Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
In this post I would like to point out yet again one more of the many failings of the so called servants of the one true god; the Christians. In the book of Ephesians 6: 10-18 the bible speaks of the type of warfare that believers find themselves in once they become servants of the Lord. It calls on them to “put on the full armor of God” and then it begins to list what that armor is.
Using the analogy of the armor used by a soldier of the times it referred to two pieces of equipment that are vital for any soldier. The first is his offensive weapon his sword which is compared to the word of God and his defensive weapon his shield which is compared to his full reliance on his faith.
It's important to note that the primary weapon for any believer in their so called battle against the evils of this world is the sword or the word of God which did not exist at the time of the writing of the book of Ephesians which wasn't written till about 62 A.D. Most theists state that the sword referred to in Ephesians 6:17 is a reference to the New Testament. This demonstrates the ignorance of most modern day theists. Anyone who knows anything about the authorship of the N.T. would know that the epistles predated the gospels whose focus was more on the life and teachings of the fictional leader of the Christian faith.
In today's world the entire bible is referred to as the word of God, but Christians in particular like to cherry pick their way through the Old Testament. They pick and choose what they think is still relevant or applicable to their own personal interpretations of the scriptures. Others don't even bother to read the bible at all. Worst of all are those that do read the bible and do so with their sectarian brand of presuppositions as their guide as to how to comprehend and interpret the bible.
Even though the bible says that as believers they would be persecuted as Christ was persecuted, today's Christians take offense to having their beliefs criticized or challenged. The Pharisees of the N.T. often challenged Jesus on matters of the law as we do today by challenging their beliefs based on the very scriptures they claim to believe in.
Do believers really think that they would go on unopposed when they try to force the rest of us to accept their beliefs by trying to force legislators to write laws that favor those beliefs? Even Christ was wrong in calling our right to not believe or challenge his beliefs persecution. According to the Bing dictionary to persecute someone is defined as: oppress people: to systematically subject a race or group of people to cruel or unfair treatment, e.g. because of their ethnic origin or religious beliefs.
To my knowledge non-believers have not "persecuted" believers. We rightly challenge you to provide evidence of your beliefs. Especially if those beliefs are expected to take a place of precedence in our lives and involve the investment of our time, money, and lifestyle. In fact, when you come to think of it it was the church that was persecuting all of its opponents throughout history. The church was not just content to believe but they wanted to dominate the world with their ideologies. They did this through the physical arrest, torture, and execution of all those that opposed them.
The church was not ever content just killing non-believers; it also went after other Christian sects that had a different interpretation of the scriptures known as heretics. They went after their own because they did not agree with what was the orthodox or mainstream beliefs of the dominant sect Catholicism. They even went as far as suppressing public access to the scriptures and only allowing the church leaders to study and interpret them for the rest of the world.
Calling non-believers or anyone who opposes the churches teachings persecutors of the faith is inappropriate. Today's world is much more knowledgeable than the believers of the first century. We don't attribute disease, illness, or death to sin or demons. Science has shown us the causes to many of life's maladies. We don't believe in witches, fairies, devils, angels, invisible beings, etc. we have come to understand some of the root causes for these beliefs and have regarded them to be myths and ancient superstitions.
When someone is trying to force their beliefs on me, I do not consider it persecution when I challenge those beliefs based on reason or even common knowledge. We gain knowledge through the process of asking questions and learning from the answers. Some beliefs that are proven wrong or demonstrated to be fallacious are discarded for more logical explanations.
In reality Christians are the persecutors today as they were in the past. The only difference is that at least here in the U.S. they can't execute or torture people into accepting their doctrines. They can't hang people for not believing nor arrest you for violating a law of their god such as fornication or adultery. The Christian God persecuted and condemned people for thought crimes! You were condemned for saying the wrong things. We tried a theocracy and it was a complete disaster! The church lost its mind and went on a campaign to dominate the world by means of war, torture, and mass murder.
Finally, to all theists that feel that they are being "persecuted," It's not persecution, it's the freedom of speech and expression. What the apostle Paul was doing before he converted is properly called persecution. Asking questions and evidence for your beliefs is nothing more than reasonable inquiry. Faith is not enough for the man/woman of reason unlike you we require and even demand evidence.