Seduction and the Cost of Saying ‘No’

Mark Howard | October 15, 2014

Not long ago I was sitting outside around a table on a bright Middle Eastern day with a dozen Christian Iranian youth. When we think about being persecuted for our faith, we often think of what these young believers face under the current Islamic regime: the threat of imprisonment, physical harm, and economic punishment.

Most American youth don’t face these sorts of threats, but that doesn’t mean their faith comes without cost. America doesn’t kill or incarcerate people for being Christian, but it does foster a social and economic environment that makes following Jesus increasingly costly.

I remember a conversation almost a decade ago with a wise and well-traveled man who made his living speaking about Jesus and the Christian faith around the world. We were talking about persecution, pain, and suffering in the Christian experience. I don’t remember his exact words, but he said something like, “Christians in the West might not face persecution like they do in the Middle East or China, but they do face the very real threat of seduction and the suffering that comes from daily resisting.”

As I’ve reflected on these words over the years, I’ve found them true to God's Word and experience. The…

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