Friday, May 20, 2011

If You Are Not Hated You Are Doing Something Wrong

Christianity is not something that fits well with a secular society, it is not meant to. In fact, Christianity is not something that fits well with the world or any religion and we should be concerned if it does. Followers of Jesus are a people of peace, who show the love of Jesus in the things we do and say but the world is provoked by the core of our relationship with Jesus; it hates the Light and the truth that comes from it. Jesus explained:

Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. (John 3:19)

The fact is that the light and dark do not fit. Unlike popular belief, light does not need the dark to define it; it does not need it to exist. Life is not about balancing good and evil, light and dark. The two are incompatible so where one exists the other does not. We either serve the light or we serve the darkness, we cannot have two masters.

A follower of Jesus will always be troubled by this world, the evil that exists, the darkness that pervades for the moment, and the world will always be troubled by the Church, the Body of Christ. If there is not trouble between the two then one of them is a liar; either the darkness is not what it says it is or the follower of Jesus is not a follower. Jesus warned his disciples:

All this I have told you so that you will not go astray. They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. I have told you this, so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you. I did not tell you this at first because I was with you. (John 16:1-4)

Jesus was preparing his followers because once he left everything would change. It is not the only warning he gave them:

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. (John 15:18-19)

Just because we love people does not mean that we stop speaking the truth to them. In fact, it is because we love them that we must speak the truth. We cannot lie people into the Kingdom. Jesus told one group that he was hated because he did exactly that, he told the them the truth. Are we doing the same or are we trying to be accepted by the world? Are we trying to have peace at the expense of the truth that we have living inside of us? James warned:

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. (James 4:4)

There is no way around it, if we are living for Jesus we will be hated by the darkness that currently controls this world. Our purpose is to preach the Light to the people of the darkness so that as many will be rescued as possible, but as we preach the Light the darkness gives back hatred. Ours is not meant to be an easy life and trying to hide away is as bad as being part of the darkness. We must live our faith in big and bold ways, to hold back the darkness and to allow Jesus to be glorified through us.

Don't tolerate darkness for a moment; don't date it, don't excuse it, don't lie for it. The only thing we can do with darkness is speak the truth of the Light into it and for this we will be hated. Jesus said it, we are not part of this world because he has taken us out of it. That alone is enough for the darkness to hate us, but we do not fear the darkness or its hatred because:

... the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)

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