You say it can’t happen here? It’s been happening here. Great Awakenings and Christian persecution always go together.
All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. [2Timothy 3:12]
The difference between Christian persecution in America and the rest of the world is that in America Christians persecute Christians.
Notwithstanding the fact that there is certainly a multitude of cases in which the government and other secular institutions have attacked Christians and Christian organizations for their Biblical beliefs, most persecution does not come from that direction. Even though the United States Constitution has been shredded and cast aside by very powerful people who will never let the law of the land stand in their way from doing whatever their money and influence grant them, and though this has been going on for a very long time, government itself has rarely or never been the main perpetrator.
For one thing there is the vast Christian voting bloc that candidates must have to one degree or another to have success. But most Christian voters are uninformed and Biblically illiterate or they would never support so many successful candidates. When they do support them and believe the untruths from the campaign trail, the vast majority of voters never hold the successful candidate’s feet to the fire once they gain office. The candidates know this, of course. They know all they have to do is put on a big show when running for office and then switch gears once they gain office. They know Christians will almost never hold them accountable and that they would never be able to do much after the fact anyway. The candidates know that once the big show is over the voters will have exhausted themselves and must return to normal life. The voters may feel they have done their part and must now leave it up to whatever is going to happen. They also want to keep the newness of new office holders and administrations fresh because it gives them a good feeling.
This happens every election. Yet, over the last few years America has certainly adopted a new “throw the bums out” approach that has not happened before. One can see this in the large turnovers that have been taking place every two and four years. What Americans still do not comprehend, however, is that even though they do this nothing substantial ever changes. I and many others have been saying for many years that there is effectively no difference in the two major political parties. Both are sold out to the money powers and are much more influenced by lobbyists than voters. That is who they cater to. Also, there are some very powerful member organizations in which the members thereof, many of which are office holders, see to it that their interests always come first. These people have taken over a long time ago. They are the people most often in office. They were selected before they were elected.
The current administration has shown great promise and it could be the case that a few good things may keep happening long term. It is probably too much to hope for, however, to see such continue as would happen in a real reform effort. Great change for the better usually only happens over a relatively large length of time. Real reform of this kind does not happen fast because there is so much evil to weed out. The greater concern for now, however, is that any reform which has begun may be cut short due to the powerful interest and control of those who strike back. They took over long ago and most American Christians either don’t know they exist, feel powerless against them, or are simply too apathetic to sustain a drive.
Nevertheless, the Great Awakening has already begun and sides are being chosen. This is also happening among Christians.
I have written about the Christian Great Awakening in China several times on this site. Forty years ago, China was in very bad shape from a Christian perspective. It was a vast non-Christian swamp. Christianity in China had been severely persecuted under the Chinese Communist regime and effectively wiped out. Most American Christians don’t know this or care much if they do, but the Chinese Communists had murdered roughly forty million Chinese, a staggering number. But after Mao died in 1976 a miracle began. The Christian presence in China began coming forth. It was obviously very small at first and, as usual, the early spiritual pioneers paid the biggest price. But the underground church has grown exponentially and overall current numbers of Chinese Christians indicate approximately 200 million. Trends indicate that China will soon become a Christian nation.
Christianity, of course, is illegal in China, except for those Christian organizations that receive the Chinese government stamp of approval (and are thus government controlled). Conversely, raids on underground house churches and others continue in force. Regarding government control, the same thing has long since happened in America. Only those churches and Christians organizations approved by the government are free to be what they are and they largely escape any persecution. The 501c3 boys made a deal to limit their effectiveness and their voice, and are thus hopelessly compromised. We have the same licensing process here as they do in China though it appears much less obtrusive. Any Christian group in America that neglects to gain this government approval will subject itself to scrutiny. Most of these never make it to the radar screen because they are far too small and inconsequential. They are also mostly independent, scattered, and unaligned. They represent little or no threat.
If they grow large enough or become connected enough to gain a voice they will certainly show up on the radar. For example, there was much persecution against many Christian groups under the prior administration when government agencies were weaponized against them. Many of these were destroyed as a result as were the lives of the people involved. As a real Christian, do not ever think the Freedom of Religion right as guaranteed in the Constitution will protect you. Yet, it is there and will certainly act as a protector if enough real Christians get involved and protect one another. But American Christians almost never do this. There will always be a few selected causes and individuals that Christians will defend if such causes gain enough attention and notoriety. That which happened with an American pastor’s recent release from a Turkish prison is a great example. But these causes can often act as brakes on the overall cause of all Christians undergoing persecution here because it makes them that much more invisible.
