I am starting to wonder if social media is detrimental to my health and sanity. I go on and almost every time I see accusations of various “phobias,” The one that seems to be getting the most attention is Islamophobia. Let me be clear, prejudice is wrong, and lumping a whole religion together with its troublemakers is equally wrong. There is one “phobia” though that is completely overlooked. I call it Christ-ophobia and trust me when I tell you, it’s rampant and it’s thoroughly ignored. People post all matter of nastiness about Christians and the outrage is suspiciously absent. Some days I really want to respond to it and more than once I have and do you know what it has accomplished. Zip-zero-zilch-nada!
I had a whole other paragraph written in this space before I realized I was responding again and remembering the results those responses have. So if we’re not supposed to respond and we’re not supposed to fight, what would we do. Well, here are a few things:
Read the Scriptures: John 15:18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. 24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’
Jesus prepared us for this. It’s nothing new and the last five words of the passage give us the key to what our behavior must be. We cannot give them a reason to hate us. If they hate us cause we’re like Jesus, that’s on them. If they hate us because we’re jerks, that’s on us. Which brings me to my next point.
2.Instead of paying back hatred for hatred. Instead of fighting for better treatment or taking to the streets with signs, we need to do what we have always been called to do, which is represent Jesus to our world. As 1 Peter 2:12 says, “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” The point is whether people love us or hate us, does not change the fact that we are here to shine the light of Jesus into our world. We are here to love our neighbors, friends and even those who hate us. We need to live the best we can and be the best we can, regardless of the behaviors of the people around us.
For us as creatives, that means creating work that brings God glory and work that advances truth. It can be really easy to be pulled into the tactics that are persistently used against us. If you want to fight something, fight that urge. We are in this world to do good after all…
Haters gonna hate.