American pastor Andrew Brunson, who was imprisoned for his faith in Turkey for two years, warned that being a Christian in the U.S. may soon come with great personal risk as the culture becomes increasingly “hostile” to believers.
“There is a price to following Jesus,” said Brunson told hundreds gathered at the National Religious Broadcasters Christian Media Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, last week. “There is a price in other countries. We hear about that. But increasingly, I think that there will be a price to be paid here.”
According to Brunson, the “media, political, the business classes, most of academia are becoming increasingly hostile to those who identify publicly with Jesus Christ and with His teaching.”
“I feel a sense of urgency in my heart for this generation in my country,” the pastor stressed. “I feel it especially for my children’s generation that they’re not prepared to stand. I’m not sure that everyone in this room is ready to stand for Jesus without apology.”
“We need to prepare ourselves now. We need to make decisions now about our commitment to Jesus because otherwise, the natural tendency when difficulty comes is to fear. And when we’re afraid, the natural instinct is to run away, is to compromise.”
“It is normal to be afraid,” he added. “The issue is, will you stand in spite of your fear? Will you remain faithful? In the end, people are going to pay a price for the sake of the Gospel. Overseas, yes, but also here … there is a cost to following Jesus.”
Brunson, a Christian missionary who lived in Turkey for more than 20 years, was taken into custody by Turkish officials along with his wife, Norine, in October 2016.
Norine was released soon after, but Brunson was thrown in prison, accused of plotting to overthrow Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government. Following two years in detention, Brunson was released last October after the Trump administration imposed sanctions on the country.
Brunson shared details about his imprisonment in Turkey, revealing he experienced a crisis of faith while in detention.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett