I wish there was less division within the church. We squabble and separate over the smallest of issues (which many of use work up greater than they need to be). When the church faces persecution, this is when we thrive.
Well....sometimes. Sometimes persecution leads to suffering, death, and the extinction of the church. The places where the 7 churches of Revelation were persecuted are now unreached areas.
@SecondJon Yes. But sadly the church needs suffering to keep them in the right perspective and to bring unity. It is a sad reality really. The church generally thrives more under persecution.
Decades ago I met with a pastor on China who said the same, having spent many years in prison for pastoring a Bible teaching church. His congregation grew after each imprisonment.
Yet this isn't always true everywhere : see the historic examples I mentioned already.
I think if we really believe that persecution is the answer, we'll move to the places most likely to persecute us, solely for our spiritual edification.
Since there's no rush of Christians trying to move into North Korea and other places seeking persecution, I think we haven't really embraced this idea.
I'd be curious to see a historical study of the church. Was The Great Awakening, for example, under historic persecution? What about other times of historic church growth or health? I haven't seen such a study, it would be interesting for sure.
@SecondJon I didn't say we *want* persecution. Rather, it is inevitable and often gets us back on focus (in addition to weeding out the goats).
The new life only found in Christ.