Is it okay for Christians in the public arena to stand up like this taking hatred from others? Will this become an opportunity for non-believers to move farther from God? Any thoughts?
Will declaring faith publicly create space for non-believers to hate Christians/Christianity/Christ?
Wonderful!! ALL the glory, power, majesty, honor and might to the One I AM! The Lord of lords, King of kings- Jesus Christ!
Okay, I’d just like to start on a point so you can understand what I’m saying in whole: Any time a Christian acts or talks like a Christian they will be hated by those who hate God. Period.
And that happens anywhere and any time.
(See the New Testament for more details. And for an ongoing history, check out the Old Testament as it was already happening back then too!)
One thing that stands out for me in this “tolerance obsessed” culture we live in in the U.S.A. is that there is tolerance for just about EVERYTHING … except Biblical Christianity. Actually, I should just say anything that even smacks of (or resembles) the Christian and/or Hebrew God at all. Look at all the wild vandalism going on in Europe of Catholic churches!
Why? Because He - the triune God of the Bible known as the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost - is the Only True Living God and therefore the only One who will hold us each accountable for our sins and we all know it – whether we believe on Him or not. It’s called “conscience” now, but God described it like this:
Hebrews 10:16 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them
After those days, says the Lord:
I will put My laws upon their heart,
And on their mind I will write them,”
So, how do we know that this has been done? When you say the name of Jesus as anything BUT a cuss word, people get MAD. They get mad because they hate God. Now, most would be surprised at that, as they don’t go around “actively hating on God” as they don’t even think of God. In fact, that’s part of the “complaint” in this article. Being told about a “God” they do not “believe on” and have no wish to be reminded of. Why? Because that God is Holy and He says we are to be Holy and every single one of us knows we cannot be holy. At least not the way the God in the Holy Bible asks us to be.
Oh, we can make all kinds of special altars and garments and incense and prayers and meditations as humans on this earth, and we’ll be fine if it’s to any deity or even idea as long as it’s not “that God”.
> Now, there is, of course one way out of this fix: and it’s in salvation. True salvation which is accomplished in the individual by Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit because God the Father draws that person. And that washes us clean of all our sin. So our war with God is over when we are saved. We are brought into His loving-kindness and are justified, and if we stay in Him (in His Word) we are being sanctified, and in heaven, we are promised we will be glorified. But back to fallen humanity, which is the default, remember, for every human being ever born other than the man/God Jesus Christ. We are all rebels against God to start with: from birth. So have some compassion here, even if you are a blessed saved Christian - in fact, especially if you are. Because guaranteed, you did not start out that way from birth. You were saved and you know the Savior’s astounding mercy and have been forgiven. You have had your eyes opened and can now see: remember anyone who has not is blinded unless God rescues that person.
And of course, Muslims hate “that God” because they see Him as their enemy just like all the rest of fallen humanity sees Him only with an extra edge: they’ve been warring in one way or another with Israel not for centuries, but literally, for millinea. So, I would think it weird if Muslims did not get mad at any mention of Jesus or Israel in any kind of a respectful - let alone believing - way. Why would anyone be surprised by this. They have an even bigger ax to grind then just about anyone else as they’ve been warring neighbors longer than most countries have had any notion of God or Christ. So just, give them at least the benefit of being seen as perhaps having a lot more at stake, at least in an earthly sense, than the rest of us. Not condoning hatred of any kind: only pointing out it’s existence and two main places it stems from for Muslims: one main place for the rest of us.
As for “taking hatred from others” – of course we will take hatred from others. This is part of the call to follow Christ as Christians. Christ told us that if they hate us, to not be surprised; they hated Him first! (see John 15:18-25). That’s part of being a follower of Christ.
Lastly, “an opportunity for non-believers to move farther from God?”
Answer: They don’t need an opportunity or an excuse. They are already non-believers. I don’t mean we should not give them an excuse - I mean they have plenty of excuses without a single word from us! Christians are told to share the good news with every creature [See Mark 16:15, Luke 14:23, Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 1:7-8, Mark 16:15-16].
So to obey Him, that is what we do. Who is saved and who is not is not our business! We are not God, and if we start thinking we are, we are spitting in God’s face. We are not told to “save” we are told to preach, to share, to tell. That’s it. And to do so in love.
Whatever this particular state legislator’s reason for praying (and we do not have the full prayer here) the name of Christ was said and said in a way that portrays Him as God. Praise God for that, pray for her, and pray for all, especially those who got all mad about it. I will. And while you’re at it, pray for me? After being all open about this, I better be ready to back up my stance here when called upon to do so!
Thank you for this elaborate answer @Sunami_Carpenter.
What I mean by saying father from God is that, there might be people who might have had interest in knowing Christ or God but may have been blocked and have closed their hearts because of “too-much judgement” from the church or Christianity. Do you think these type of people should be shown the warmer side of Christianity?
Agreed! There are times when the truth of God is let down, we should be able to stand up for God’s cause and not being tolerant just because the bible says to be polite, especially in the times where the social norms are changing.
All people should be shown the warm side of Christianity. Not the “warmer” side. There are no shadows in God. We should preach the Truth in love and compassion, have patience, be long-suffering. We should forgive as we ourselves were once rebels and God forgave us. In fact, if you look at the “Lord’s Prayer” as we call it in the Bible it says “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors”…meaning, God has forgiven us, if we do not forgive those who sin against little us, God will not forgive our sins. (If you don’t believe that, read the next few sentences or verses after the Lord’s Prayer).
When people feel “too much judgment” from Biblical Christianity (meaning the Word of God, not a church or religion with all it’s human ceremonies and extra-Biblical doctrines) it’s usually because they have heard the Truth. It convicts them. Sinners cannot repent and come to Christ of their own volition. We are ALL rebels while we are still sinners without salvation. So some will put it down, some will minimize, and some will yell “don’t judge me!”. The simple answer to that, IF we have been telling them in a loving compassionate way (see those Ray Comfort witnessing videos) is to calmly say “I’m not judging you as I have broken all the Commandments myself. I am telling you the Truth because I don’t want you to spend eternity in hell when there is a way out!”
That’s just an example, not something meant to be memorized. It’s very hard sometimes as a saved Christian to feel so helpless to get through to people.
But remember: we were NOT told to “save” anyone. We couldn’t save ourselves could we? So do not see this as a failure. There are people in the crowd who WILL listen and be saved by being told the Good News. It just isn’t always the person you are talking directly to. Trust God to do the saving. He knows who He has decided to save, we do not. Just understand that anyone who is not saved or being saved is going to react this way.
P.S. The Bible says nowhere that I know of to “be polite”. If you have a citation I’d be happy to go read it.