Cover 2018-08-05

Ron Writes

Anti-Christian Hostility

Persecution is real. There are those around the world who are being persecuted for their belief in Jesus. Jesus said it would happen (Mt. 5:10-12; 10:21-22; Jn. 15:18, 20)! Paul stated “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim. 3:12). It just doesn’t happen much around here.

The Bible says that unbelievers will “malign” us (1 Pet. 4:4). They will slander. They will twist everything we say and do. We are called “bigots,” “homophobic,” “intolerant,” “extremist,” “narrow minded,” “anti-science,” and “haters.” Christians are constantly portrayed in movies and T.V. as hypocrites, shallow and stupid. It’s not unusual to experience anti-Christian hostility. At the same time no one here is being beaten, beheaded, thrown to lions or losing their homes for being a Christian. It’s still legal to be a Christian. It’s legal to proclaim Christ. It’s legal to convert people.

Often what is called persecution is nothing more that suffering the natural consequences for being unwise. When you are criticized for being unkind to unbelievers – that’s not persecution. If people are upset when you think it’s right to snub homosexuals, Muslims or other neighbors – that’s not persecution. When homosexuals receive the right to marry – that’s not persecution. When you are rejected for being rude – that’s not persecution. Things go much better when we share our faith with hugs, not headlocks and honey, not hammers. When folks oppose you because you thought that being right gives you the right to say or post whatever you want, no matter how offensive – that’s not persecution. When friends are upset with you because you have confused your political beliefs for Christianity – that’s not persecution. (Jesus didn’t convert Matthew by talking about the abuses of the Roman tax system). When people are impatient with you because you thought it was your job to “straighten out” everyone – that’s not persecution. If we’re going to suffer persecution, let’s at least suffer for the right reasons (1 Pet. 3:17).

“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Col. 4:5-6).