For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? [1Peter 4:17] 
Churches and denominations protect themselves. They will always fight believers who do not believe as they do and do not strictly believe and obey all their church doctrines and denominational bylaws. It does not matter that most of these churches and denominations never preach the full Gospel or that they teach non-New Covenant doctrines. The only thing that matters to them is protecting their swamp and the people who run it. This is why the people with the real power to do something never do anything to press real reform. It is the same reason the Old Testament prophets were always disassociated single individuals with no protection whatsoever except that which came from the Lord. The kings would never protect them, of course, or only very rarely. The prophets were always persecuted.
If they came for a mega church pastor in America, well, then, everybody in the country would know about it. But when has this ever happened? And why is it not happening?
This proves beyond anything else, perhaps, that the bigger the church the bigger the compromise and the bigger the odds are of a pretender or compromised minister in charge. There are far too many Christians, churchgoers, and “pastors” in this country that if they decided to demand that reform must come then I guarantee you reform would come. But they never do this. They have a different agenda. They would rather protect themselves and let all the struggling persecuted Christians in America fend for themselves. This is why it is not the government that is the overall problem. If anything, though there have certainly been documented cases of abuse by government entities directed against Christians, the government really doesn’t care what you do as an individual Christian as long as you obey the law. And when the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion you are not violating the law by preaching and teaching the real Gospel!
No, the bulk of Christian persecution in America does not come from government, it comes from other Christians. This reveals that the most effective Christian enemy is not in that other swamp in need of draining, but most likely in one much closer.
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
The majority of churches and ministry organizations are profit based. It is never called that, of course, but facts are facts.
The IRS as authorized by Congress has allowed for this through 501c3’s by requiring churches and ministry organizations to possess this designation so donations can be tax deductable.
As a result, church members and those who donate to ministries are now conditioned to expect the benefit of a tax deduction for their donations, and three very bad things, intended or not, have resulted:
(1) Donators will not give if they don’t get a tax deduction.
(2) Donators perceive ministries and churches that do not offer tax deductions as illegitimate.
(3) Government, including the IRS, has become intricately entwined within one’s charitable giving with full records of all transactions.
And because of all this, churches and ministries become quasi government-sponsored entities with government issued charters and many requirements that must be met to be compliant, including all the legal ramifications inherent in such enterprises.
Imagine the Lord Jesus jumping through all these hoops for the right to attend to His ministry. Imagine the early Church going through all this. In reality, early Christian communities were almost all illicit (unlicensed) according to Roman Law and state dictates, and had no official organizations that are required today.
Maybe that’s why the Lord Jesus and the early Church never built church buildings or ministry centers, or became entangled in government regulations, and kept ministry lean and quick and transportable and FAST. They traveled LIGHT!
The really bad thing about current conditions is that the majority of Christians want it this way. Those who run such organizations demand it be this way. Power and fear of bucking the government have gone to their heads. Some of these Christian leaders are downright vile and disgusting in their attacks on fellow Christians and New Testament formats, and will have a special place at the judgment.
But the bottom line is MONEY. Since most churches and ministry organizations are “for profit,” though classified by the government as “non-profit,” they are still run almost exactly as any business. But instead of providing a service or commodity in return for money or profit, they provide a service in return for donations. In other words, the money is not earned, but is given.
However, regardless of semantic gymnastics, the donations still consist of money and are thus, profit.
And there’s a LOT of profit. And many of the leaders of these organizations have become enriched. And they employ in some cases hundreds of people. And these people look at their ministry positions as jobs the same way everyone else does theirs.
The worst offenders are probably some television ministries simply because they require gargantuan amounts of money to function. Hence, they see no problem having telethons and other ridiculous money-making operations to gather funds. According to their view, their ministries are obviously much more important than most ministries and churches, and they have no problem whatsoever prostituting themselves for money. Their arrogance is off the scale.
“I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothes. You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me. In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” [Acts 20:33-35]
Since it is more blessed to give, and if giving is the means of receiving, then why don’t all the preachers begging people for money (“You’ll be blessed!”) simply start GIVING money so they can be blessed?
