When is hiding who you are permissible?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by webdog, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. webdog

    webdog
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    This is a spin off on the removing of Baptist from the church name thread. I am reading the founder of Voice of the Martyr's biography (Richard Wurmbrand), and the persecution he went through is unreal. He also had to hide his identity as a Christian in Romania to begin and grow the underground church there.

    It seems like some here would have accused him of not relying on the Holy Spirt in doing so, since he was hiding his true identity to the secret police. Some even joined the secret police in order to warn those meeting in the underground church, pretending to be persecutors. Some pastors of the state run communist church pretended to hold to that doctrine so they could secretly meet with people one on one, lead them to Christ, and point them to the underground church.

    When is it permissible to hide your identity? When is it time to be bold, and time to run and hide to further the Gospel? I'm taking it from reading some posts here it is never permissible.
     
  2. Johnv

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    When is it okay to hide something? When it's none of anyone's business. A person's faith is none of anyone's business. However, if asked, I believe we should share it. The problem isn't one of people sharing their faith, it's lacking discernment in the sharing process. If someone asks me about my faith, tell them I'm a Christian. I don't need to give them an eschatological discourse. Yet some will say that if you don't throw it all out there, you're not witnessing.

    Now, that said, there's a difference between hiding something and lying about something. We shouldn't lie about our faith.
     
  3. saturneptune

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    Very good post. I hope Tom Butler will chime in, as he went to Romania on a mission trip a few years ago, and talked to several that risked their lives in the face of Communist rule. It seems like from what he said, either your faith was expressed in secret, or all sorts of things happened from losing your job and family to losing your life. Anyway, it is something we have come close to in this country.
     
  4. Revmitchell

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    I am amazed at the lack of understanding of this issue. When you don't want someone to know you are a Baptist and you are so that you can trick them into coming to your church is far different than the persecuted church.
     
  5. Johnv

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    I beg to differ. If anyone wants to know what it's like to lose your way of life and your entire family just for saying "I'm a Christian", take a trip to India. If you convert to Christianity, your family wants nothing whatsoever to do with you. To say that type of persecutions exists here is an insult to those worldwide who are suffering real persecution.
     
  6. JMSR

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    America supports freedom of religion to a fault.
     
  7. Johnv

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    To a fault? Describe what constitutes "to a fault".
     
  8. Repent-or-Burn

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    Mat 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
    Mat 5:15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
    Mat 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
     
  9. saturneptune

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    You beg to differ correctly. I should have said not come close to. Sorry. I meant just the opposite of what I said.
     
  10. JMSR

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    When unjustified complaints are continuously lodged against religions by others of differing or no religion for the sake of argument.
     
  11. Johnv

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    I bow low and doff my cap in gratitude.
     
  12. webdog

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    This isn't that thread and has nothing to do with removing Baptist from a church's name. Please keep this thread on topic. I will answer that in the other thread...
     
  13. webdog

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    Great passage! I don't see how this either support or refutes hiding one's identity to further the Gospel. I think it can be argued that the one who hides his identity, and in doing so helps the Underground Church is keeping with this command more than the person who doesn't.
    Let me ask you this...when Paul was being pursued, why did he flee?
     
  14. Repent-or-Burn

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    Sorry, I focused on the word hiding and ignored this part,

    "When is it permissible to hide your identity? When is it time to be bold, and time to run and hide to further the Gospel?"

    Running is permissable.
    Hiding isn't, we cannot be a light to the world if we cover it. Quite a fine line.
     
  15. Marcia

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    Like the early Christians?
     
  16. thegospelgeek

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    When the Spirit says "run and hide" we should obey. When the Spirit says "stand and fight" we should obey. The trick is to know what the Spriit says.

    There are instances in the Bible where God was pleased with those who lied and other places where he was not. There were places in Acts where the Apostles stood and others they fled. I don't think anyone can define when to do what, other than to pray, listen to God, and obey.
     
  17. webdog

    webdog
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    Was that not a unique situation?
     
  18. Marcia

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    So to avoid persecution, I'll hide my identity as a Christian?

    The book of Hebrews was written to believers who were being persecuted and attempted to hide their faith by making themselves appear Jewish or by abandoning their confession of faith in Christ. The writer of Hebrews was fortifying the Jewish believers to hold to the faith.

    If these passages don't tell us to be bold in our witness despite persecution, I don't know what does.
     
  19. Marcia

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    How so? You mean it was okay to be open then but not now?
     
  20. webdog

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    The ones who were open were the Apostles. if you recall, thousands upon thousands were being added to the church each week. Of those thousands a very few were persecuted. That is why the early church went by "The Way", and used the Icthys to mark meeting places. The first church was an Underground Church. This was all done with the Gospel in mind. What good would it have done to spread the Gospel if everyone upon conversion was immediately imprisoned and killed?
     

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