This article made me think of a fundamental characteristic of early Christian martyrs who faced mortal opposition for their Christ-filled worldview. The martyrs thought of the agony of persecution as a graced opportunity (1) to publicly manifest the authenticity of their faith, hope and charity; (2) to suffer with and for Christ; (3) to have opportunity to be in solidarity with fellow suffering members of Christ’s Body; and (4) to gain for themselves the rapt attention of their ‘persecutors’ who were looking closely for any sign of in-authenticity under suffering that might discredit the martyr’s Christ-like witness.
Lesson to Christians: be careful how you publicize or parade your persecutions, and once you have done so know that the persecutors are probably watching with a cynical eye waiting for you to misstep…so remember, it’s not primarily your arguments, but who you are under pressure that speaks your authenticity — i.e. your symphony with the Author — most eloquently.
Bottom line: like the virtue of humility, once you claim persecuted status you may run this risk of forfeiting it.