I know it’s a bummer, but individuals can’t have telethons. They have to go to work to earn a buck. Smaller churches and ministries can’t go on television or the radio and beg for money either.
But the big boys can hire, and I do mean hire, professional ministry shysters that specialize in getting people to fork over their money.
Therefore, another form of replacement theology has transpired: The Lord Jesus is not King. Money is King. And I think the Lord said something about not being able to serve both.
Here’s an idea: Instead of making it the priority to invest in lands and buildings and mega-church complexes and ministers living like kings or at least living comfortably on donated money that only they get to have while everyone else must slave away, why don’t we do what the Lord did and invest in people.
We hear it all the time that a single human being, from a Christian point of view, is more important than the entire Universe. The Lord did not die for Christian mini-kingdoms and self-righteous fiefdoms and the few who sit atop the many man-made pyramids and the shoulders of others.
He died for people. All people. His Blood can cleanse anyone of sin.
People are the priority.
But the people are not getting the money. The majority of the money is going elsewhere. Much of it is wasted.
It’s all fine and good to have facilities to help meet the spiritual needs of people, but humanity lives on the ground. We have house payments and rent payments and car payments and utility payments and we have to buy food.
So we go to church. Great. But what good does a prayer do at church if it is not followed up by helping people where they live?
“Well, I’m sorry. But we have only so much money to go around. And we certainly can’t be just giving money to people to help them out.”
Really? Well, where do you get your money from Mr. or Mrs. Church or Ministry Leader?
Freely you received, freely give. [Matthew 10:8]
Speaking of which, many ministers do exactly that. I have a friend who was an official church pastor for many years and he also had a fulltime job. If that’s not giving what is? The vast majority of those working with the Lord Jesus in the world today look nothing whatsoever like what we have come to see as official Christian ministers. Some of these require donations. And for all ministers who the Lord has blessed with donations, there is not a problem, but I would think that every single one would show the proper humility and gratitude instead of projecting an arrogant, superior-minded entitlement attitude, as some do.
Some ministers will demand your money and take a chunk of it for themselves but can’t see helping someone else out in the same way. What this means is that in their mind only a few select chosen ones are worthy of handouts, I mean, donations.
For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. [1 Corinthians 1:26-29]
If anyone cares for a little truth, there is no Levitical Priesthood in the community of the Lord. The Lord never invented a clergy class. The Word of God declares that we are a kingdom of priests, in that EVERY real Christian is a priest and the Lord Jesus is the only High Priest.
Part of the lack of this truth stems from poor Bible translations. For example, the KJV translators (400 years ago) made a critical error when they wrote the following two verses:
And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. [Revelation 1:6]
And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. [Revelation 5:10]
The actual Word of God never said we are kings and priests.
IN THE LORD’S KINGDOM, THERE IS ONLY ONE KING!
This translation error has been corrected by some Bible versions but much damage has already been done and traditions die very, very hard.
The real and correct translation, in this instance according to the NASV95, is as follows:
And He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. [Revelation 1:6]
“You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.” [Revelation 5:10]
So again, we are a kingdom of priests.
The following passage from Peter, which includes clear OT references, corroborates this truth:
But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY. [1 Peter 2:9-10]
And furthermore, the brilliantly sarcastic tone of none other than the apostle Paul is illustrated in the following passage regarding those who are unclear on the concept and wouldn’t know true humility if it smacked ‘em in the face:
For who regards you as superior?
What do you have that you did not receive?
And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?
You are already filled, you have already become rich, you have become kings without us; and indeed, I wish that you had become kings so that we also might reign with you.
For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.
We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are prudent in Christ;
We are weak, but you are strong;
You are distinguished, but we are without honor.
To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty,
And are poorly clothed,
And are roughly treated,
And are homeless;
And we toil, working with our own hands;
When we are reviled, we bless;
When we are persecuted, we endure;
When we are slandered, we try to conciliate;
We have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now.
I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.
Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me. [1 Corinthians 4:7-16] 
Maybe if the guy on the stage appeared a little more like the apostle Paul, the people in the congregation could appear a little more like the guy on the stage.
Now we pray to God that you do no wrong; not that we ourselves may appear approved, but that you may do what is right, even though we may appear unapproved. For we can do nothing against the truth, but only for the truth. For we rejoice when we ourselves are weak but you are strong; this we also pray for, that you be made complete. [2 Corinthians 13:7-9]
© 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.