Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Persecution 101: The City Gates

In many Jewish villages, there were "city idols" that stood at the city gates. In order to come into the city to buy or sell, you would have to pay homage to that city god.
Well, what would you do if you were a follower of Jesus? Would you pay homage so you can buy food? Would you pay homage so you could sell product to provide for your family?

The Christians did not, and many of them suffered because of it. They had to go outside the city to sell product, to buy product. However, the people bought & sold at the city gates, not outside the city.

This reminds me of sports, and other activities today. We don't see idols- things that sit on shelves or pedestals. We see things like, "I can't go to church if I want to play on a team". Where people give up, compromise their walk with Christ for the sake of being able to play sports and have friends on the sports teams. This is, in many ways, more difficult because there is no law that teaches that you have to be at all church events or church gatherings. Furthermore, enemies of the Word like George Barna, who are influential in Christian circles are teaching that being involved in the body of Christ is optional. "Personal relationship with Jesus" is taught, and taught that obeying Acts, Hebrews, and 1 John where we need to be gathering with the believers in an INCREASING manner, is optional.

Maybe Christians need to say, "On Sunday morning I get to be with the believers, and worship together, in obedience to God", "And I will go with the Church when they do different functions, and skip my practice. Therefore, maybe I cannot play sports in this culture." People are ditching the teachings of Scripture in order to gain the things of this world- friends, prestige, and to play on a sports team. May God forgive them. May Christians today be willing to sell outside the city gates & never bow to idols. May they follow Jesus, and not bend to the pressures of this world.

2 comments:

  1. Wow - these are bold statements! But they are important things to consider! I've heard people say the way life is these days, Church fellowship/activity can't have very much time of an ordinary (in this culture) person's life... People keep trying to think of alternate ways to involve people while allowing them the freedom to pursue all the other things life has to offer... At some point re-prioritizing will have to come - and unfortunately, there will be many who aren't willing to sacrifice their pleasures for increased commitment to 'Church time'. Broad is the way and narrow the road, and few there be that find it.

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  2. I was thinking...why are sports & school activities so big? I mean, they are fun...but if I had to condition & practice all year for a sport it would not be fun anymore. How did they get so big?
    My guess is it is from fear- we have to win, so the parents are happy. So we will practice, harder, stronger, longer. to win.
    If I don't have a good team, I might get fired as the coach, and then what will I do? I will have to find a new job! A few extra practices should help (so the other team starts to do this too. The ball gets rolling).

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