Like most sane people, I want to be liked. It feels good to have smiles all around and a friendly society to live in. However, am I the only one who is frustrated at the increasingly open and hostile attacks on Christians and godly values? The attacks on God and His People is at all levels – from the east to the west. From the:
- the Physical persecution of Christ’s followers in Nigeria by Islamic militants
- the execution of Christians in Iran
- the censorship of ads promoting those who have converted from homosexuality
- the hunting down and harassment of a politician who will not change his belief
There is a huge and unapologetic double standard in the ‘diversity narrative’ at the moment. In banning ‘Core Issues’ Christian ad from buses, conservative London mayor Boris Johnson declared “London is one of the most tolerant cities in the world and intolerant of intolerance.” It is the moral thing to censor Christianity, but abhorrent to censor sin and hedonism. The world has also decided it is wrong to offend Islam but ok to mock Christ. The non-Christian world is angry my friends and its rage appears to be boiling towards a crescendo. But what is the non-Christian world angry at?
– Is it that we don’t believe what they believe? I don’t think so. There are so many different beliefs within the non-Christian world.
– Is it that we harrange them with fire and brimstone? I don’t think so. The general ‘Good News/Christian message’ is promoted in such a ‘seeker-friendly’ way these days.
– Is it that our existence reminds them of God and the truth of accountability to Him?
I believe so. The Jews have been object of the world’s hatred for thousands of more years than Christians have. All in the name of being known as ‘God’s People’
While many in the non-Christian world may not be able to articulate the gospel clearly, their behaviour demonstrates an inner understanding of who the true God is? Why else would they attack a belief system with such ferocity if they believed it was just fairytales? It seems that they hate the idea of absolute truth so much, that their conclusion is ‘if can shoot the messenger, then we can ignore the message.
Jesus tells us not to be surprised when they hate us, because they hated Him first. It is easy to dispair and give up hope for this world. Yet, Jesus did not give up hope on us. And God has not given up hope of this world yet, because He has not returned yet. This is why Paul exhorts us to not foresake the assembly of Christians together and so much more so as we see the day approaching.
My challenge is to not return their hate with hate. It is easy for me to think like the self-reighteous man who prayed “I thank the Lord that I am not like that man…” But we must pray for strength. Absorbing the hate and returning love is not natural for our old nature. But we have received a more powerful example of love in Christ. As we gaze into His love, we will be less dispaired by the hating world. And in the end, this world is not our home. So let’s long and look forward to the day when we will enter the age that is 100% hate-free.