How Should Christians be Treated in an Unredeemed Culture?

Pastor Louie Giglio is in the middle of a firestorm that he never saw coming. For those of you not familiar with Pastor Giglio, he is the pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta, Georgia and a leading evangelical voice exposing the modern day slave trade (it is estimated that there are as many as 27 million slaves around the world today!). His Passion2013 conference drew 60,000 young people (you could not attend if you were over the age of 26 except as a group leader) to rally for an end to slavery.

Because of his exemplary work in the area of slavery, Pastor Giglio was invited by the White House Inauguration Committee to deliver the benediction at the end of the presidential inaugural ceremony. It didn’t take long for him to be denounced as “anti-gay” because of his biblical stand on marriage. At this point it’s unclear whether Pastor Giglio removed his name from the program voluntarily or whether he did so at the request of the White House. The end result was the same.

The battle lines have been drawn. On one side are those holding the banners of tolerance and equal rights – on the other are those waving the banners of freedom of speech and discrimination against Christians.

While I find the political arguments interesting, there is another angle to this debate that Christians need to consider and that is how should Christians expect to be treated in a secular, unredeemed culture? On issues such as life, marriage and morality we are the minority; we are the ones struggling against the current. We are the ones pointing out that the emperor has no clothes.

Why are we surprised when an unredeemed culture screams for tolerance but at the same time is intolerant of our beliefs? Why do we find it disturbing that an unredeemed culture views us as hate-mongers for telling them that God loves them so much that He wants them to live a godly lifestyle? Why does it shock us when our rights are diminished in favor of the rights of others?

God has laid things out rather clearly – in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God (2 Timothy 3:1-4). It’s even worse than you think. Matthew used the term perilous to describe the savage nature of two demon possessed men (Matthew 8:28) who were exceedingly fierce to the point that no one could approach them. We live in a culture that is very much like that – dangerous, even savage, to any kind of spiritual perspective on the issues we face.

When people treat Christians as the problem rather than as the answer to the issues of our culture they are simply acting out of their sinful nature. They are doing exactly what we should expect them to do. We should not be surprised. We should expect no less.

Stay in the Word
Pastor Steve

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