Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. (1 John 3:13 ESV)
Even Jesus told His disciples that the world would hate us – it hated Him first. As Christians are increasingly criticized, scorned, and mocked in the public square, we shouldn’t be surprised at the twisted accusations and malicious reports raised against us. Especially for those on social media, the attacks are relentless. Public figures who are being bold in their faith are being ridiculed and shamed. Believers in media and entertainment who are sharing their biblical convictions are being blacklisted and demonized. As more and more Christians are declaring their allegiance to God, the jackals are circling.
In case you hadn’t noticed, our faith is being weaponized against us. When we take a stand for righteousness, it is touted as legalism. When we confront immorality and hedonism, we are accused of bigotry and prejudice. When we call out hypocrisy and compromise, we are vilified for a lack of love and compassion. What is life-giving to us is foolishness to them. But that shouldn’t surprise us – we were warned this would happen.
If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. (John 15:18-19)
Let’s face it – this is our new reality. For those who want nothing to do with faith in God, anything we say or do in the name of Christ is going to be used against us. Regardless of our sensitivity to the need or integrity in approach, the spirit of the age has blinded those who have set their hearts against God. We will be targeted prey and food for the rebels. Our ability to discern those who are spiritually hungry and those who are wolves in sheep’s clothing is critical if we are to have any valid voice in this nation.
Instead of holding our tongues or cowering in fear, we need to do the exact opposite. We need to rise up and be bold, courageous, and free from fear and intimidation. We need to face the harassing giants and see them for the trojan horses they really are. The false pretenses and camouflaged threats merely cover up their own insecurities and very real fear of the God that lives inside us. Instead of taking them at face value, we need to look beyond the façade to see the bottomless pit they are in with no real power to change.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. (Romans 1:16 ESV)
We are not to be ashamed of the gospel of Christ. Why? Because we are told it is powerful. Do we really believe that? Perhaps all of these trials and tribulations are but a test to see if we really believe in the power of Christ we so passionately proclaim. Perhaps heaven is looking for a few Daniels to face some lions, or a few Paul’s to confront some political powers. Perhaps these days of increased religious persecution are providing us some prime opportunities to see and experience the true power of the cross for those who believe.
What say you?