Herald Express (Torbay, Brixham & South Hams Edition)

Nothing new in Christians being falsely victimised


HELLO, and welcome to Thought for the Week. We're often hearing about people who are falsely accused of wrongdoing. One recent example was the high-profile case of the sub-postmaster­s falsely accused of stealing from the Post Office. Such things are nothing new.

There's an example in Genesis, the first book of the bible. Joseph had been sold as a slave by his older brothers, and taken to Egypt by slave traders. There, he became the trusted servant of Potiphar, captain of Pharaoh's guard.

While Potiphar was out, his wife repeatedly tried to get Joseph to sleep with her. Joseph knew this was wrong so he refused. One day, she grabbed hold of his garment after his refusal. He fled. She then told the household, and later her husband: “(Joseph) came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice. And it happened, when he heard that I lifted my voice and cried out, that he left his garment with me, and fled and went outside” (Genesis 39:14-15). Joseph was put in prison, although completely innocent.

Christians likewise are often wrongly accused of doing wrong. A well-known example from history is the Great Fire of Rome, which the Emperor Nero blamed on Christians.

Today, Christians are often accused of “hate crimes”, not because they hate anybody, but because they believe the bible and seek to follow its teaching.

Jesus knew that such accusation­s would be made against his followers, and he helped them to be prepared for it.

As part of his so-called “sermon on the mount”, he said: “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake” (Matthew 5:11).

If you're not yet a Christian (and I pray you soon will be), beware of falsely accusing Christians. If you are a Christian, remember Christ's teaching when you are falsely accused. Your saviour knows all about it – he too was falsely accused.

» David Lamb is a South Devon-based Baptist lay preacher.

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