Nov. 4, 2016

Confronting Christophobia

A few days ago, I was introduced to a new word: “Christophobia” - the fear of, marginalization of, or loathing for Christianity. It’s a new word to me anyway, but it’s been around for a dozen years or more, so I hear, and it is certainly not new as a concept. 

We live in a culture that now marginalizes Christianity - A Christophobic society. It’s not OK for Christians to be Islamophobic, xenophobic, homophobic, or any other kind of “phobic” anyone can come up with. Not that fear or hatred are OK; they are not - for God is love and HE has not given us a spirit of fear. However, Christians are judged of having all these phobias amidst a spiritually unenlightened world and its religions. Yet it’s politically and spiritually OK, apparently, for everyone else to be Christophobic - amidst all these “tolerant” religions and ideologies. 

As Christians confronting a Christophobic world, it might be important to ask ourselves, what do we actually stand for? Are we slowly (or not so slowly) being conditioned to be Christophobic and to hate ourselves, all that we stand for, and eventually even our Lord Jesus Christ?

Why is our Christian faith unique among the religions of the world? Why is that uniqueness being marginalized by an increasingly Christophobic world, as well as a milk toast, ever more politically compliant church that seeks to “blend in” with every wind of doctrine, without making waves as to the realities of sin, error, and deception? Where’s your spiritual discernment, “church”?

Why are we directed by the Scripture to not be ashamed of the gospel of Christ, especially in an increasingly Christophobic world? 

Can most church goers actually define what the Gospel is, and why the Lord’s final directive - known as the Great commission - is  to preach His Gospel to all nations, and teach them to observe all that He commands us? Why is this so essential?

Who was this Jesus Who says that all power is given unto Him in heaven and in earth? By what authority does He teach and make such claims?

Why are we guilt tripped, for example, for saying a traditional, “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays”? (Not the place for a discussion on the origins - as some perceive it - of the traditional holiday observations).

Do we even wonder about it as we see an increasing trend in the persecution of Christians all over the world, even now in the USA?

Why are the current POTUS and the Democratic contender for the next POTUS and their minions so clearly Christophobic, but tolerant of the Islamic political - religious ideology, whose attitude is a diabolical hatred for Christians and which would seek to supplant the reign of a loving Christ with a reign of terror?

Why are so many Christians in a stuporous unawareness or “ignore-ance" concerning this reality, and so easily talked into political correctness, when Jesus Christ Whom we claim to follow, was without a doubt the most politically incorrect Person Who ever walked this earth?

What is this encroaching phenomenon? Where and when did it arise? Everyone needs to do his own exploration of this.

We’re encouraged to lean toward “interfaith dialogue”, per the Pope and other religious leaders who have come under his spell, but the reality is that Krishna did not die to ransom you from your sins, and that the Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path is not going to save your soul or anyone else’s. Thus when we’re conditioned to the point of giving the nod of approval to what is in direct conflict with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and forgotten who we are in Him, and that from which He has redeemed us, something is seriously wrong!

How many of us are actually questioning these Christiphobic trends, especially amidst the new “contemplative” movement, which seems to be a big chink in the armor, allowing the practices and beliefs of the East an easy access through the unsuspecting, undiscerning, and overly tolerant who do not actually understand the implications of the Gospel message - which we ought to be confronting? 

May we grapple with this fact and step up to the plate of our calling in Christ: “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people to be his very own and to proclaim the wonderful deeds of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9)

Yes, Who called us out of the prison of darkness and deception, into the freedom of His marvelous light! Our reality in Christ is a spiritual regime change!

Let us give our hearts and minds to once more understanding, embracing, and living as who we are called to be as Jesus’ disciples: “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13-16)

With Paul let us boldly declare, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.”(Romans 1:16) No other “religion” on earth can stand on this truth in Christ Jesus. Anyone who has experienced a living, vibrant relationship with God through Jesus will not deny His power, as he or she begins to understand the truth revealed in the Scripture through the lens of the Holy Spirit, that a “regime change” takes place through the power of God within the individual.

We can begin to confront Christophobia within ourselves first of all - the timidity about sharing the Gospel or our testimony of Jesus, that sense of shame or intimidation we might feel while encountering the rest of the world’s “opinions”, or a sense of being “apologetic” as to all He has done for us.  Let us never be ashamed, but pray for the opportunities and His courage to share! “…Do not fear their intimidation; do not be shaken. But in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to articulate a defense to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But respond with gentleness and respect!” (1 Peter 3:14,15) 

And pray constantly so as to maintain that Holy Ghost Hotline to Heaven!