April 27, 2015

Christian Haters

Written by Wisdom Hunters

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 27, 2015

But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison. Acts 8:3

Why do some people hate Christians? Some religious fanatics loathe Christians, labeling us infidels deserving of death. Thus they slaughter innocent school children who name the name of Christ. Some despise Jesus followers because their alternative lifestyle is unacceptable to Christians who embrace a moral standard contrary to their own. Others dismiss Christians because they feel dismissed by Christians. For this, we as believers in Jesus must change. If our Christian brand is reciprocal love in the face of persecution—it is irresistible to Christian haters.

Saul (who became Paul) hated Christians. He tracked them down and threw them into prison. His religious zeal caused him to cross a line with Christians: persecution, imprisonment and death in some cases. Saul’s malicious intent led him to attempt an elimination of this growing sect of believers in the Savior Jesus. They threatened his religious categories. But Saul learned on the road to Damascus that his persecution was directed toward Jesus. If He persecuted a Christian—He persecuted Christ. But Jesus changed him. Christian haters can make good Christians.

“As for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless. But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ” (Philippians 3:6-7).

So, what does the Lord require of us in the face of Christian hatred and persecution? He requires us not to hate, but to love back. He requires us to confess and repent of any hateful or judgmental attitudes toward those who do not embrace Jesus as Savior. The Lord compels us to hold fellow Christians accountable to righteous behavior, but our judgment does not extend to unbelievers. The unsaved are already condemned by their sin and unbelief. Love looks into the eyes of hatred and says I love you and I forgive you. Violent forces will be overcome by our nonviolent resolve.

Most of all, we see persecution as an opportunity to respond like Christ. When insulted—He refused to retaliate. When He suffered for the sake of righteousness—He made no threats. A persecuted faith is a meaningful faith. The world will hate us for our unworldly response to ungodliness. But we must resist the temptation of lowering ourselves to the tactic of angry pay back to our persecutors. Their accelerated rage requires our elevated love. The Holy Spirit will use our cool head and warm heart to draw other lost souls to Jesus. Heaven’s love overcomes worldly hate.

“Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good” (Romans 12:20, The Message).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me a heart of love that serves others motivated by my sufferings.

Related Readings: John 15:18-19; Romans 10:1, 12:16-20; Philippians 3:8-10; 1 Peter 2:23

Post/Tweet this today: The Holy Spirit will use our cool head and warm heart to draw other lost souls to Jesus. #persecution #wisdomhunters

Additional Resource: 4 minute music video- Kim Walker-Smith: Unstoppable Love

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© 2015 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhunters.com


Comments

  1. cindy joyner says:

    I need some clarification from paragraph 1. “Some despise Jesus followers because their alternative lifestyle is unacceptable to Christians who embrace a moral standard contrary to their own.”
    Jesus followers and their alternative lifestyles… before I jump to any conclusions, please clarify this for me.
    Thanks

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Cindy,
      Thank you for contacting us about the question you had regarding the statements in the devotional, “Christian Haters”. I appreciate your wise and cautious need for clarification “before I jump to any conclusions”. We should all take a lesson from you when it comes to that!!!
      If I may speak for Boyd, the devotional author, he was addressing the group of potential “Christian haters” in the first paragraph who “despise Jesus followers because their (the Christian haters) alternative lifestyle is unacceptable to Christians who embrace a moral standard contrary to their own.” Please allow me to make it clear that the “Jesus followers” are not the group despising the folks who are living the alternative lifestyle. His point is that there are those who despise believer’s for our beliefs in God and His Word.
      We, as children of God, are called to not pass judgement on our brothers.
      “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured.” Matt 7:1

      Cindy, in His Holy Word, God addresses His perfect plan for our choices in life. He is specific about these choices and His desire for us to heed them. However, He also mentions several times in “that same rule book” His Word, that we are to love each other as He loves us.

      Cindy, I would love to continue this conversation with you (especially if this attempt to clarify only made it more confusing…..) My email address is gwynne@wisdomhunters.com. I look forward to hearing from you and once again, please know how much we appreciate you reaching out for clarification.
      We are so thankful for you. Blessings to you and yours.
      Believing and trusting~
      Gwynne
      “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” John 15:12

  2. Lucy says:

    Thank you for this timely post with so many wonderful reminders of how to walk like Jesus in the face of evil or suffering. How beautifully He loves us! I want to love like Him and see others through His eyes.

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Lucy,
      Thank you so much for you encouraging and kind words in response to the devotional, “Christian Haters”. Your sincere words beautifully stated how all of His children should feel: “How beautifully He loves us! I want to love like Him and see others through His eyes.” Wow! Thank you, Lucy, for that reminder.
      When I read the devotional, my mind went to so many of our earlier brothers and sisters in Christ who suffered and die horrible deaths as they boldly proclaimed the name of Jesus. And of course, still today, so many are suffering. Lucy, you are right, this post was timely!
      We are so thankful for you and look forward to hearing from you again.
      May God bless you in the days ahead.
      Believing and trusting~
      Gwynne
      “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:2-3


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