Monday, April 8, 2013

Persecution? (With God's Help) Bring It On!

Many of you realize that I'm a United Methodist Pastor's son. My father was the greatest pastor ever, because he didn't care about denominations or affiliations, he shared Jesus with anybody, every day of his life. He achieved his goal in life, and he is in heaven in the presence of the Lord today. He passed-along faith, the Wesleyan Heritage, and ties to beloved Red Rock Camp.

Dad was a Red Rock Evangelist. The Red Rock Revival began in 1868 near Newport MN, and is still celebrated at Lake Koronis Assembly Grounds each summer in June/July. I'm proud to be a Red Rocker too, from a long-line of unknown pastors that preached the Good News of Jesus at Red Rock Camp Meetings each year. I may be a Sabbath-keeping Messianic Jewish Christian today, but I'll always be John Blackford's son, and a proud Red Rocker. I live like Jesus, in a modified-first century Jewish lifestyle; however, that is congruent with Christian faith too.

My whole life has been spent in moderate persecution. Dad was a conservative evangelical in a liberal Methodist denomination. His superiors hated him, regularly threatening him in many different ways. Every year they would determine to banish him to a Siberian-like Minnesota town. They bullied him, and ostracized him regularly. One year he considered hiring me to be his bodyguard for the Annual Methodist Conference. In spite of persecution, dad's churches always wildfire.

As a conservative pro-life businessman/politician, I lost liberal customers after I ran for office twice. As a Messianic, I'm called a "Crazy-assed Jew," by a few people I know. Frankly, I don't mind the taunts, for my persecution is mild compared to others.

They say, "Persecution is good for the church." It's true. Here's a story about my hero, John Wesley:

One day John Wesley was riding along a road when it dawned upon him that three whole days had passed in which he had suffered no persecution. Not a brick or an egg had been thrown at him for three days. Alarmed, he stopped his horse, and exclaimed, "Can it be that I have sinned and am backslidden?"

Slipping from his horse Wesley went down on his knees and began interceding with God to show him where, if any, there had been a fault.

A rough fellow, on the other side of the hedge, hearing the prayer, looked across and recognized the preacher. "I'll fix that Methodist preacher," he said taking a brick and tossing it over at him. It missed its mark and fell harmlessly beside John.

Whereupon Wesley leaped to his feet joyfully exclaiming, "Thank God, it's all right. I still have His presence."

Expect Persecution: I'm warning people that Christian/Jewish persecution will increase exponentially soon. However, is it a warning, or a blessing? If you interpret persecution properly, it's a blessing, isn't it? Please pray for the Peace of Jerusalem today in memory of the Holocaust, and remember others that are persecuted.

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