big bumbling brother

When I lived in Beijing I operated under the assumption that someone was always watching or listening to my conversations. My friends and I would jokingly talk into the pepper shaker in restaurants, but also we would seriously examine each letter for signs it had been opened and resealed, talk in code in those letters and on the phone, play background music and whisper when studying the Bible with a Chinese friend, and go out at night with hoods up when traveling to a sensitive meeting.

I never dreamed that twenty years later my government would concede that it has been listening in on conversations made by Americans and leaders around the world. This surveillance doesn’t worry me personally like it bothered me in Beijing, because I have nothing to hide from our government. But that could change. Yesterday Cornerstone announced it joined Dort College in suing the government for the right not to include abortion inducing drugs in its insurance plan (similar suits have been filed by Wheaton, Biola, and Notre Dame). If we lose this one, the die will be cast on our right not to hire a practicing homosexual. So it may not be too long before our government might be very interested in what some of us are saying.

We were probably ethnocentrically naïve, but our saving grace in Beijing was that we figured the government was too inept to do much even if it wanted to hurt us. With the current debacle of Obamacare, that also might be a bright spot here in America. The government might oppose us, a little now and a lot more in the future, but it consists entirely of frail humans. Not much to be afraid of, yet.

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  1. Rev. Bryant J. Williams III October 25, 2013 — 7:13 pm

    Dear Mike,

    “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake:
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    Blessed are ye,
    when men shall revile you,
    and persecute you,
    and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
    Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad:
    for great is your joy in heaven:
    for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” (Matthew 5:10-12, KJV)

    I remind myself that the “servant is not above the master.” Therefore, if they (authorities, mobs, people, etc.) persecuted Christ, even murdered Him; then can I, a servant of Christ, expect any thing less? Not hardly. Yes, I may actually receive persecution short of death or by the Rapture, but many Christians in this world are suffering horribly for the cause of Christ even as I write this.

    Finally, if I am not receiving persecution, then have I followed “the path of righteousness? I was asked what the difference is between Principle (Conviction) and Preference (Want versus Need). I responded, “Preference is what I want, what I would like (to do, think, act, etc.) versus what I need, but Principle (Conviction) deals with eternal things and would require that I could be convicted in a court of law even to the point of death.

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