What a wide topic. Not to mention a touchy one. Touchy, you say? Why ever so?
Because someone will disagree with things in this post.
Because this someone would be in the minority of my readers (I flatter myself), I would be obligated to remove the offending segment, daresay the entire post, to make them feel at ease. After all, I must respect their beliefs, no matter how wrong they may be.
But wait, there is no right or wrong, right? Wait…that sounded funny.
Toleration. Political correctness. A society that views itself sterilized of all bias (an extremely racist view, as it happens).
Why is that so wrong? Aren’t Christians supposed to be loving and kind? What happened to the commandments not to hate?
And that’s another place where Christianity (especially in “civilized” countries such as the U.S.) has failed. We have confused love with apathy. We have confused kindness with letting the pagan have his way, and in doing so we have abandoned his soul to Hell.
These days, “tolerance” is the war cry of the militant liberals and other atheists. But apparently, this tolerance is not so much “living in peace with” as “eradicating Christianity.” And most of you know this. We are constantly under attack for our views, such as our stances on homosexuality and politics.
Some of you may have heard of the Manhattan Declaration iPhone app fiasco. This is (was) essentially a list of biblical principles that one could “sign” by adding the app. Over a half million signatures were received before Apple removed the app from the iTunes Store due to a protest from a small (400) group of pro-gays. So much for majority rule (thank you, democracy, turns out people don’t like you all that much).
Of course, none of this should come as any sort of a surprise. Christians have always been persecuted. Christ told us to expect it. So we knew it would happen. But what has our response been?
So far, it’s been laying down and letting the heathens walk all over us. There is in fact a difference between not hating someone for their beliefs, and giving in to them.
We don’t hate sinners. We are sinners. We hate sin. So if someone is in sin, we call them out on it. That, obviously, includes those who are not Christians. Just because they don’t believe something is true doesn’t change the fact that it is true. We must be loving about it, of course: but to NOT do it is the exact opposite of loving.
Take the following website, for example: Religious Tolerance. Look at the very bottom of that statement of faith.
We abandoned use of the traditional AD/BC notation for identifying years. After a long debate, we made the decision to use the religiously neutral CE/BCE notation which we feel is less offensive to non-Christians.
What we fail to realize is that by its very nature, the Gospel is offensive to non-Christians. That’s why they hate it so much. We don’t hate them: they hate us. I really like the comments Stuart Shepard of Focus on the Family makes about the Manhattan Declaration.
“Yep, marriage is too offensive an idea for Apple,” he said. “I can take the easy route and point to the many embarrassing and objectionable apps that are still available that would offend actual ‘large groups of people’ but we all know this is really only about a certain group of people.”
“If I call my wife on one of your iPhones to say ‘I love you too and I’m glad I married you,’ will the phone cut me off in the middle of the call?” he posed. “No, wait, it does that already.”
“As far as the Bible apps in your store, will you only delete the verses you find offensive or the entire Bible?” he continued. “And at what point will you start kicking me out of your store because I contain the beliefs that you say offend large groups of people or will you agree with us that having healthy debate is healthy.”
Again, what is the proper response to all of this?
Some well-meaning Christians grab their trusty signs and head down to the local courthouse or abortion clinic. That’s all well and good, but the best way to change a culture is from the ground up, not the top down. Yes, it is a pity when pro-abortion or pro-gay laws get passed, and Jesus gets banned from the classroom and the courthouse.
But guess what? Two things
- We knew this would happen. It’s gonna be like this until Christ comes in Judgment.
- We know that Christ WILL come in Judgment and vindicate us. We don’t have to worry about what non-believers think. We just have to show them Christ.
Also, we know that the Gospel is making waves, because we are facing opposition. The world cares enough about it to recognize it as a legitimate threat. That’s a very good sign. When people start attacking you, you’re making their radar.
But we don’t crumble under this opposition. We welcome it as an opportunity to spread the Gospel. Show the world the love of Christ. Show them the true meaning of peace and harmony.