Why Chistianity is Hated

Why is Christianity Hated

Written by Rev. Rusty Lee Thomas on Monday, 19 May 2014. Posted in Opinion, Rev. Rusty Lee Thomas

The world will tolerate a privatized faith that does not upset the status quo. If you follow Jesus, however, it is revival or riots.

John Lennon famously sang, “Imagine there’s no heaven, It’s easy if you try. No hell below us, above us only sky.” Since that song was released back in 1971, it appears, America has done a lot of imagining. Some, who can still think critically, believe our imaginations have brought us to the point of turning the American dream into a nightmare. Our laws, government, public policies and culture have morphed to a premise that excludes the knowledge of God and His moral commandments as the basis for our freedom, protection, and prosperity.

As the days pass, it is clear the spirit of the age that overtly persecutes and martyrs Christians abroad, is beginning to raise its ugly head in the land of the free and the home of the brave. America is in a precarious position. We are living off the fumes of our founding and it appears that we are going the way of all empires that forgot God, gloried in their shame, and indulged in sins that God condemns as abominations. These empires were weakened morally from within, which eventually became a prey to stronger nations bent on conquest.

America as a nation has moved from honoring Christianity to now punishing active Christians who live out their faith in the public square. Evil came out of the closet and now demands the church go back in its place. America is consciously choosing to ignore the freedom of speech and religion of Christians to slavishly support that which God considers abominations. If public Christians dare to speak the truth in love on the burning issues of the day, the “tolerant thought police” crank up get their media machine. Within mere moments, those same Christians will be ostracized, condemned, and lose opportunities, promotions, or even their livelihood.

We’ve experienced many examples of this new paradigm shift taking place under our watch. There have been numerous Christian photographers, bakers, florists, media personalities, sports announcers, and of course, Phil Robertson of the Duck Dynasty fame, who have been punished for merely expressing their faith in the public square. A little closer to home for this author are close friends of mine, the Benham brothers, who had their TV show recently cancelled by HGTV. Unfortunately, the homosexual bullies were not content to destroy that opportunity, but went after their businesses as well.

Through these many episodes, to those who have eyes that see, the mask of tolerance is being ripped off and an ugly hatred against the Lord and His people is being revealed. As this hatred persists, how do those who love the Lord, His Word, our nation, and even our enemies respond? It is this question that this article will attempt to answer Biblically.

Jesus Promised Hatred

“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you” (John 15:18).

Why is Christianity hated? The answers are varied. First, and this may come as a shock to gullible Christians, but Jesus warned of the world’s hatred. In fact, in other passages, Jesus did not even mention an “if.” He flat out stated that the world would hate His followers (Matthew 10:22, 24:9, Mark 13:13, Luke 21:17, John 15:19, and John 17:14).

For most converts to Christianity, this hatred to our faith seems strange (1 Peter 4:12). Before Christ’s love entered our broken, wounded, and sinful lives, we were as other people in this world. Titus 3:3 grants an apt description of our former state, “For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.” But then something wonderful and powerful happened to transform our lives forever. Titus continues:

But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life (Titus 3:4-7).

When people truly repent, trust Christ’s redemptive work on the cross, and the Spirit of God takes up residence in their lives, the hatred that burns in the depraved hearts of men is replaced with the love of God. Lies that controlled them are traded for the truth that sets them free. Darkness that they once considered normal becomes shattered by the light and loses its power to control them with all its fears.

Does the world filled with sin and devils rejoice to see this redemption in Christian’s lives? Those who have partaken of Christ’s salvation know the answer all too well. I Peter 4:3, 4 describes the betrayal the world feels towards Christians who defect from our former lives of debauchery, “For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles-when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you.”

In the midst of being rejected, hated, persecuted, and being maligned for following Christ, Jesus promised, “Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, for in like manner their fathers did to the prophets” (Luke 6:22, 23).

