It is becoming more “strange” to be a Christian living in the 21st century. I wonder why the majority of American citizens think of us, the ones which held the standard of our nation for two centuries, are looked down upon as extreme–and even compared to the Taliban of Afghanistan sometimes. Why is this?
As a Christian who studies the Bible, I know the answer. It is simply that those that love Christ will be hated by the world (John 15:18). The problem is that most of the world today has made Jesus Christ out to be someone who he is not. As an example, to see Christ as a preacher of social justice and social welfare is completely fraudulent. All one has to do is read the four gospels and know that Christ was preaching the Kingdom of God to the hell-bound world, not trying to make all of the classes “equal.” Yet most mainline denominations (United Methodist, UCC, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Episcopal, etc.) preach the “social gospel” instead of the real gospel. They make Jesus Christ, our Savior, out to be someone who He is not. He is not what some author says (Mark Driscoll, William P. Young). He is not what my minister says. He is not what my high school teacher says. He is who He says He is. The only truly foundational picture we have of Jesus Christ is in the Bible. That is all just one example.
Something that tends to irritates me as a fundamental Baptist is the fusing of Protestants, Catholics, and Baptists together as “Christianity.” The “intellectual” elite tend to do this most unashamedly. They will say things like, “The worst atrocities committed in history were in the name of Christ.” Or, “Religion has caused more bloodshed than anything else.” In one strain, they are right; but when they lump me in there as well, that is when the line is crossed. Did you know, that in history, it was the Roman Catholics mainly, and to a lesser extent, Protestants, that made war in the name of religion? I doubt that anyone can name an atrocity committed by Baptists as a whole. In fact, we were the ones being persecuted by the Pope, John Calvin, and Philip Melanchthon. We never have persecuted other denominations just because they believe differently. We have always been for what Christ has preached: loving your neighbor, and your enemy! It comes from a complete lack of understanding by these intellectuals when Baptists are lumped together with every other religion under the sun.
All of this to say that we are a very strange people to the world. They do not understand that I, who am called by God to be in His ministry, do not concern myself with making “the big buck” in life. Sure, I will make as much as I can to provide for my family, and work for every bit of it; but I did not attain a degree in higher education to make a lavish career for myself. This is one of very few things that people go to college for, caring little if any for the amount of money they make. It is foolish to the world to go to school for four years, just to be a pastor some day, never making a six or seven digit salary. Often, God calls his people to do what will seem very peculiar to the world–and the joy that comes from this money could never buy. This is what the world could never understand. They may try to hyper-analyze and say that, “Oh, he is just given security by his religion. That’s good for him.” I can stand up and say with all confidence: I get all of my security from my God–not some “made-up” religion. The more that the sociologists and physiologists try to analyze, the more foolish they become. I just wish they could know God, and how great He is. Then, they would fully understand.
None of this is esoteric. I am for sure not “duped” by religion, or “brainwashed as a child.” Everything about my faith and belief in God is my own decision. They call us anti-intellectual. I say that they make intellect into something that it is not: secular humanism. They hate to hear it, but humanism is just as much of a religion as anything. Their god is their mind. Their church is the extremely dumbed down universities (compare them to institutions of the 19th century). No, they are the ones duped by their finite minds.
Then, they call us the “American Taliban.” What??? First off, I would never kill someone unless they threatened me or my family. Second, I don’t kill civilians. Third, I don’t kill people from other religions to instill fear and make them convert. Fourth, I don’t advocate modesty police for every citizen. Now what are the similarities? “Oh, you both want our government to be a theocracy.” Now, I believe that government is best run by non-hypocritical Christians, but I would never impose by force or politics my religion on anyone else. Then they say, “Just like the Taliban, you want to impose your morals on everyone.” Again, that is a false and non-informed statement. Do I think that our society is better without alcohol? Without a doubt. Do I believe that people should never live together unless they are married. Definitely. But to do that through politics or mass forced conversion would be like trying to paddle up a waterfall. This is foundational: without people genuinely–by their own decision–being born again, the moral makeup of a nation will never completely accommodate the Christian. Of course, I believe that we should never let our country become Sodom and Gomorrah. Abortion should be outlawed because it is murder. This is not a religious argument!
Altogether though, I simply wanted to illustrate a few points where the liberal elite–religious or not–are so blinded by their own pattern of thinking. They believe what they want. They cannot tell me what I believe nor try to hyper-analyze who God is. God is my creator, savior, and life.