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davidstarcher

Is it ever ok for Christians to hide their identity as Chrisitans?

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davidstarcher

I don't think hiding your church affiliation or Christian identity to avoid being fired, be excluded from being hired, or in any way avoid persecution is legitimate for a believer to do. Christians have been called to do that from the beginning.

 

Matthew 5:10-16 "Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."

 

Matt 10:23  "But whenever they persecute you in one city, flee to the next; for truly I say to you, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes."

 

Matt 10:32-33 "Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven."

 

Matt 10:37-39 "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me and he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it."

 

Luke 14:26-33 "If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions."

 

John 15:18-21 "If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave 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 the One who sent Me."

 

It seems to me that the believer is given only two options when it comes to persecution escape or stay and accept the consequences. Pretending to not be a Christian is not one of them. This is not a matter of soliciting or seeking persecution but just a matter of simple faithfulness. I am particularly troubled when I hear of Christians not wanting to be identified as Christian because they are engaged in "missionary work" in a country that is not friendly to Christians.  I do not find anywhere in Christ's teaching or in the New Testament an exception for that for those who are in ministry. If anything those in ministry should be held to the highest standard. Missionaries entering a country under false pretences are starting with a lie, people are not stupid. Living a lie while telling people about the God of truth is hypocrisy and it devalues the message and degrades the missionaries in the eyes of the very people they want to reach .If a Christian wants to work as a businessman or professional in a Muslim nation  or other nation hostile to Christians and intends to spread the gospel while there as well that's great but he should not enter the country by pretending he is anything other then a Christian and if that is already known to the Muslim nation then it does him no danger for him to be identified as a Christian on the Internet as well. Obviously it would be prudent not for him to Identify his missionary activities while working overseas if it would result in harm to him or someone else but that is not the same thing as trying not to be identified as a Christian.

 

I would like to hear other peoples thoughts on the subject. Is it ever ok to lie about being a Christian? Is it ever ok to deliberately live in a way that makes it so that nobody would know that you are a Christian? If so in what circumstances and how do you square it with Jesus own teachings as referenced above?

 

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atpollard

[Pro 26:4-5 NASB] 4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Or you will also be like him. 5 Answer a fool as his folly [deserves,] That he not be wise in his own eyes.

 

[Matthew 10:16 NASB] 16 "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.

 

[Matthew 21:23-27 NASB] 23 When He entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to Him while He was teaching, and said, "By what authority are You doing these things, and who gave You this authority?" 24 Jesus said to them, "I will also ask you one thing, which if you tell Me, I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. 25 "The baptism of John was from what [source,] from heaven or from men?" And they [began] reasoning among themselves, saying, "If we say, 'From heaven,' He will say to us, 'Then why did you not believe him?' 26 "But if we say, 'From men,' we fear the people; for they all regard John as a prophet." 27 And answering Jesus, they said, "We do not know." He also said to them, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.

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davidstarcher
11 minutes ago, atpollard said:

[Pro 26:4-5 NASB] 4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Or you will also be like him. 5 Answer a fool as his folly [deserves,] That he not be wise in his own eyes.

 

[Matthew 10:16 NASB] 16 "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.

 

[Matthew 21:23-27 NASB] 23 When He entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to Him while He was teaching, and said, "By what authority are You doing these things, and who gave You this authority?" 24 Jesus said to them, "I will also ask you one thing, which if you tell Me, I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. 25 "The baptism of John was from what [source,] from heaven or from men?" And they [began] reasoning among themselves, saying, "If we say, 'From heaven,' He will say to us, 'Then why did you not believe him?' 26 "But if we say, 'From men,' we fear the people; for they all regard John as a prophet." 27 And answering Jesus, they said, "We do not know." He also said to them, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.

and this somehow gives Christians a justification for disobeying Jesus direct commands how? 

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Guest Becky

We have a picture of St Paul calling on his citizenship not in Heaven but as a Roman

 Act 22:25  And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said unto the centurion that stood by, Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned?

What Corrie ten Boom did was deceitful

I can not remember,although i read his book,  how it was the Brother Andrew 'fudged' his  missionary trips. 

Some times Christians may find them selves in extreme situations .. This is not the same as being ashamed of the gospel. It is using His leadership  like the example of Paul . 

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davidstarcher
7 minutes ago, Becky said:

We have a picture of St Paul calling on his citizenship not in Heaven but as a Roman

 Act 22:25  And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said unto the centurion that stood by, Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned?

What Corrie ten Boom did was deceitful

I can not remember,although i read his book,  how it was the Brother Andrew 'fudged' his  missionary trips. 

Some times Christians may find them selves in extreme situations .. This is not the same as being ashamed of the gospel. It is using His leadership  like the example of Paul . 

