Have you ever been lied about or wrongly blamed? Have you ever been punished for something you didn’t do? It’s a terrible feeling. The injustice of it all can eat away at you from the inside, leaving you overwhelmed by anger, fear, and uncertainty. So what are Christians to do when they are falsely accused, or worse, persecuted for their beliefs?
George O. Wood of CharismaNews believes the time is coming when Christians in the West will be treated no differently than those in China. He recounts the story of a Chinese pastor who was imprisoned for nine years and persecuted violently for his faith. Yet despite all this hardship the pastor never wavered in his belief. Instead, he drew encouragement from Psalm 7, where David calls upon the Lord to save him in his time of desperation. By examining the chapter of the Bible, Wood details how Christians can respond when they feel slandered.
“How can we be so confident that in the end everything will turn out all right? Because the Lord is righteous, and in the long run He will not let evil prevail. Therefore, with David, we declare our faith even before an external change has occurred in our condition (Psalm 7).”
He continues by writing,
“Keep praying and trusting during the period of false accusation and the desperate loneliness. It may not change your circumstances, but it will stabilize your spirit. And, remember, you have a basis for confidence since God himself is righteousness. In the end His justice and fair play will abound toward you as well. So, like David, worship Him even before you see the resolution of your circumstance. Despite your present need you have a great future . . . in Christ.”
It is true modern Christians are facing a lot of negative stereotypes in today’s culture. The media frequently portrays believers as ignorant, hypocritical, and narrow-minded, and it doesn’t help that many Christians are quick to reinforce this image. Public scandals and personal failures have left people distrustful of the Church, and only Christians living in authentic, honest faith can hope to repair the damage. Philip Nation, of LifeWay Christian Resources, believes this is especially true for pastors. In a recent Crosswalk article he states,
“Every leader must find the line between being confessional and dredging up pain in the lives of others. It is a difficult decision but one that should be made. Should every pain in your life be available for public consumption? What will happen in the lives of those listening to you if you share “that” thing? The settings in which you are authentic about some arenas of life will differ from issue to issue. In our authenticity, we must never degenerate to being shock jocks.”
In Micah 6:8, the Lord commands His people to “act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with the Lord your God.” There will be days when we are defamed and persecuted. Worse, there will be times when we make mistakes, and perpetuate the idea of “hateful Christians”. No matter what challenges the world brings though, God’s grace encourages us to have faith, knowing that in all things Christ works for the good of those who love Him.
What about you? What are your thoughts? Have you ever been wrongly accused?
*Ryan Duncan is the Culture Editor for Crosswalk.com