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  • Writer's pictureBrett

Why Do "They" Hate Christians?

Ever wondered that? To begin with I am not sure who “they” are. I guess it all depends on who we are angry with at the moment!

Hate is strong word, maybe appropriate in some situations but not most.

There are places in the world where they hate Christians. The World Watch list reports it this way…

On an average day 13 Christians are killed for their faith, 12 church buildings are attacked and 17 Christians are arrested, imprisoned or abducted for faith based reasons. Some of the worst places to live with the hottest persecution would be Afghanistan, North Korea and Nigeria. All distinctly different parts of the world but all hostile to Christians.

That is real hate, violence and persecution, but it is literally half a world away.

For us it is the media, the extremist and those looking to sell stuff or get votes that ratchet up the rhetoric. I know you know Fox, CNN, MSNBC use outrageous and deceptive headlines to get you to click...its called click bait (like my title!)

You also know politicians want you scared so you will vote for them and they will make sure to stop the other side.

Both sources are guilty of presenting and fueling a culture war.

On my street there are a total of 18 houses. I know the names of most of my neighbors. I am sure they disagree with me and other neighbors about many things. Yet no one hates each other.

When it comes to following Jesus I also know most of my neighbors shrug their shoulders. They feel like it is fine for me, but not for them.

Having said this there is a war going on but it is a spiritual battle not a culture war.

Fortunately if you are a follower of Jesus, He has told us on repeat how to not only survive but thrive even in the middle of a spiritual battlefield. It is Counter-Cultural.

Be Likeable. It goes without saying if we love both our neighbors and our enemies…seems like we should be likeable. Not red faced, desperate, self-oriented, complaining and tight fisted. Rather smiling, helpful, humble, encouraging and generous. You know the person we both want to be.

People are much less interested in fighting someone who is helping them!

By the way I tried this recently and it was incredible to watch. I had a medical procedure scheduled and for some reason they sent me to the hospital instead of the Dr’s office. It was overkill and was going to be $15k for a 15 minute procedure. Someone made a mistake.

I told the doctor I couldn’t go through with this.

I was determined to be likeable. I smiled, I offered options, I told him how much I appreciated him and his team. You would not believe how much and how far they went out of their way to help me!

I am sure they are great people, I am also sure my attitude made a big difference.

If it works in a situation as simple as this, imagine how it can diffuse contentious and confusing situations when following Jesus and culture collide.

Be Wise. Wisdom is recognizing life is connected. The past is connected to the present and the present is connected to the future. What I do now shows up later, for good or bad.

While everyone knows the cause effect, not everyone knows the source of wisdom. Wisdom comes from a relationship with God. He is the one who sees, knows and directs things. Of course I will be wise if I am listening and talking to God.

Being likeable helps me get along with people. Being wise is a result of being a in a dynamic relationship with God where He transforms me by renewing my mind.

How do I respond to what is happening around me? With wisdom that comes from God.

Be Courageous (not outrageous). Spiritual battles in a culture running off the rails is emotional. It hurts to see the damage. The threat of what could be can incense us. Parents who feel their kid's hearts are at stake are going to have a response!

Here is the thing though…the battle is already won. Our goal is to persuade people to consider Christ not win a culture war.

In a shocking twist, we are no longer the nice middle-class citizens wearing their Sunday best; we are the James Deans, the 1960s counterculture, the ’80s Straight edge fringe.

People who don’t know Jesus live like they don’t know Jesus. They are not your enemy, they are victims of your enemy. We are in a war but it is not against flesh and blood. Respond with courage not outrage.

2 Timothy 2:24-26 reminds us,

And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

Be Humble. Treat everyone with respect. Humility helps change our world. There is no room for revenge or rage.

Compassionate confrontation is important. Not as a judge but as a friend who loves well. As followers of Jesus, we are in many ways societies moral conscious.

Lovingly hold up repentance as the best option! Humility is treating people as though they are more important that you.

Think about hosting a guest at your home for dinner. Treat those who disagree with you with the same humility and care.

When these four traits are present we are fully armed to do spiritual battle.

We cannot move away from persuading people to consider Christ and slide into cultural warfare.

If we make people who don’t follow Jesus feel like they are our opponent they will not have any interest in hearing what we have to say about Jesus because we treat them like an enemy.

This isn't the first time God's people have had to deal with a culture that would rather ignore them and their faith.

If you want more, I would invite you to check out our recent series, Lost Privileges. You can find it on our YouTube channel HERE

I don’t know if “they” hate or us not, probably not. Yes laws may pass we don’t like. Morality may start calling what is wrong right and what is right wrong (I think I heard that somewhere). Followers of Jesus may be the butt of jokes or blamed for problems.

In the end it doesn’t matter. We know whose we are and He shows us how to live, regardless of what the culture is doing around us. Be Counter-Cultural.


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