Little does the world know that the more they express hatred towards true believers, the more reward is being eternally stored up for God’s people. This is why the Apostle Paul could honestly share, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).

Biblical Morality

“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter” (Isaiah 5:20)!

Biblical morality as defined by God’s moral commandments is another major reason for the blatant hatred against Christianity. If there was no God, no truth, or moral standards, the world would be a better place. Think of all the wars that have been fought over religion. So goes the thinking of those who hate any attempt by God to place restraints upon their evil, wicked behavior.

John Adams, our second president, stated, “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” Daniel Moynihan once quipped, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”

The same is true when it comes to Biblical morality as defined by God’s moral commandments. You can choose to ignore them, break them, or mock them, but it does not remove their reality. You can also choose to violate them, you just cannot choose the consequences.

God’s moral commandments provide the basic framework and infrastructure by which life functions. America is literally throwing herself against this Biblical reality. We are finding out the hard way that our nation cannot indefinitely violate God’s law and thrive as a people. Men and nations cannot continue to break God’s law without becoming broken themselves. Thus, Christians who understand the importance of Biblical morality for the welfare of men and nations are hated. Not only that, but Christians are actually judged as the hate mongers of this age for upholding God’s standards. Clearly, truth is hate to those who hate the truth.

The Exclusive Nature of Christianity

Another cause that raises the ire of the world against Christianity is the distinctiveness of saving faith. Jesus Christ made exclusive claims. He boldly declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Not only did He distinguish Himself as the only way, truth, and life, but actually had the audacity to condemn all other religions and religious leaders as thieves and robbers of men’s souls (John 10:1).

In the modern age of diversity, tolerance, multi-culturalism, and acute sensitivity to racism, obviously, these statements preached by Christians are extremely offensive. The “God is too big to fit in anyone’s religion” mentality of this age goes ballistic anytime Christians affirm Acts 4:12, which states, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven (Jesus Christ) given among men by which we must be saved.”

Why the animosity towards Christ’s truth claims? It obliterates the “all roads, ways, and paths lead to the same God” school of thought. Jesus blows that notion right out of the water. He warned, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13, 14).

It is statements like these that fuels the hatred towards true Christians who preach the narrow way found only in Christ. This is what inspires the name calling against Christians by the world. Born-again bigots, homophobes, and anti-choice zealots are just some of the hellish compliments bestowed upon those who stand for the Lord and His righteousness today.

C.S. Lewis commenting on the uniqueness of Christ stated:

A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on the level with a man who says he is a poached egg – or he would be the devil of hell. You must take your choice. Either this was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us.

There is just one mediator between a Holy God and sinful man and that is Christ Jesus the Lord (1 Timothy 2:5). All else is sinking sand and broken cisterns that cannot hold water (Matthew 7:16, Jeremiah 2:13). This angers the world and those who are captured by the spirit of the age, idolatry, false religions, and the pagan philosophies of men.

The Sins of the Church

The world gets upset when they perceive the preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom as shoving our religion down their throats. Of course, at the same time, they do not perceive their parading sin like Sodom is jamming their perversions down the church’s throat.

Christians are called to be holy as God is holy (1 Peter 1:16). If Christians pursue this virtue, those who do not, feel uncomfortable around such people. It shines a light of conviction that they would rather avoid. If they do not accept the conviction by those who are living a set apart lives, there is only one option left for this God-hating world. They must find some weakness or moral failing of Christians to justify or excuse their unbelief and disobedience to the God that created them and the Savior who died for them.

Obviously, the scandals in the church bolster this pursuit by the world to discredit Christians and Christianity. The Apostle Paul quoting from the Old Testament challenged the duplicity of those who seek to honor the Lord, “You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law?  For ‘the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,’ as it is written.”

When Christians’ sins are made public the world has a field day. It empowers their blasphemy against the Lord. Though Christians in this world will never reach sinless perfection, it is important to keep short accounts with the Lord (1 John 1:8). Repentance is not just a onetime act that leads to salvation. It is a way of life for those who are being sanctified by the Holy Ghost to be more like Jesus.

