There is an epidemic sweeping through our nation right now. It is a deep-seated irrational fear of wait for it…CHRISTIANS. I know it’s hard to believe but it must be true (that Cable News Channel told me so). Apparently there are individuals who are inexplicably afraid of people like me and that little old lady who sits in the third row of the church every weekend (Well, Isn’t that special).
Why the fear?
From what I’ve heard she’s a hateful, homophobic, mean-spirited racist and bigot, hell bent on squashing the voices of her opposition. I bet you didn’t know that she is secretly plotting to round up people who believe differently from herself, lock them up in padded rooms and make them wait until they ultimately find their proper place in a burning lake of fire. I never realized that when she offered me a mint, she had to covertly maneuver her feeble little hand thorough her purse, past all her hate filled literature, to find it. It’s hard to believe that kind of evil is lurking behind those horn-rimmed glasses, but obviously it is. I would have never guessed she was harboring such hate. She had me fooled with those sweet granny hugs and kisses on the cheek. How was I to know that she was just waiting for her opportunity to burst into people’s home and force them to live like she does. No wonder so many people are becoming Christophobic. Now that I think about it, I’ll be watching my back this weekend at church!
I always thought that the life of a Christian was marked by traits such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. I thought Christians were encouraged to bless those who would say hateful things about them, even to go as far as pray for them. I believed the life of a Christian was a call to sacrificially set aside our lives and serve our fellow man. Something must be wrong with me, because I honestly believe that a nation filled with such people would be an amazing place to live! Someone help me here. Why would anyone be afraid of Christians? Why all the hate-speech directed at us? Why practice such intolerance towards Christianity?
Modern psychology teaches us that our phobias often stem from things we don’t understand. Humor me for a moment as I bring Christianity out of the closet. Perhaps it might help with any “Christophobia” you may be experiencing.
Let me start by exposing the hidden “Christian Agenda”. I might get in trouble for sharing our super secret plan for world domination, but honestly you could find it by looking in the Gospel of John. Jesus speaking of His reason for coming to our world said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).
That’s it. The “Agenda” of Christ and every Bible believing church in the world is to keep you from being robbed of life and give you the opportunity to experience it in all it’s fullness. Shocking right? Now you can clearly see why so many would fear that we might accomplish His agenda.
What? It’s the how we define “life in all it’s fullness” that frightens you. Let me set you at ease, you don’t have to accept Christ’s “life in all it’s fullness”. He opened the door to it. You choose if you want to step in. Regardless though, there is still no reason to fear those who would. Here are a few reasons why.
#1 We DO NOT hate you
There is no room in true Christian faith to hate any man or woman for any reason. Jesus demonstrated His great love for every single one of us (that means you too) by laying down His life for us even while we were still sinners. He then instructed His disciples to show that same kind of love. I know it may be hard to accept, but we actually practice something greater than the tolerance asked of us…it’s called LOVE. We love you, we don’t hate you.
#2 We ARE NOT afraid of you
We may not agree with one another. We may not fully understand each other. But I assure you, there is not need to fear one another. Yes, that is contrary to the image portrayed by the talking heads on TV (trust me they don’t speak for us). Take a moment to sit down for coffee (or even a chicken sandwich) with a true Christian and you would quickly discover that here is someone I don’t need to fear and who actually cares about me. The Bible teaches that there is no fear in love. If you know we love you, then you should know there is no reason to be afraid. Disagreements should never be a catalyst for hate or fear. They should be seen for what they are, occasions for conversation.
#3 We may understand YOU more than you realize
We know that there is not one of us who is “perfect”. Everyone of us have a history. Your sin is not greater than my sin and thankfully no one’s sin is beyond the grace and forgiveness of Christ. Just sit down to hear the story of a Christian and you may find out that the beginning of their story sounds a lot like your own. Each of us can tell you how Christ came and pulled us out of our own lusts, addictions, brokenness, depression or abusive situation (and the list goes on). Please don’t look at any of us and think we believe ourselves to be perfect or better than anyone else. We remember where we’ve come from and know how far Christ has brought us. Trust me, many of us understand where you come from more than you may realize.
#4 We are not seeking to CHANGE you
Contrary to what you may believe, we are not seeking to change you. Honestly, we couldn’t change you even if we tried. There is no man on earth who possesses the capacity to truly change a person from the inside out. That job rests in the hands of Christ alone. Saint Paul wrote that if “anyone be in Christ he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Jesus Christ is the only one who can give you or me a new beginning. All I can do is introduce you to Him, tell you about Him and pray with you but the rest is between you and Him. Trust me, I am not looking to make you more like me. However If you’ll let Him, He is looking to make you more like Him.
I get it. You like your life the way it is, you are not interested in changing anything and you don’t see the need to have Jesus do anything for you. I was there at one point in my life as well. Here is the amazing thing about Him. He respects your right to choose (that’s called free will). Jesus said He came so that you might “know the truth, and that the truth would set you free” (John 8:32). But He is not forcing you to accept it. That’s your decision. Accept it, deny it, ignore it…that is your choice. Regardless, know that we still love you, we still are not afraid of you and we still are willing to sit down and listen to your story, share our own and be there for you when you’re ready to find out more about the Christ who transformed our lives.
Now, concerning all the Christophobia I’ve been hearing about. I cannot think of a reason to fear a world filled with people like myself, but I sure can think of plenty of reasons to fear a world without. Just something to think about.