Living Your Faith in a Nation
That Hates and Despises You
Christians: The Despised Minority
It is my informed opinion that Christians in America are now facing the most difficult period of our history in this nation. Our nation, once founded on Biblical principles, now openly despises the Book and the people of the Book. There is open hostility and outright hatred for our God-given, Biblical beliefs, morality, and family values. Every aspect of our faith is vilified, denigrated, and attacked in the public arena. We are marginalized, castigated, discriminated against, and held in open contempt. We are slandered, mocked, maligned, and falsely accused. Some have even suffered financial devastation. I believe the worst is yet to come.
It is Christians in America that are the most hated and despised minority. We are labeled racist, intolerant, homophobic, troublemakers, sexist, and just about every other derogatory term you can think of.
The nation that once held the Christian faith and the Bible in high esteem, that sought to enshrine our Lord’s commandments, now despises and hates the faith, Biblical values, and morality that helped build this great nation.
I believe there is no going back to what we once had as Christians in America. I am not implying in any way that you should not vote. It is a God-given responsibility to do our civic duty. I would implore you: Go vote and vote for the person, policies, and platform that is most closely aligned with the truths and values we hold dear as Christians. This upcoming election is without question the most important of our lifetime. Voting and electing people who are willing to fight for moral laws and good policies that will help keep good order for a while longer is essential to keep utter chaos and totalitarianism from completely overtaking us. It is one important way to love your neighbor as yourself.
However, we must face the truth, we must take our heads out of the sand and recognize that there is systemic loathing and an all-out systemic hatred for and attack on our Christian faith. It is in almost every government institution, in almost every public institution of education, in our universities, in the halls of Congress, in the media, in all of its forms, and even in multitudes of churches that have embraced the progressive left’s godless maxims as their own.
Truthfully, many of you reading this are not accustomed to being hated or despised. If I am being completely honest with you, Facebook and Instagram have cultivated in us a tremendous desire to be liked, to be well thought of, popular and accepted. It is similar to Pavlov’s dog experiment of ringing a bell and giving the dog food each time, eventually, you only had to ring the bell to get the dog to salivate. Many Christians unwittingly have been conditioned by social media to crave and salivate for the world’s/people’s praise, approval, affirmation, and thumbs-up likes!!!
You and I must now face the fact that as Christians, we are hated and despised. Jesus told us we would be, He warned us this would happen! Most Christians just didn’t believe Him. It is our reality now and will be the rest of our lives. You and I must be willing to accept the price we must pay to honestly practice and sustain our faith, live out our Biblical values and convictions, and live righteous lives.
Raising our children in this hateful, hostile environment where we are being openly maligned, slandered, persecuted, degraded, abused, unjustly treated, and discriminated against, will take great courage, deep convictions, and strong, disciplined spiritual habits as an individual and as a family.
I can tell you over the last 45 years, living my faith has cost me tremendously. For much of that time, I have experienced hatred, ridicule, vilification, slander, and abuse deliberately directed at me. My motives were questioned, my reputation and dignity maliciously destroyed, and finally, it cost me everything. So what I advise you now, I have lived and suffered a great deal for.
1. You cannot compromise with this culture! To counter the culture you must live counter-culture.
I have a friend who is part of the Hasidic Jewish community in Israel. It is clear to them what it means to live counter-culture. They all dress a certain way, eat a certain way, worship a certain way, celebrate specific Biblical holidays and events. They have very specific rules to live by. They know how they define compromising with the culture and what to them is uncompromising. I am not advocating we all do exactly as they do. It is simply meant as an illustration. In Christianity, truthfully, this concept has gotten lost. Christians today have tried to find almost every excuse they can to be like the world, they have in many ways adopted and embraced the culture’s customs, practices, and even the culture’s materialism. If we become like the world we will lose our children to the world. We must not sacrifice our faith on the altar of being liked, approved of, or accepted. We must genuinely heed and consider Bible truths like this one below and discern exactly what they should mean to you, and your family.
Ps. 106:35 (Berkeley)
They associated with those pagans and acquired their habits.
