Whereas the carnal church in the western world generally views opposition and persecution as a negative, Jesus boldly proclaimed that it is a blessing. Even that it is from God! God raises up antagonists and persecutors so that the Gospel will advance!
A newspaper caricature of Thomas B. Barratt in the 1920´s. Barratt (1862-1940), the founder of European Pentecostalism and leader of Filadelfia Church in Oslo, faced immense opposition and persecution. But each attack gave him the opportunity to teach, expound, explain and take proactive initiatives.Jesus said:
"Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me" (John 15:20-21)
We see it in the Gospel accounts and in the Acts of the Apostles!
Until 2008, I had been buying into the thinking that all the opposition and persecution I was facing in Norway was a curse.
But I have come to realize that it is a blessing!
God has raised up the speculative journalists, negative bloggers, the anti-charismatic "Christian" press, the sinister clerical leaders, and the aggressive atheists to bring growth and vitality to our life and ministry!
I´ve been attacked on the front pages of secular and "Christian" newspapers, and on radio and tv. For several years I would say "ouch!" and feel bad. During the past years I have changed my understanding and approach. These attacks, which have been mostly based on lies and misrepresentations, have given me a great opportunity to teach and proclaim the truth boldly. Once in a while, when an attack has been well founded, I have been able to change things. Criticism is nothing to be afraid of. On the whole, antagonists and persecutors are important reasons why our blogs and webpages are widely read in Europe and around the world.
Thomas Ball Barratt (1862-1940), the founder of European Pentecostalism and leader of Filadelfia Church in Oslo, faced immense opposition and persecution. But each attack gave him the opportunity to teach, expound, explain and take proactive initiatives.
One of my spiritual fathers, Dr. C. Peter Wagner, has often said about his critics: "Write whatever you want, but please spell my name correctly!"
Bring it on!