Invoking the P Word

So let’s just call this thing what it is. Christian persecution. Right here in the good ‘ole USA. Right here in the Lone Star State.

It’s happening all over the world. We just aren’t used to dealing with it in our own backyards. But the tide has turned. I have no doubt it is only going to get worse.

Today, I pray for those Houston pastors and their congregations who suffer for the name of Jesus. (See previous post “10 Things to Pray for Christians in Iraq.) May God use their persecution to strengthen their faith and bring glory to the name of Jesus. I also pray for myself. May I be counted with those who stood firm to the end no matter the cost.


This blog post popped up in my Twitter timeline this morning. And I’ve seen similar sentiments pop up on Facebook and other social media this week.

To date, all I’ve seen is people going “Wow, can you believe this?” This is the first I’ve heard of someone calling what’s [allegedly] happening in Houston “persecution.” It’s quite a leap to switch from “Can you believe this mess?” to “This is persecution, just like in Iraq.

Americans friends… Let’s be careful about the ” P” word.

I’ve got 3 thoughts, feel free to disagree in the comments below:

  1. We all know that this isn’t going anywhere in our legal system. A city ordinance cannot overrule free speech– the First Amendment of the Constitution. Unless these pastors have been ordering hits on people in the gay community, they’ve got nothing to worry about.
  2. This story is about leverage, not persecution. Remove the storyline elements and you’ll see that some people are embattled with their local government and they are gaining leverage by creating public outcry. The more you tell this story the more leverage they gain. And you know what? You have no idea whose side you’re really on! It’s politics. You might actually agree with the city if you knew all of the facts. But repeating this story without really knowing the facts definitely advances one parties case.
  3. Real persecution happens. And I’m sure it happens in the United States. But be careful to not devalue our brothers and sisters disowned by their families, imprisoned, tortured, and killed around the world by invoking persecution in Texas over a city ordinance. The worst that would ever happen to those in this case is they’d get a fine, which would be tossed out by any judge at any level.

But Adam! Isn’t it a form of persecution?

In the most technical definition and sense of the word “persecution“– I suppose it is. But let’s not compare a local city ordinance issue with murder, torture, and false imprisonment.

And, to give context, these churches are experiencing no more persecution than your average 5th grader wanting to read his Bible at recess.

Yes, if this is really happening, you should be upset about it. All I’m saying is to be careful not to couch what is [allegedly] happening with a few churches in a city you don’t live in with violent persecution around the world.






One response to “Invoking the P Word”

  1. Matt Cromwell Avatar

    No, this is not persecution by any definition of persecution. They are not disparaging or inflicting violence on Christians because of their Christian beliefs. They have not explicitly targeted Christians because of their Christianity. They took a vested interest in the sermons of these pastors because the assumption is that they violated the 1st Amendment — not the free speech part, the separation of church and state part — because they organized their congregants to act politically against specific laws from the pulpit. It’s one thing to preach your values that are in opposition to the law of the land. It’s another thing entirely to hold church services in order to get signatures on ballots.

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