In the past few days, I’ve read a few articles that do not put Christianity in the best light. It actually seems worse than that. These articles are taking it to the next level by not just criticizing evangelical faith, they are calling them (ergo me) dangerous.
USAToday ran a story with the headline “Christian Nationalism is a threat, and not just from Capitol attackers invoking Jesus.” Now I am not a Christian Nationalist, equating patriotism to faith. But, I am a patriot. I love this country. I believe God blessed and continues to bless her. And, I think Christians should be the best citizens by word and deed. Calling for Biblical, racial and institutional justice. Praying for our leaders. Caring for our communities and fellow Americans. Hospitality, care ministries and respect for individuals should shine from our lifestyle.
That is why the wording in this article, connecting Christianity with the DC disturbance saddens me.
USAToday wasn’t alone. Bill Maher, not a fan of any religion, connects fundamentalist Christians with QAnon. And by extension, the radical violence. He extends the connection by showing how the attack on the Capitol was full of religious imagery.
Blending the DC fiasco but discussing all of this from another angle, a Professor from the University of Glasgow has an article that uses the scientific debate of creation as its catalyst to proclaim In its title, “Why creationism bears all the hallmarks of a conspiracy theory.” Though not directly, the article by inference connects QAnon mindset with those that hold to a young earth view of Creation. Something up to 40% of adults believe.
With language like … these conspiracy theorist dangerously opposed to, are hostile to, demonise, etc. It leaves little doubt as to why main stream culture has a low view of Christians. Now, I’m not saying this is outright persecution, as is seen in China, the Middle East, etc. but it is real and laying the groundwork for more to rise up in America.
So how does one respond to such cultural mudslinging? This was answered 2000 years ago …
Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse youJesus, Luke 6.27-28
Love … do good to … bless … pray for.
Take the mud. I can handle it. This is not just an attitude or touchy-feely response. It’s action. Show acts of loving kindness. Treat them the with kindness. Bless, from eulogy … good word, them. Talk good about them.
This is not meaning give them a free pass. Correcting them of falsehoods is good and beneficial. But don’t throw mud back.
Unfortunately, we live in a mud throwing society. As a believer in Jesus and his teachings, let’s be better. Let’s live a lifestyle that others want to be like, even if they’re throwing mud at us.