Anybody who has watched the Ben Stein documentary EXPELLED will know that defenders of ID face some pressure in this western secularized culture. Sometimes, however, when I speak before ID-friendly audiences, I’m asked about the “persecution” of ID defenders. In response, I always make clear that “persecution” is really the wrong term to describe what we’re going through here in the U.S. and in other Western nations.
By “persecution,” we’re not just talking about losing your job or reputation, but being shipped of to the Gulag and tortured. Nothing remotely like that has happened to any ID advocate here in the West, myself included. Yes, I’ve been fired, vilified, and marginalized. But I’ve always managed to find another job and always had supporters to encourage me. This is nothing like what people in Communist countries experienced during the Cold War, and many Christian believers still experience.
I’m fortunate that early in my Christian experience (I became a believer at age 18 in 1979), I was exposed to the witness of Richard Wurmbrand, who had been imprisoned and tortured in Ceausescu’s Romania for 14 years before his release to the West in the 1960s. One of my favorite organizations to support is his Voice of the Martyrs. In their current newsletter, they include the following excerpt from his writings:
“…that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer” (2 Thess. 1:5)
When we are sick, we go to a doctor. We know there is such a thing as good health. We don’t ask why we have to take bitter pills or undergo an operation in order to be restored to health. We have faith in the doctor and do what we says.
We know that this world is topsy-turvy, full of darkness. Everyone will die. But Christ told us about a splendid kingdom of love, where He reigns and all His disciples will be eternally happy. Evil powers want to keep others from getting there. Christ taught us by His own example that we should win people for this kingdom, even if we have to suffer and die to do so….
A person will endure suffering of some kind in the USA, too, if he works for God’s kingdom. Instead of posing the vain question of why suffering is needed, embrace it passionately….
Jesus asked on the cross why He was abandoned. He was given no reply in words. His resurrection was the answer. My wife, Sabina, and I suffered in jail. Why? The answer is our mission, which helps thousands of persecuted Christians spiritually and financially. It could not have existed without what went before. Many believers who loved the kingdom and had known other sorrows joined us.
Trust in the value of any suffering for the kingdom. At times you may need to abandon vain human reason to rely only on trust. Then God, the Beloved, “will rejoice over you with singing” (Zeph. 3:17).
Invite God’s silence to surround and fill you. Then you will hear this song. We hear it.