PersecutionPorm

Tonight I was watching the local news. Murder, murder, rape, house fire, car accident, weather. Most all of it bad news, even the weather, presented with the worst possible video production standards imaginable. This is what audiences want. They don’t want intelligent, thought provoking, local political debate, on issues that matter and can change the local landscape. People want to see who was murdered in their city. They want to see local teenagers killed in car accidents. This is what sells. This is what brings in the crazy local car dealership advertising dollars.

And Christian’s love doom and gloom as well.

Let’s just be honest. Christians love to share the doom and gloom news of their persecution more than they love to share the Gospel. Part of it, I am sure, is a sincere desire to alert people to these matters and part of it is quite simply eschatological vindication. I call it persecution pornography.

Persecution porn is big business. Fox News’ Todd Starnes almost exclusively speaks about how Christians are always getting bullied because of something. He just wrote a new book God Less America about the very topic. When Christians are persecuted’ it brings in tons of news and business even headlining the prime time cable news outlets. It’s big business.

But why do Christians lust after their own demise?

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Recently, Jon Speed posted a photo on the Babies Are Murdered Here page with duct tape over his mouth and the word Facebook written over the top, much like Kirk Cameron’s post that went viral during the time leading up to his film Unstoppable.

Speed had recently been auto-banned from Facebook for quoting a Martin Luther King Jr. quote involving Hitler, Jews and the Holocaust.

Jon Speed posted a response in a thread about abortion where someone challenged, “If abortion is murder, then someone should call the police at the abortion clinics, not just protest them.”

Jon responded, “[Name withheld], the police do not intervene for the same reasons that the police did not intervene to stop the Jewish Holocaust in Nazi Germany. Like abortionists, everything Hitler did was legal.”

What followed was his instant banning from Facebook for several hours and the above photo.

This photo was shared 245 times and over the course of 24 hours it reached 12,000 people organically. To put that into some sort of context, if I were to have paid to boost the post to 12,000 people it would have cost me anywhere from 40-60 dollars.

In comparison the original post for the film Babies Are Murdered Here, was viewed 851 times and 30 people shared the post. Though admittedly it was shared a lot more from other sources directly over the course of the day. But this is about virality and the quickness in which a single post spreads.

The film Babies Are Murdered Here cannot be considered a viral film because the shares and views was nowhere near as quickly spread organically. Most of our views for the film came from loyal supporters who were waiting for it and promoted it, hours and hours of coaxing ministries via e-mail to just hit the stinking share button or write about it, even negatively.

The 50,000 views of Babies Are Murdered Here were not free. They came with a lot of sweat and work. Myself and Jon Speed worked with little sleep for two weeks before and after the films launch slaving for every view. But all we really needed was a good story about persecution.

That would have skyrocketed the film into the stratosphere. Because that is the kind of story that Christians love to hear. Persecution tickles our ears.

It’s why one of the best selling Fictional novels of all time, Left Behind, was so popular. It wasn’t because of the great characters, writing and plot twists. It was because it aroused the desires of Christians to be hated by the world.

Why is it that a culture who has a Church on every street corner, the ability to communicate and fellowship unhindered both in person and on the internet, entire bookstores devoted to their faith, and still retains legal rights to fight any unwarranted action is so heavily obsessed with the idea of themselves being persecuted or punished for their faith?

One has to ask if such a lust for our own destruction, is blasphemous to the very gifts of freedom God has given us. It is as if our parents have given us a brand new Nintendo, but we are so focused on this idea that one day we will be grounded and have the Nintendo taken away that we don’t even play with the thing. It’s insulting to the gift giver.

But there are indeed legitimate instances of persecution. For example, what is happening with Gospel Spam contributor Tony Miano in Scotland, the occasional arrest of street preachers in America (which by the way are almost always thrown out of court in addition to financially compensating the preacher for the error), and there are even some litigation issues (which I wouldn’t consider persecution, as long as we have the ways and means and freedoms to fight) such as Hobby Lobby and Wedding Cake Bakeries.

These stories need to be shared and promoted discussed and prayed on and no one is saying that sharing stories like this is sinful, or in error.

But we don’t just share it, we lust after it, desire it. We crave it. We dare I say, expect it. It’s almost sadistic.

It’s theological vindication.

See guys! The Bible is right! Things ARE getting worse!

It’s like a twisted apologetic. A self fulfilling prophecy.

I suspect that Babies Are Murdered Here didn’t get millions of views on YouTube because it doesn’t appeal to our cultures lust for self mutilation. The message of Babies Are Murdered Here is one of hope, optimism. It says that if Christians actually rise up and work together, rooted in the Gospel, that Christianity can actually stop wickedness. That the Gospel work of Christians can actually fight evil and win.

The message of Babies Are Murdered Here is one that commands the opposite of sitting around moping about how bad things are. It demands that people rise up and fight against it. To be the Church victorious in an age of Church defeatism.

That’s not a message Fox News wants to promote. Nor is the thought of defeating evil.

And sadly, it is not popular within Christianity.

There are people out there who oppose the idea of Christian’s changing the culture or influencing society. Forget the fact that Christians have already done so, over and over again by inventing just criminal courts with due process, hospitals, advanced education and well you know, the printing press. All of which have changed culture. Oh and let’s not think about who will change the culture, if we don’t, that vacuum will be filled somehow.

Such defeatist, woe is me, Eyore Donkey, ideas create a very limited and narrow view of the great commission but most importantly it creates a sodium free church. A Church that is not transforming the culture is a Church that is not salt and is a Church that has no power over darkness and cannot be light. Salt changes things just as a little leaven causes the church to grow…ponder that parable a moment. See what I did there. Now go back and read that parable again….for the first time.

But don’t get me wrong, victorious news does sell, but it has consequences, dangerous consequences. Take Chick-Fil-A’s victory over the homosexual agenda, or Duck Dynasty’s. These stories show the power of the Church. These stories show the Church working together to accomplish victory over evil. These are stories that bring massive ratings, are victorious in nature and are very quickly forgotten by rapid injections of terrible stories.

Like the slave owners who publicly lynch the slave with big ideas of freedom, to quickly put out the fire of hope in the minds the others. Nevermind the fact that two got away last week. That guy on the rope…that’s your future. Don’t forget it.

The constant bombardment of negative stories has a single purpose that is to break you down. They are meant to rob the Church of hope, vision and direction. They are meant to turn the preaching of the Gospel into a waving of a flag of surrender.

And we just buy into it. We love it. We crave it. We desire it and worst of all, we expect it, ignoring everything in Scripture that speaks to the contrary.

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. That sells ad time. Stop the verse here.

But take heart; I have overcome the world. This encourages action, hope and creates a Church dangerously high in sodium.

Or a verse like 2nd Timothy 3:

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive’

And host of other terrible things that is almost certain to sell newspapers as long as you don’t read the but’

But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all…

Christian’s today don’t believe wickedness and evil will only get so far. They think it will consume them. It will overpower them.

The truth is that Christian’s have a terrible case of Hypochondria. We cough, and assume we have cancer when in actuality the cough was clearing our lungs. Likewise we see evil and wickedness as a sign things are getting worse for us, when in actuality increased evil and reprobation is a sign things are getting worse for them, and that they will only get so far.

Christ has overcome the world.

Now stop whining about it.

Marcus
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Marcus

Director at Crown Rights Media
Marcus Pittman is a documentary filmmaker and television director living in Virginia. The films he made that you have never heard but probably should include Prophecy Wars, How To Answer The Fool, and Babies Are Murdered Here. Likewise he goes to a PCA church you've never heard but probably should, By Grace Community Church.
Marcus
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