Like so many Americans, I don’t like what is happening to my religious freedom. I often feel attacked and misunderstood by those ignorant of the faith. Bible believers are regularly accused of being judgmental and haters. This is such a perverse accusation from people who don’t take the time to understand the Christian faith.
It is grievous to read the vicious attacks on people of faith on social media. They are often mean-spirited and evidence the worse side of humanity. With no accountability, people say horrible things they would never say to anyone in person.
Christianity is repeatedly portrayed incorrectly in our culture by a few disenfranchised groups and a liberal elite. Examples of the misapplication of Christianity are held up as examples of the whole. Accusations are made without Christian apologists allowed to respond. There is no desire to accurately understand Christianity, rather a frontal assault to eliminate it.
Why the hate? It is in our hearts unless it is transformed by the love of Christ. Jesus himself told us this Gospel will offend because it challenges the sin nature in us.
This Independence Day I urge you to pray. Religious freedom is under attack by those who twist the teachings of Christ and try to make Christianity look scary, discriminatory and judgmental. Nothing could be farther from the truth. But this attack on faith is growing and allowed to go uncensored. And the voices that accurately represent Christianity are being silenced and marginalized.
Christianity is a positive force in our culture. The teachings of Jesus include loving others as ourselves. It is not based on hate or hurting those who oppose it. True followers of Christ don’t come after people who oppose their beliefs. Rather we love bless those who curse us, pray for those who despitefully use us, and love our enemies.
Jesus is not a hater, judgmental to the sinner, nor a discriminator of people. He is love. To understand Christianity, you have to understand Jesus and not take the Old Testament out of context.
A book I would encourage every person to read is Philip Yancey’s, The Jesus I Never Knew. If you want a true picture of how Jesus influences a person and what imitating Christ really means, read this book. Then read the Bible with the understanding that Jesus represents the new covenant under which we live.
May God help us to respond to our opposition like Christ. May religious freedom continue to ring in America.
Happy Fourth of July!