I agree that we may utilize the law to our advantage and defence when it is prudent to do so, we are both citizens of Heaven and of a government on earth and human government is an institution established by God. Corrie ten Boom was very open about being a Christian and as I recall so was Brother Andrew. What they were not open about was the specific activities which they were involved in because the governments they were dealing with were ordering them to disobey God and we must obey God rather than men; that is not the same thing as pretending not to be a Christian either by outright lying or by acting in a manner which makes us indiscernible as Christians. It is that specific activity I am most concerned with because that is what is specifically addressed by Jesus himself. Being fed to the lions is an extreme situation as is not being able to buy or sell but those who compromised or denied to get around it were actually disciplined in the early church.

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Guest William

And then we have the likes of Cory Booker which publicly states he is a Christian and denies the Lord in life and doctrine. 

 

2 hours ago, atpollard said:

[Matthew 10:16 NASB] 16 "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.

Yes, a serpent knows when to coil back or hide in its nest or burrow. A serpent knows when not only to coil back into safety but when to proceed further so that it's not trampled. Wisdom, knowing when to refrain from unnecessary communication or when to proceed. If places on the web are being used as a type of "registry" to search out Christians for persecution that in my mind should be avoided at least for now. 

 

There's also John 4:1. I'm inferring by stating that in this time in His ministry Jesus avoided the Pharisees as an example. Why did Jesus not expose himself to persecution by the Pharisees at this time? Was it simply unnecessary or was his new direction in the Father's providence to reach out to other's first? [I'll come back to this] Are we not commissioned to preach the gospel? Does anyone believe the best timing and place for such is a Muslim rally somewhere in radical Islam? Should we just boldly charge in? There's also Acts 16:6 which may bring to attention that God forbid going into areas. Makes me wonder by avoiding the "hot" spots and gaining support in other areas that when the timing is right the Christian may enter into a hot area with a more effective sword. 

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davidstarcher
16 minutes ago, William said:

And then we have the likes of Cory Booker which publicly states he is a Christian and denies the Lord in life and doctrine. 

 

Yes, a serpent knows when to coil back or hide in its nest or burrow. A serpent knows when not only to coil back into safety but when to proceed further so that it's not trampled. Wisdom, knowing when to refrain from unnecessary communication or when to proceed. If places on the web are being used as a type of "registry" to search out Christians for persecution that in my mind should be avoided at least for now. 

 

There's also John 4:1. I'm inferring by stating that in this time in His ministry Jesus avoided the Pharisees as an example. Why did Jesus not expose himself to persecution by the Pharisees at this time? Was it simply unnecessary or was his new direction in the Father's providence to reach out to other's first? [I'll come back to this] Are we not commissioned to preach the gospel? Does anyone believe the best timing and place for such is a Muslim rally somewhere in radical Islam? Should we just boldly charge in? There's also Acts 16:6 which may bring to attention that God forbid going into areas. Makes me wonder by avoiding the "hot" spots and gaining support in other areas that when the timing is right the Christian may enter into a hot area with a more effective sword. 

I can't remember who said it  but I recall a speaker recently saying that many Christians were to busy being angry about the influx of Muslims coming into this country (USA) and fearful that they will implement sharia law or become terrorists when they should be excited about the evangelistic opportunities it presents. Many of these Muslims have come from a country where they never heard the Gospel faithfully proclaimed and at best heard a caricature of it but now that they are here we have the opportunity to actually present it to them. Many of them have family back home in those oppressive countries and some after becoming Christians in the USA will no doubt feel compelled to return and bring the message even though that may end up costing their lives. It was recently testified in my church of just such a situation where through a ministry that a member was associated with a Muslim student became a Christian and now she is voluntarily returning home because she wants to bring the gospel message to her family regardless of the cost to herself. In like manner I am good friends with a Pastor who regularly takes missionary trips to Cuba where he is allowed to teach but not to preach and so he goes there and teaches pastors theology and how to preach and if others who are not in the ministry want to sit in and listen they are sometimes welcome to do so depending on the setting. He is followed around from the moment he arrives to the moment he leaves by the secret police making sure he doesn't violate the slightest rule and many times they will ask him questions to try and trick him into saying something which may get him expelled. While he will never lie in answer to their questions he has at times simply refused to answer questions by telling them that it was not the place or time to do so. By doing this he is equipping those already in the country to do the work of ministry which is often far more effective then bringing someone from the outside on a temporary basis. Ironically because they were forced to follow him around and listen to him some of the secret police have ended up converting to christianity as well. On the more clandestine side I have also met a pilot who because he is able to bypass security at the airport has used this advantage to smuggle in Bibles, literature, and messages to Christians inside repressive countries; he never denies he is a Christian or pretends to be anything but. 

