Thursday, November 07, 2013

Affliction goes both ways

Even more problematic for John are those congregations that seem to coexist all too peaceably with their neighbors in the shadow of Rome. There is not a hint that the Christians in Sardis and Laodicea have experienced rejection by their neighbors. Indeed, the indictment of these churches appears to stem from the fact that they blend in all too well and mingle all too effectively with the partners of Rome and worshipers of idols all around them. As we think about the diversity of the congregations John addresses, we should always bear in mind that John is equally interested in comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable.— Unholy Allegiances, page 86

<idle musing>
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." Matthew 5:11-12

"Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets." Luke 6:26

That about sums up God's view, doesn't it? Of course our response to this is love:
"Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander." I Peter 3:13-16
</idle musing>

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