Suffering for the truth, while cognitively noble, is not at the time of its inception. To choose truth over fiction is often dangerous. It is not welcomed with open arms. Looking at any point in human history, those who made the decision to pursue truth when it was deemed wrong by society has always resulted in civil turmoil. Early Christians in ancient Rome were not persecuted by others for their faith (although that was ultimately the principal reason, but because they refused to compromise with the truth. They knew that Caesar was not god, nor was he a deity to be worshiped. Thus they were viewed as enemies of the state, bigots, haters and domestic terrorists. In the eyes of the people, they deserved to be punished because they did not respect or obey the laws of the land.
In every era since then, Christians have always been persecuted for similar reasons. Christians must realize that it is not just their faith that is on the line, but their loyalty. There is a time to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s. However, when giving unto Caesar compromises faith and conscience, a line must be drawn. While our actions to choose Jesus above all else comes from internal spiritual confidence, to those on the other side, it is not viewed in the same way. Rather, Christ-followers are seen as enemies of the state. A danger to society. A problem which must be dealt with.
Having intellectual discussions with those who believe that Christians are such a threat will be futile, no matter how much we try to prove that our intentions are for good and not for evil. The only way to prove the validity of our actions will be to love and forgive. To love one’s enemy in the face of imprisonment, torture and death is foolish in the eyes of unbelievers. But it is this mysterious love which not only enables one to stand firm until the end, it is an example of power which comes from within. It silently shouts in the face of the darkest room and shines the dimmest light for all to see. God’s love brings the ultimate victory in suffering.