Bonding Together Under Persecution

In writing about the controversy that has erupted within The Gospel Coalition, leading to the “departure” of Billy Graham’s grandson, Tullian Tchividjian (pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church),
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Mike Mayo comments:
“I look at these movements as more “empire builders” than gospel advancing. One of the most effective ways to attract more participants/members is to provide a common enemy. A lot of fundamentalist churches I’ve attended use this strategy EXTREMELY well. It’s under the guise of “not of this world”… but it’s effectively lived out as, “everyone not like us is the enemy and we must protect ourselves first and let God sort them out on judgment day”… you can see how this would inspire people to bond closer if they were constantly told the liberals, atheists, school systems, scientists, government, progressive Christians are all out to destroy their belief system. IMO, it’s this natural tendency to bond together under persecution that is both a huge blessing to the Christian community and also one of its largest corruptions.” Mike Mayo

I think the only time it is a huge blessing is in the times when persecution is widespread, violent, and obviously intended to destroy not only the belief system but the adherents themselves. In situations like that, the tendency to bond together certainly saves lives and affords the opportunity to gain attention of others that can bring pressure to stop the persecution. Some people, however, see persecution where none exists. And some of them set out, like a famous politician said, to “take advantage” of what they perceive as a crisis or to create the appearance of one so that they can have a point around which to rally people.