Grow Up!

"Grow up!" Those were the words former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams shouted as he addressed Christians in Great Britain and in the rest of the Western world who likened feeling "mildly uncomfortable" to being persecuted. Williams also said that "not being taken very seriously" or "being made fun of" in Britain and the United States is not similar or resemblant to the "murderous hostility" faced by other Christians in certain parts of the world.

It would be accurate to say Christians in America are often the victims of such ridicule. This is largely due to the fact we allow our faith to be represented by extremists and heretics in mainstream thought. I've experienced first hand the practice of placing all Christians in a box and labeling it "Westboro Baptist." 

It is especially difficult being a young Black intellectual who identifies with the Christian faith. My blackness, intelligence, and ability to reason logically is immediately called into question once I profess my faith in Jesus Christ.

I am a grown man. I no longer have to rely on the nursery rhyme, "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" to cope with the verbal assaults unleashed toward me by those skeptical of my faith. 

That's the worst of our problems; insults. These insults are usually hurled from behind the protection of a computer monitor and keyboard. The audacity of Christians in the Western world to cry persecution. Grow up! 

The reality is that those claiming to be persecuted have no idea what persecution looks like. Black Christians in America understand persecution because we face it daily. But we face it because of the racial prejudice that still exists in "post-racial" America, not because of our faith. 

None of us Christians in America have been persecuted because of our beliefs. In fact we enjoy the privilege that comes with our religion being attached to the dominant culture politically, economically, and spiritually. 

Our brothers and sisters in Christ in Egypt are experiencing real persecution right now! In Egypt, Christians make up about 10 percent of the population. Since the ousting of  President Mohammed Morsi on July 3rd there have been reports that "nearly 40 churches have been looted and torched, while 23 others have been attacked." So far two Christians have been killed, but that number is sure to rise with the current violent social unrest. 

It would be a disgrace to the gospel if I did not mention the turmoil Egypt is facing as a nation. In total, since Thursday, almost 900 Egyptian people have died and more than 4,000 have been injured. Not only do Egyptian Christians need our prayers, but all the people of Egypt need our prayers as well. 
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