We must ponder deeply what this passage in 2 Cor. 6:14-18 NLT means in our faith, right now in America.
“Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can goodness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: ‘I will live among them and walk among them. I will be their God and they will be my people. Therefore come out from them and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty!’”
It was this very passage that helped me decide we would home educate our children. Most Christians never read or ponder this crucial passage of the Bible. Keep in mind that I am a man who believes in the truth of the Bible to become all things to all men, that I may, by all means, save some. Many though have used this as an excuse for adopting unwise practices or made cultural compromises with their faith that are very foolish.
2. We must believe and embrace these two Bible truths and unite and fellowship with others who also believe them.
God blesses you who are hated and excluded and mocked and cursed because you identified with Me, the Son of Man. When that happens, rejoice! Yes, leap for joy! For great is your reward in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were also treated that way by your ancestors.
Matt. 5:11 NIV
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me
Matt. 10:22a NLT
And everyone will hate you because of your allegiance to me.
When I first began following Jesus Christ in 1975, it only took about a year for these verses to become a harsh reality to me. My fiance Kathy and I faced tremendous vilification, ridicule, persecution, and slanderous lies for our passionate commitment to Jesus Christ. At that time I was in fellowship with other Christians who believed God was honoring Kathy and me, and that it was a blessing and not something to be ashamed of for being persecuted, slandered and hated. Fast forward 43 years later. I was now with another group of Christians that I thought believed these same great truths of the Bible. Suddenly, as a Christian pastor, I was facing the most extreme hatred, ridicule, slander, false allegations, and vitriol you can imagine. Rather than rejoice in this blessing, and seeing it for the great persecution it was, my fellow church leaders acted ashamed, the coward before the mob, craving the praise and approval of people above the praise of God. I had a fellow pastor and leader I have known for almost 44 years say to me on the phone, in an attempt to comfort me, “Mark, you know this is the persecution Jesus talked about in Matthew. It is a great blessing and you will be greatly rewarded.” To which I replied, “If you believe that brother, then why aren’t you and others, as the same Scripture says, leaping and jumping for joy at this great blessing? Why instead are you giving life to this wicked lie on the internet bathroom wall, and launching an investigation, spending tens of thousands of dollars on vicious lies?” Silence, nothing but deafening silence on the phone. The very people I loved, served, and trusted, assassinated my life over slander and lies. Wow, what a difference between the two groups of Christians over those 44 years.
3. We must love the praise and approval of God above all others.
Many Christians who try to gain and maintain a good reputation have forgotten these words of Jesus.
Luke 6:26 NASB
Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way!
Please do not misread my intention. Of course we are to be wise, winsome, and treat people with kindness, love, and live good, upright lives. We are not to go out of our way to make enemies or bring reproach on Jesus Christ by living lives that bring Him shame. We are to be a good advertisement for the Christian faith. BUT, there has never been a more winsome life than Jesus, and they tortured and killed him. They hated Him, the religious leaders slandered, maligned, abused, and despised him. Jesus was uncompromising. Jesus did not live for the approval of man, but only to please His Father in heaven. We must do the same.
Many Christian churches, in their mad rush to be relevant to a world that hates them, have caved into consumerism. They treat congregants like consumers who are always right, consumers are king. Protecting their church brand is more important to them, than suffering ridicule, hatred and slander from this world or even from some of their attenders because of our great love for Jesus Christ, and our courage to live His word and preach it no matter what it costs.
Beware of the phony pharisee, the nominal, compromised Christians! They will accuse you and abuse you! Jesus Christ’s worst enemies were religious leaders who knew the Bible very well!
Never forget this: Jesus Christ Himself stands with us. He is our strongest ally. He is our Almighty God, and He is proud of you for the ridicule, slander, hatred, and abuse that is heaped upon you because you love Him, live for Him, and obey His word. He is going to eternally reward you, and cheers your name! I would rather have one thumbs up like from the God of heaven, than a million likes from any Facebook friends.
Please take some time to hear these messages. They will greatly encourage you, help you, strengthen you and inspire you as we live in these very difficult days.