The point of this post: I don't want to just wave the flag of my own opinion to no purpose. I don't think that Christian's ought to be looking for trouble, you know, imagining persecution when there is only annoyance at their duplicity. I also don't think that Christians ought to be under the impression that unbelievers secretly admire them, unless this is true.
I also don't think that Christians who receive persecution due to the faithful proclamation of the gospel, ought to whine about that, but rather rejoice as Christ said.
It all started with the "Christmas, 1988, N Train" post below, taken from the BaylyBlog by permission. (This blog is that of Paster Tim Bayly of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Bloomington Indiana and his brother Paster David Bayly of Christ the Word Church in Toledo Ohio.) I don't read the New Yorker, and when I have seen New Yorker comics either on blogs, or whole calendars full of them, I generally don't get them. I am not a New Yorker, I guess. This post, however, I found completely fascinating and compelling.
This raises the question: What does the World think of Christians, Christianity, and God?
My reasoning: I do not think that Polycarp's accusers would actually burn him alive if they secretly admired him, and they certainly would not have filled a stadium with people anxious to see this spectical! Examples like Polycarp go on and on.
Personal experience: A discussion at work over lunch turned to Christian witness. One person present has a sister who is always bringing up church and Jesus to him. He spoke of his sister with contempt in his voice and face. This is a man whom I have never seen or heard referring to someone with contempt. This prompted another person to express hatred for people who try to convince others of the gospel (AKA: force their religion/morality on them). Again, this is a person who, at least in my presense, is generally soft-spoken and sweet. She spoke harsh words tinged with hatred.
At Planned Parenthood one day, when there was a Pro-Abortion protester present, I conversed with some of my fellow protesters about this young woman's motives. These other folks held the opinion that the opposition actually, at some level, sees the wisdom or rightness of the anti-abortion cause. This young woman and others on Thursday mornings have made gestures and comments, they go by shaking their heads in digust, they laugh at the anti-abortion protesters. As one who has been indoctrinated into the American Way over the past many years, spending more time in the kingdon of this world than in the Kingdom of God, I can say with certainty that these people are not on any level, seeing the point. They laugh not out of nervousness that they realize their error, but refuse to face it. They laugh because they recognize that we are fools. They shake their heads not because they are secretly resenting their inability to turn to what they know is right, but because they know we are complete idiots, and cannot fathom someone clinging to these archaic and socially harmful principles.
It doesn't matter what I think, though. What does the Word of God say? It is amazing that God made everything, and therefore is THE expert on what is, and how things work... When He has something to say about something, He is right.
Coming up: What does God say that the World thinks about us?