Steven, I agree with all that you say but I don't think that to pray for persecution is necessarily a prideful or self glorifying effort. Thank you for your position. Most of what you say is why I didn't just pray for it as the thought crossed my mind. But, I am not suggesting in any way that we "tempt" God (that was the reason for my mention of Judas in the last post). We agree too on the faithfulness. But, I believe we do see that so much unfaithfulness in many areas of the church has diluted our witness and therefore, I think, made us less effective. How many of us have "resisted unto blood"? Heb. 4:12. Again, I don't suggest we start any fights but refuse to back down. In love, with grace of course. DG -----Original Message----- From: Steven G. Rockhill [mailto:revrock@...] Sent: Wednesday, March 30, 2005 11:18 AM To: pastorsforum@... Subject: Re: [PastorsForum] Prayer for persecution? Dale, What I am saying is that I don't think we should be praying for persecution to come at all. We should expect that it will come but I don't think we should call it upon ourselves. As I posted to Derick, would that not be akin to tempting God? My concern is that if we pray for it then we are seeking our own glory - like saying I want to do something really great so that I can bring glory to God. But God is not interested in our 'great acts and deeds' - He is interested in our faithfulness to do His Will (maybe a great deed maybe not) and if we do that and persecution comes then it is He who receives all the glory. I believe our pride can too easily get in the way even in desiring something 'noble'. Peace, Steve Dale Gooding wrote: > Steven, > I agree with your post after the 1st paragraph. > I really tried to present the question with regard to the prayer not > being for self glory or even personal martyrdom. In your face > evangelism has always stunk to me and wouldn't encourage it now. I > didn't even do "street preaching" in college because the guys doing it > were very "in your face" and I think that is wrong. > Maybe I just wasn't very clear in the initial post. It would be wrong > to pray for persecution for any reason other than God's glory. > The reason I haven't prayed for it is because I don't want to force > God's hand as some believe Judas did by turning Jesus over. > > DG > > -----Original Message----- > From: Steven G. Rockhill [mailto:revrock@...] > Sent: Wednesday, March 30, 2005 10:36 AM > To: pastorsforum@... > Subject: Re: [PastorsForum] Prayer for persecution? > > > Dale, > We just had this discussion in Sunday school this week. I don't > think that we are to pray for persecution to come. Being a martyr for > Christ is one thing but being a martyr to receive self-glory, honor and > praise is another. Someone once told me that what the church needs > about now is a good dose of persecution. Though as you note below - the > > Gospel spreads like wildfire during times of persecution - I don't > think > > we need to call the wrath of man upon us unnecessarily. I think of > that > > group of protesters in Philadelphia who are being tried, albeit the > allegations are trumped up - but 'in your face' evangelism seems to me, > to be more about desiring the self-glory of persecution than desiring > the glory of Christ. In other words they are cats not dogs. :-) > There are many brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the world > who are persecuted for their faith and would love to have the freedoms > that we have. Consider those freedoms for a moment - freedom of speech > and freedom of assembly in particular. Have we in the US taken these > freedoms for granted? I believe we have. If we truly take advantage of > > these freedoms with the intent of spreading the Gospel of Christ I > believe persecution will come - the Bible promises it. So if we are not > > being persecuted - we may have to ask ourselves - what aren't we doing? > Are we truly being salt and light? Are we serious about reaching > the > lost outside the four walls of the church building? Are we serious about > > impacting our local communities for the name of Christ and His Gospel? > I do believe that persecution is not very far off. Consider our > neighbors to the North - Canada. We are not far from that. And as was > noted earlier - we can't even use a word like 'crusade' without someone > getting bent out of shape. It has already started, though very subtly, > Christians are being silenced or at least having to watch what they > speak in public. > I have frequently warned my congregation about this so that they > will be prepared. > > Just my thoughts, > > Steve > > > > > Dale Gooding wrote: > >>Guys, >>In your opinion, would it be wrong to literally pray for persecution? >>I mean, we all know that the church has seen most of its fruit while >>under P. so is it possible that we are not offensive enough and need >>to become so in order to really be used by God? Now, I don't mean to >>go out and start fights just so we can act all pious. But, maybe some > > >>of us need to do less backing down, watering down, stepping back, >>deferring, etc... and call sin, sinners, etc... by what they are. I >>know many of us do but do we encourage our people who work in the >>secular field to not back down when evolution is taught in schools, >>refuse to capitulate on our morals when the boss says to become less >>outspoken to the sodomites in the work place, to refuse to refer to >>Jesus Christ in the workplace parties while God's name and standards >>are mocked at every turn, when immorality and perversity are exalted >>and Christianity is condemned? Again, that is not to suggest we >>should open up our Bibles and start preaching in our cubicle or work >>area at lunch but at the same time refuse to not read our Bible in >>private or stand up for what we believe due to PC (political >>correctness). Just a thought. >> >>DG >> >> > > > -- > To unsubscribe, send ANY message to: > pastorsforum-unsubscribe@... > > "In essential things, unity; in non-essential things, liberty; and in > all things, charity." > > -- > To unsubscribe, send ANY message to: > pastorsforum-unsubscribe@... > > "In essential things, unity; in non-essential things, liberty; and in > all things, charity." > > -- ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++ Pastor Steven G. Rockhill Lisbon Reformed Presbyterian Church PO Box 88 Lisbon, NY 13658 315-393-9041 revrock@... ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++++ -- To unsubscribe, send ANY message to: pastorsforum-unsubscribe@... "In essential things, unity; in non-essential things, liberty; and in all things, charity."