Philippians 1:27 – 30 Gospel-Worthy Response to Suffering

What are the temptations that the church faces when it undergoes persecution? We could
probably predict that we would be faced with the temptation to water down what we stand
for. There have been many who when put under pressure have given up their commitment
to the supremacy of Christ, to the exclusivity of the gospel. In this situation we can become
vulnerable to false teachers who offer us a nicer set of teachings that would help us fit in
better. Even today we are facing constant social pressure to be nice and accepting and to
take the strong truths we believe, and the high view of holiness we hold to and make it
more PC, more inclusive, more loving, etc. We could probably predict that some of us
would be really discouraged and even begin to question God and start doubting His reality
or whether He is good for allowing such bad things to happen to His people. But there
would also be some of the surprising temptations that we would not expect to face like
turning on one another. Persecution like we see in the early church can either unite us, or it
can turn us against each other. We can begin to blame each other for what is happening,
we can strongly disagree with each other about how to proceed, in instances of an authority
vacuum strong personalities begin to clash for prominence. As people begin to be put under
pressure and suffer losses they can either support and help each other or start reacting and
taking it out on each other. Under this pressure some will give up and walk away; some will
compromise; some will become judgmental; some will try and stir up a political response,
some will begin to criticize the leaders and gather a group to their opinion, etc.