“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness.” [Italics mine]

This is an interesting note.  Instead of stopping with “blessed are the persecuted,” there is the additive “because of righteousness.”  I wonder if it’s because he knew there were are are a lot of people who pull the “persecution” card or the “victim” card to justify their actions.  Othertimes it could just be ignorance.

I remember Heidi Baker telling the story that when they first went into villages to preach the gospel they were stoned and driven out.  But it wasn’t persecution.  They just hadn’t learned that if you don’t have go to the village elders first, you are showing utter disrespect.  When they learned this simple truth, what might have appeared as “persecution” actually wasn’t.