Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Why they Hate us

A Facebook Friend posted this: 

I couldn’t resist responding: “Well, it seems that you too are quite judgmental.” This response created a storm. One person responded in his defense:
  •  He is not judgmental; he is just making an observation!

This is the way that the media usually responds when accused of conducting a war-against-Christians. At first, my friend refused to admit that he too was judgmental. However, I knew him to be a bold straight-shooter, and so I responded that I was disappointed in him, because he wouldn’t answer my question. Then he admitted:
  • Daniel...I really don't give a shit whether you are disappointed in me or not. I hope that is clear. Was it my intention to demean church-goers? No...not in this post. This post was pretty clear...an observation… The most judgmental people I have met have been regular church goers. Now...I can certainly demean church goers, in a number of ways. But in this post, I was simply demeaning judgmental people who go to church.

My “friend” is a sharp and intelligent man, and so I was surprised at his incoherent response – denying but yet affirming that he had been judgmental. He later declared himself “a sworn enemy of the organized/patriarchal/religious system.” 

A “sworn enemy” generally has both closed mind and heart. The attacks against me became increasingly vicious, not only from my friend but also from others. This made me reassess what I had written and why the dialogue became what it did. “Why are we hated,” I asked myself. My “friend” thinks that we are judgmental. I have no doubt that he sincerely feels this way. But what makes him think us more judgmental (and condemning) than others? True Christians are forgiving and compassionate, aren’t we?

Jesus explained that since we belong to Him, we will be hated as He is hated:
  • “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by everyone because of me.” (Mat. 10:21-22)
  •     “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” (John 15:18-19)

As with Jesus, they will even put us to death, convinced that they are doing the right thing:
  •  “All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God.” (John 16:1-2)

Progressives – the communists – exterminated Christians with the justification that we are regressive elements that need to be destroyed in order to create a better world. Did they really believe that? Perhaps! But what is at the core of such a distorted belief?
Jesus explained that He was hated because He revealed the truth about others (John 7:7).

The more I pointed out my friend’s inconsistencies, the more incensed he became. Why? Jesus explained:
  •  This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. (John 3:19-21)

Jesus is the light, and He is hated for this. We too are the light (2 Cor. 5:19-21), and so we are hated. I know that this sounds arrogant, but we must arm ourselves with this awareness so that we do not suffer self-castigation when confronted with hatred. It goes with the turf, as Paul had warned:
  • In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. (2 Tim 3:12-13)

If we refuse to embrace this uncomfortable truth, the deception of this world will embrace us. It will then become even more difficult to live the Christian life. We will retreat and blame ourselves and the church that we had been overly judgmental.

Also, if we shy away from the Bible’s teachings about the depth of sin and spiritual darkness, we will fail to understand what we are confronting and blame ourselves instead. Meanwhile, Paul warned:
  • For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. (2 Cor. 2:14-15)

We are a stench to those who have rejected the light, but our experience gives us a different message. It insists that our colleagues are really good people, even truth-seekers. We, therefore, are prone to see things from their point of view and accept their disdain for the church.

Meanwhile, Jewish writers inform us that the Pharisees had been the most respected class of people in Israel, and it seems that they were, but this was only show. It was a show that Jesus exposed:
  •   “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full… And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others.” (Mat. 6:1-2, 5)

What looks good to us is hypocrisy to our Lord. Instead, the best of us are just like you – self-seeking at our core. We therefore need to be born-again and don’t forget that so do they!

My Facebook Friend – he’s kind-of a guru - hates me. I too have become his sworn enemy. However, knowing the root of his hatred, I don’t take it personally and therefore just want the best for him.

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