Let me begin by saying I am not trying to change anyone’s mind. That’s almost impossible in our society. Don’t get bogged down in the next two short paragraphs. Keep reading. And finally, today’s blog is primarily for followers of Jesus. Here we go.
For the past 10 days there has been considerable conversation concerning the Paris attacks and how the world is to deal with the increasing, expanding, and very real threat of Islamic terrorism. And yes, I know it’s a minority of Muslims who are terrorists, but the majority of terrorists call themselves Muslim, even if society calls it a perversion of Islam. And in the United States, many Americans have been expressing opinions about allowing Syrian refugees into our country. I expressed my opinion in a blog post the other day.
The President has been all over the world lecturing hesitant Americans about our American values. I’d love to ask the President about his failure to uphold American values of defending and assisting the helpless Syrians and others before this crisis exploded. (You can click here to read the New York Post’s Rich Lowry’s take on this point.) I’ve read some very nasty comments to and about Christians and others who are skeptical that our government can adequately assess who we are bringing into the country. And again, I’m not trying to change your mind about the mess in the Middle East that is impacting the world.
The point of today’s post is to address our Christian response to verbal and/or social media attacks. Personally, being so public about Jesus, allowing anyone and everyone to see all of my Facebook posts, and writing this blog for the last several years has left me pretty open to attack. I’ve written over 1,100 blog posts and I don’t shy away from hot topics. I know to expect some angry responses. And I have to keep reminding myself that when the people of the world act like the world (or when Christians act like the world, which we will at times do), that I am still supposed to act like Jesus. When people post nasty things about me, write nasty things to me, or talk behind my back, I am not supposed to respond to them in kind (in the same way). And the same goes for you, my brothers and sisters. And it’s difficult.
If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.~John 15:18-19
And we’re not allowed to hate them back.