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Guest William
3 hours ago, davidstarcher said:

I can't remember who said it  but I recall a speaker recently saying that many Christians were to busy being angry about the influx of Muslims coming into this country (USA) and fearful that they will implement sharia law or become terrorists when they should be excited about the evangelistic opportunities it presents. Many of these Muslims have come from a country where they never heard the Gospel faithfully proclaimed and at best heard a caricature of it but now that they are here we have the opportunity to actually present it to them. Many of them have family back home in those oppressive countries and some after becoming Christians in the USA will no doubt feel compelled to return and bring the message even though that may end up costing their lives. It was recently testified in my church of just such a situation where through a ministry that a member was associated with a Muslim student became a Christian and now she is voluntarily returning home because she wants to bring the gospel message to her family regardless of the cost to herself. In like manner I am good friends with a Pastor who regularly takes missionary trips to Cuba where he is allowed to teach but not to preach and so he goes there and teaches pastors theology and how to preach and if others who are not in the ministry want to sit in and listen they are sometimes welcome to do so depending on the setting. He is followed around from the moment he arrives to the moment he leaves by the secret police making sure he doesn't violate the slightest rule and many times they will ask him questions to try and trick him into saying something which may get him expelled. While he will never lie in answer to their questions he has at times simply refused to answer questions by telling them that it was not the place or time to do so. By doing this he is equipping those already in the country to do the work of ministry which is often far more effective then bringing someone from the outside on a temporary basis. Ironically because they were forced to follow him around and listen to him some of the secret police have ended up converting to christianity as well. On the more clandestine side I have also met a pilot who because he is able to bypass security at the airport has used this advantage to smuggle in Bibles, literature, and messages to Christians inside repressive countries; he never denies he is a Christian or pretends to be anything but. 

Right, I like your rationale.

 

Just allowing open borders does not control the rate of flow in our country. Not controlling the rate of flow basically may lead to more confrontation. I mean if we just moved the entire U.S. into the heart of Islam I'm sure everyone could see how this would be a major conflict [they don't want our McDonald hamburgers or booty shaking girls in our Music videos, at least not in public]. The streaming of Islamic immigrants controlled by screening has a way of filtering persons. The sword I spoke of in my example are the nations. I do not think that a metal sword 4-6 feet long might be enough to accompany me should I go into the heart of Islam now. However, as you may well imagine having the support of nations and being protected by the nation as having certain rights no matter where I may proceed into and throughout the world has advantages. 

 

Now I'm not saying all Muslims are evil. BUT, I will say that our founding fathers wrote that Islam is incompatible with the West. I find it ironic that some "representatives" of The People have chose to be sworn in on Thomas Jefferson's Quran. Did they not know that Thomas Jefferson writ that Islam is incompatible? I mean for the love of Pete our very Marine Corps was founded to protect our interests and battle Islamic pirates that took our nation's tribute money for free passage [were still pirated] through various merchant straits in the waters of that part of the world. And should I refresh everyone's memory as to why the first Crusades? Our brethren, that is, our brothers and sisters were made second rate citizens if not taken into slavery altogether, raped or murdered for their faith. The very sword I earlier referred to I do not mean the church but the government which is ordained to wield the sword in order to seek out evil and combat it. An early church father wrote after breaking from the pacifism which paralyzed Christians for hundreds of years while witnessing the above tragedies and injustices to men that they were to gird up their loins as it is better to die in battle for the first Crusades implying that that was a far more better death than pacifism. That is, watching injustice while doing nothing.

 

Just acknowledging some as you pointed out brother @davidstarcher believe in entirely closed borders and less presence globally nationally speaking. Then the other camp suggests we have no real borders in that our military ought police the world for the ordained purpose of wielding the sword not confined to our nation. Ironically, the ones crying for open borders reject the latter. Personally, I believe there should be a balance between the two. I myself believe we the church are to be priests to the nations. I believe our commission is to preach the word of God so that men of all tribes, tongues, and nations are transformed into the image of Christ. A far more effective means of warfare, that is, spiritual warfare which makes our enemy our brothers rather than battling flesh and blood which is the duty of the government. 

 

Just a brief personal rant: I find it bothersome when some cry for open borders and don't want to actually invite the very people they advocate for into their own homes. And I find it bothersome that open borders allow drug trafficking and the sex slave industry to operate unhindered. Ironically makes me wonder if some are "in bed" with drug cartels and sex slave operatives. And Epstein didn't kill himself. 

 

Moving on, as for your point of God using the man followed by secret police I have no doubt that God may use anyone to his advantage as an instrument within all of His providence. We all well know that God may use a lying spirit or even speak forth from the mouth of a Jack Ass in leading some to salvation and damning others in their own unrighteousness.

 

I pretty much agree with what you've shared David. My only point is that while I personally believe any of us shouldn't have to hide our identity I'm only suggesting that the timing of revealing our identity may necessitate wise council. 

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atpollard
8 hours ago, davidstarcher said:

and this somehow gives Christians a justification for disobeying Jesus direct commands how? 

Non sequitur.

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Mary1577979507

Hello,

@davidstarcher In answer to your question, it’s not okay for a Christian to hide their identity as Christians. If I suffer for his glory then let it be so, in his providence and sovereignty he has willed it so. If I die for his sake, I die not in vain. 

 

 

Edited by Mary1577979507

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