It won't be lions in amphitheaters and certainly won't be incense and the genius Caesaris. It will be more like the Human Rights Commission of Canada pulling Mark Steyn in for thought crime. Or Australian pastors getting dragged to court for saying unnice things about Islam.
We might well be on the way to "hate speech" laws in the US; we already have several "hate crimes" in federal and state legislation. But the devil and the world have all they need already to inflict persecution on the Church through bureaucratic busybodies and zoning laws.
Now, some will no doubt argue that this guy in Phoenix should have just kept the zoning laws; that's he's a jerk who's asking for it; that he obviously didn't get along with his neighbors; that we should obey the state in all things that don't directly conflict against the Word of God, etc. I'll remember you said that when the city closes down the ladies Bible study you hold at the parsonage, or the county closes down your school's hot lunch program, or the state fire marshal says you can't have a Christmas candle light service any more. . . . all of that unless, of course, you pay $XX,XXX for the needed permit/renovations/zoning exemption, etc.
All of us in the increasing bureaucratic West play along to get along as much as we can. We seek to live quiet, peaceable lives which means attempting to keep all the bureaucratic regulations for the sake of peace and good order. But when is it time for churchmen to say enough is enough? When is it time for the Church to speak up for the 7th Commandment and property rights seeing as how they directly affect the Church's ability to do her work? And if you think the time is not when Phoenix says you can't have 15 people over for a Bible Study in your own home, or 20 people in your backyard for a BBQ, would you please tell me when the time is?