Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Christians Must Stand Up For Themselves in Society

So I wrote this on Thursday and forgot to post it!! It's been a crazy few days. I will write about that in a week or two. Anyway, sorry for the delay, here it is.

Have you noticed that Christians tend to get pushed around in our culture a bit? If we speak out against any prominent figure for a public sin, we are intolerant bigots. If we take a stand for morality, we are backward and old fashioned. If we try to reason with mother culture concerning our views on scriptural tenets, we are judgmental, ignorant and hateful. If we try to evangelize, even a little, we are zealots or "fundamentalists" (and that has taken on a negative connotation). It seems that every time a television show has an outspoken Christian in it the character is some kind of dangerous nutcase or is in for comic relief. Don't you think it is time for Christians to take a stand and demand our rights and demand better treatment?

Well, I don't.

I believe that Christians have an obligation to be peacemakers, not rabble rousers.  There are virtually no Biblical examples of Christians being angry and standing up for their rights. Jesus flipped tables in the temple but that was internal to the church of the time. Jesus worked against the Pharisees but he did not do so by "taking a stand" or inciting an audience. He did it peacefully and with well reasoned argument. Paul spent time in jail because of his faith. He did not incite people against Rome. Paul did not "stand up for his rights" on a public stage and demand better treatment for all Christians or demand equality. He did benefit from rights granted to him as a Roman but he never made demands based on his "God given rights." He never demanded special treatment or equal treatment to non-Christians. He never "took a stand" for his rights in the context of some other group getting special treatment. He never let the government's special treatment of one demographic incite him to demand the same treatment. He wanted the rights he was already granted and otherwise he worked the movement under the government. Both Jesus and Paul were after the souls and salvation of men and women, rather than government legitimization.

Don't misunderstand what I am saying, if our government was to lock someone up with no reason other than because they are a Christian, that's one thing. That would be contrary to our law. If the State of Tennessee wants to take the Ten Commandments out of a public building, that is quite different. It is within the rights of the state to do so. Our reaction should not be mass protests and inciting anger, but rather prayer and evangelism to promote our cause peacefully. When faced with the discussion of abortion, we should not protest in front of clinics and blow up buildings and all this other stuff. We should be available to minister to the hurting and lost. We should be working with the populace that is at risk for this before they get to the point of seeming to have no choice. When Christians feel that the world is pressing down on their individual rights or are offending them, we should do two things to imitate Christ:

1) turn the other cheek
2) love first, provide second, correct last

That is the example of Christ. That is how we reach a hurt, lost and dying world. When we incite and get angry and bluster and yell and protest, we only feed Satan and we only strengthen the resolve of the opposition. Human nature takes over as no one wants to lose a fight. How much different would it be if we didn't worry about losing the fight? Instead we only ministered to the participants in the fight. Just a thought.

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