They know us by the words we speak and the actions we make.
It is often re-quoted (and I am paraphrasing), “The biggest reason people don’t come to Christianity is because of Christians.”
It’s a painful truth, but a truth it is.
As the war on moral absolutes rages on, we have begun to move far beyond abortion and same-sex marriage. We are beginning to breach upon religious freedom. Ten years ago a homosexual could be horribly discriminated against and hardly anyone cared, today, institutions that adhere to sincerely held religious beliefs—their conscience even—are finding themselves on the receiving end of suppression and discrimination.
How has this table seemingly turned?
Where was the Church’s voice when homosexuals were treated like second class citizens? Probably the same place they were when prostitutes and drug users were being judged. Where was the Church’s action when the modern day widow and orphans found themselves in dire need? Probably the same place they were when they were picketing outside of abortion clinics and monuments of the ten commandments.
Christians like to flatter themselves that this passage of scripture is why people have become so antagonistic towards the Church:
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 21 But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’” John 15:18-25
The world is not hating us without a cause, and we are not acting like the Master’s servants!
What the world is acting against, today, is our historically vile actions and lack of being like Jesus. This is a natural consequence of our ill will and behavior. We like to think of this as pure religious persecution, but it isn’t. Instead of shouting persecution, we should be humbly pointing out the importance of preserving religious freedom and freedom of conscience, and repenting of our past failures.