In a recent Op-Ed for The Christian Post, Michael Brown, an author, radio host and Christian apologist, told about an occasion several years ago of offering to help an organization with whom he had worked in the past.
The group liked Brown’s work. They agreed with his values and positions on issues. And he was willing to offer his expertise without regard to compensation. However, they never accepted his offer.
Brown learned later from a colleague within the organization that a “key decision maker” was concerned about being publicly associated with Brown because of his Biblical position on homosexuality and same-sex marriage. And while they respected him, actually agreed with his position, and appreciated his attitude in handling today’s culture wars, they declined because “they didn’t want a target on their backs.”
Upon hearing this Brown responded to his colleague, “If they don’t have a target on their backs, they’re doing something wrong.”
Trying to survive, and even thrive in today’s value changing culture can be challenging and at times confusing.
When I was a kid growing up on the farm in central Indiana, everyone knew there were only two genders–male and female. Marriage was between a man and a woman. And homosexuality was not only considered sinful, but perverted, and in most states was illegal.
But today, if you write a blog or preach a sermon condemning homosexual sins from Romans 1: 24-31 you are called a hater, homophobe and intolerant. Of course, we must speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15). Treat others with respect, kindness and compassion. And seek to be “light” and “salt” in a sin darkened and polluted world.
However, when we take a stand for Truth on any issue that contradicts our culture, people are not going to like it. And that shouldn’t shock or surprise us.
In some of Jesus’ final words to the apostles before dying on the cross, He offered them this warning. And by implication and application, it’s relevant to Christians today.
“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. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me (Jn. 15:18-21).
When we preach Jesus and the Word inspired by the Holy Spirit, we will be targeted. By someone. Somewhere. At sometime.
In His Op-Ed Brown further opined…
If you speak up for the unborn, you will be targeted.
If you uphold marriage and family as God intended, you will be targeted.
If you engage in effective outreach to the lost, you will be targeted.
If you claim salvation is only through Jesus, you will be targeted.
If you resist LGBT activism in the schools, you will be targeted.
If you preach the Word of God, with brokenness and humility but without compromise or dilution, you will be targeted.
While there has always been resistance in some circles to Jesus’ teaching, those of my generation are experiencing a new type of opposition regarding issues that for years the religious world and society agreed upon. In our politically correct, woke culture, once time honored Biblical beliefs are mocked and maligned. And those who espouse them will be criticized, castigated and even censured. We will have a target on our backs.
Thus, we face two challenges.
#1 Let’s be sure that we’re not being unkind, obnoxious, or self-righteous in our opposition to sinful practices.
#2 Let’s not be guilty of compromising the Truth for fear of rejection or persecution.
As our world becomes more secular, sinful and humanistic, Christians can expect opposition. To have a target on our backs. We would do well to remember the words of Jesus from His Mountain Message.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matt 5:10-12).
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman