Summary: How should Christians respond to those who oppose or attack Christianity?
Do We Love the Enemies of the Cross?
As we watch the battle for the 10 commandments unfold in Alabama and similar scenes across the nation played out in the cultural war against Christianity, it is difficult to keep the true biblical perspective. I have watched Christians in these types of situations curse those who oppose them and condemn them to hell. I have seen Christians cry out for God to punish their critics and bring swift judgment against their enemies. When ungodly men express such animosity against Christianity and seem to have such power to cause harm, it is tempting to succumb to these same feelings of frustration.
This frustration is not unique to our culture; even the disciples of Jesus struggled with this. When Jesus and His disciples went to enter into a city, those in authority confronted them and refuse to allow them to pass through. The disciples were enraged and wanted Jesus to call down fire from heaven to destroy them like Elijah did in his day. Jesus replied in Luke 19:
55 But He turned and rebuked them, and said, "You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.
56 "For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them." And they went to another village.
When we look at similar situations in post-Christian America, we can feel the same frustrations. The fight in Alabama has averted the real issue by putting all the focus on Judge Moore rather than admitting that the real problem is an antithesis against God and Christianity. Each time the critics speak, the goal is to paint Moore as a redneck cowboy trying to establish a theocracy. Yet the real problem is with the Christian heritage our state constitutions are founded upon. Take a look at the preamble to Alabama’s Constitution which reads:
“We, the people of the State of Alabama, in order to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish the following Constitution and form of government for the State of Alabama.”
Judge Roy Moore did not write this, it was written when the Alabama state constitution was framed. If our culture is now opposed to this, the attack should be directed at the constitution and not against the judges sworn to protect the constitution. Unfortunately, it is rare to find a judge who will defend the foundation of our government so when one like Judge Moore arises, they become targets to those who despise the God who we once acknowledged. The very mention of God or a Creator is proclaimed as ‘unconstitutional’ by those who have the power to force their godless view on the American culture. This is in spite of the fact that written in ink in our Declaration of Independence is the following statement:
WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
There is no shortage of examples of assaults against Christianity in our modern culture. In the last few years we have seen the FCC attempt to revoke Christian broadcaster’s education licenses; a 150 year tradition of mealtime prayer was banned at the US Naval Academy; the Pledge of Allegiance was banned by our courts because it acknowledges God; a zoning board in Oregon ordered a church to limit worship to 70 members; eminent domain has been used to seize several churches; tax status has been revoked for churches that criticize political leaders and the list goes on and on. How should the Christian respond to these assaults on our faith? What is our role and how do we maintain our light in our culture amidst the increasing hostility against the God of the Bible?
Do Not Fret
I highly encourage each person to read the entire 37th Psalm. It is so rich that it is difficult to leave anything out. Just reading the Psalm will speak volumes that this study can’t fully encompass. Look now at Psalm 37:
1 Do not fret because of evildoers, Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.
2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, And wither as the green herb.
8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret -- it only causes harm.
9 For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the LORD, They shall inherit the earth.
When a Christian forgets that God is in control, it is easy to let frustration set in. Even though the world sometimes appears to be spinning out of control, God is very much in control. The word ‘fret’ means to be hot with anger; to be incensed or to heat ones self with vexation. When a Christian frets, they are tempted to take matters into their own hands rather than trust in God. This does not mean that Christians are passivist, but it does mean that we don’t step outside of God’s will to execute judgment.