Thursday, March 10, 2016

Fired for God - Martin Wiles

But Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than human authority.” Acts 5:29 NLT

“He was fired for flying the Christian flag…and in America.”

Although I struggled to wrap my mind around the statement, I couldn’t deny I was hearing it. The speaker told about a fellow employee. A fine Christian young man who wasn’t afraid to express his faith. 

While a debate was bustling at the State House in Columbia, South Carolina, over the Confederate flag, he chose to focus on the Christian flag. He proudly flew it from the back of his pickup truck…even at work. His supervisor instructed him to remove it. While on break, he did, but then he reinstated it during lunch. At four o’clock, he was called into the office and fired. 

As one who can remember prayers being articulated in public schools, teachers expressing their faith, and Christian principles permeating society, hearing of someone being fired for flying a Christian flag in America is disconcerting. Yet I shouldn’t be surprised. 

Jesus said the days prior to His return would be wicked like those of Noah’s day. He further said believers should rejoice when they were persecuted. 
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego chose a fiery furnace over a pagan statue. Daniel chose the lion’s den instead of an order to stop praying to his God. And the apostles chose jail rather than the command to stop preaching about Jesus. 

The offense is immaterial; the result is disturbing. Some are fired for flying a flag. Others are told to remove Christian paraphernalia from their office space. Children are suspended for wearing clothing with Christian messages, and papers are scored a zero when written about a Christian topic. All in a country founded on Christian principles. 

Suffering and persecution are parcel to my decision to follow Christ. If I’m not opposed, I’m probably not doing an adequate job of expressing my faith. While I shouldn’t cultivate a martyr complex, neither should I shy away from the consequences of following Jesus Christ. I should expect opposition and misunderstanding. Some will turn away from me while others will turn against me. My duty is to stand fast and love those who don’t love me. And I can when I trust God for strength. 

How are you responding to those who persecute you because of your faith? 

Prayer: Father, enable us to stand firmly when the powers of persecution rise against us.

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