Let God be true and every man a liar is not just for the world, it is for Christians who do not always live up to what they believe (Romans 3:4). We must never justify or excuse our sin, but run to the throne of grace and as 1 John 1:9 mercifully directs, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

What Christians say or do not say, what we do or not do, will always come under the scrutiny of this dark world. Let us live our lives in such a way that fulfills the rest of Romans 3:4, which states, “That You may be justified in Your words, and may overcome when You are judged.”

The Practice of Evil

“For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed” (John 3:20).

Those who persist to be a law and god unto themselves, would fall under the category of those who practice evil. Simply because they reject God’s authority to define good and evil and trade it for their own subjective standards of good and evil. It is this rebellion against God’s objective truth, which inspires the revelry within autonomous men.

Light exposes darkness. Fallen men sin in hiding. No man comes home to his family to introduce his mistress on the side. They usually find a secluded spot to avoid detection of their indiscretions and infidelity. If the shining of the light does not lead the transgressor to brokenness, confession, and repentance, the guilty one will hate the one responsible for shining the light of truth upon their evil.

This is the fool’s response to correction. The wise, however, consider this reproving a kindness to their souls. Proverbs 27:6 reveals, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” King David, who was no stranger to controversy, declared, “Let the righteous strike me; It shall be a kindness. And let him rebuke me; It shall be as excellent oil; Let my head not refuse it” (Psalm 141:5).

One Final Thought

There is one way for the church to avoid the hatred of the world. Do not follow the example of our Lord and Savior. Jesus told his earthly family, “The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil” (John 7:7). Jesus removed the cloak that hid our sin and we hated Him for exposing our true nature. Our sin pulverized Him on a cruel cross. We vainly tried to smash the heavenly mirror that reflected our failures, sins, and abominations.

The world will tolerate a privatized faith that does not upset the status quo. If you follow Jesus, however, it is revival or riots. The response of the world to devoted followers of Christ should be persecution or “What must we do to be saved” (Acts 2:37)? A casual response to our faith is not Biblical.

What will it be church? Should we seek friendship with the world to avoid its hatred? James told us where that will lead. James 4:4 warns, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”

Obviously, it is better to be hated by the world and loved by God than to be loved by the world and to be considered an enemy to God. May the Lord help us all in dealing with the world’s hatred towards the Christian faith that it might glorify the Lord and benefit even those who hate us without cause in Jesus’ name (John 15:25)!

 

 

Field Manual for Abortion Ministry

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In the Field Manual for Abortion Ministry, Reverend Rusty Lee Thomas asks: “Does your heart break for the plight of the preborn child, made in the image of God? Does God’s Word convict you to intervene, love your neighbor as yourself, be your brother’s keeper, speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, and rescue those unjustly sentenced to death (Matthew 22:39; Genesis 4:9; Proverbs 31:8, 9; Proverbs 24:11, 12)? Are you living out your faith at the gates of hell, the place of child sacrifice and the shedding of innocent blood?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, Rev. Thomas, one of the premier leaders in the effort to end abortion, wants to welcome you to what he describes as “the battle.”

The Field Manual will open your eyes to the horror of abortion and inspire actions informed by faith, hope, and charity to bring the message of Christ to those in need.

If any of you still want a hard copy or copies, send me back your address. There is no charge. Donations are accepted for shipping and handling. Once you read it, if you find any merit, please pass on this offer to others. Let the Gentle Revolution continue in Jesus’ name!

One Minute For Liberty - Book Review: Abortion Violation by Rev. Rusty Thomas
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IN KING JESUS’ SERVICE,
Rev. Rusty Lee Thomas

Elijah Ministries is dedicated to impart a Biblical Worldview to the Church of Jesus Christ that will provide the theological impetus to fulfill the Great Commission.

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