looked upon a basic American value that has served this country so well, the value of a free exchange of ideas so that bad ones do not flourish and good ones prevail, and they have labeled any public disagreement as “harassment.” That is a terrible precedent to set because now you have the authorities (who control the law and its enforcement) creating a chilling effect upon its community so that people learn it is not okay to disagree or protest, not unless you want to be labeled a hater or harasser.

Considering the fact that the City of Roseburg is an official sponsor of the Roseburg Pride Parade on June 4th, this is a message to the community that it is not ok to disagree with or protest the ideology your local government is supporting, no matter how wicked. This is precisely what authoritarian governments do to progressively subjugate a free people.

What will they do to silence us? How far will they go? We do not know. But one thing we know for certain—the “gospel is the power of God unto salvation” and therefore we will not be ashamed or silenced.

In Christ,

Pastor Bryan