CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Judge Phil Ginn, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES, www.ses.edu), commented on the recent rise in aggression towards Christianity, noting that while these attacks should not be a surprise for true believers, they should be a reminder for Christians to put their faith in Christ despite the potential persecution.
Ginn commented, “The Christian Post reported some unsettling news for the Christian community this past week when it relayed findings released by the Family Research Council showing a significant increase in church related attacks. From the findings it appears that there were 69 separate acts of vandalism or violence perpetrated against churches in just three months, including the killing of six innocent people in the Covenant massacre in Nashville. These intentional acts mark a minimum of a threefold increase over the same time period during any of the last five years including 2020 in which no acts of violence against churches were reported during the first quarter.
“While it could be argued that the main intervening factor in all of this is the Dobbs decision handed down in June of 2022 that returned the abortion issue to the states, much of the evidence also points to other factors including violence from the homosexual community and transgender activists. To be sure, any act of destructive violence against property or person has its roots in evil whether it emanates from radicalization of the right or the left. However, perhaps the most disturbing aspect of all of this is the lack of governmental and cultural response to the causes of this unlawful and repugnant use of force against Christian entities. To be sure, if any of these horrific acts had been committed against any of the preferred organizations of the left, there would be a public outcry of ‘hate crime.’ As it is, somehow our culture seems to want, in these cases, to blame the victim (Christianity) for what has transpired.”
Ginn continued, “While these things certainly can be concerning, I would hasten to remind all of us that none of this should come as any surprise to any God-fearing person. Whether these acts are foretelling of the complete and utter destruction of our American way of life or the imminent return of Christ, we have been told over and over again in Scripture to expect this type of activity to increase. Even Jesus himself promised in John 16:33 that ‘in this world you will have trouble.’ But then, in the same breath he continues by saying ‘But be of good cheer for I have overcome the world.’
“So, when the headlines seem to be so full of despair and the hatred of the message of the Gospel grows exponentially around us, the true Christ follower knows that ‘He that is in us is greater than he who is against us’ (cf. 1 John 4:4). While we have every right to expect our government to exercise its obligation to protect us just as it does any other group of citizens, Christians should never be totally dependent upon the government or culture for our salvation. That comes only from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and in the final analysis that is the safest place to be even if persecution rears its ugly head.
“We at Southern Evangelical Seminary are also seeing the winds of change that are now whistling through our beloved country. Though we are concerned, we are not perplexed, nor are we intimidated. For these are the times when true Christ followers will rise from the ashes of despair and will proclaim the Gospel message with more fervor than ever before. We believe that we have been called to be steadfast in the truth, and that’s exactly what we intend to do, for so long as the Lord allows and even in the face of the persecution which is now beginning and will continue to grow. The message of the cross and the resurrection of our Lord will provide the ground upon which we stand. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, isn’t it time for you to rise up as well and be counted amongst the faithful?”