So this morning I came across an interesting piece written on a website called Fame 10 and the title caught my attention. The title is “8 Most Outspoken(And Annoying) Christian Celebrities”( http://www.fame10.com/entertainment/8-most-outspoken-and-annoying-christian-celebrities/)and as I began to read down their list it really had me thinking.
Aside from Prince being mentioned as a Jehovah’s Witness(which isn’t Christian honestly) and maybe a few others who have had questionable displays of whether or not they’re believers, the people on this list appeared to be singled out just for being outspoken about their faith and less about being annoying.
Once I got to the top two ‘annoying’ Christians on the list, it was completely confirmed that where we are as a nation and humanity, where we can declare Christians annoying just because they’re living out what the Bible says, and promotes Biblical submissiveness among other things. It says alot when other celebrities can be outspoken for their support for everything, from gay rights to environmentalism and even abortion, and it be seen as normal and needed. The top two on the list were Candace Cameron Bure and Kirk Cameron, who both have had legendary careers on the TV screen, on sitcoms Full House and Growing Pains respectively.
After I read the article I felt stirred, and it wasn’t even because Christians were being mocked necessarily, we expect that because its the world. The book of John even says that, “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”(John 3:19) But I was stirred because of how easy we have forgotten some pesky and unavoidable facts of the impact of Christians in the very country we live in and the world at large. The Church has been relegated to being a nuisance, and a pest overall to society, merely needing to be trampled upon so that the world can move on from its shackles. I feel like Paul felt when he expressed that, “I have become a fool in boasting; you have compelled me”(2 Corinthians 12:11 NKJV), with what I’m gonna say next.
I would caution those who aren’t Christians, to remember that there were those ‘annoying’ Christians in the past who were the reason that some of the most prestigious hospitals and colleges that many pay top dollar to go to even exist. When you think of the names Harvard, Princeton, and Columbia your first thought isn’t Christianity or even theology, yet the reason they were established was because of how concerned the Lord is that we learn and grow in wisdom and understanding and in helping the world. We then must remind ourselves of how often Christians put themselves in danger to establish orphanages and provide help to the impoverished, even with the recent ebola outbreak, having a doctor from a Christian relief organization contract ebola because he was helping patients with ebola. There were Christians that were central to the fight for the freedom from slavery, from Harriet Tubman to Frederick Douglas, that being led by their faith were OUTSPOKEN in their views which made headway in this fight.
There are many more things that I can list at this point, but suffice to say that Christians have not only been outspoken about their faith, but they have shown the fruits what faith in Christ looks like in the world, and without it the world would be a VERY different place.
I would be remiss though if I did not call to attention the partial reason why the world has relegated the Church to being a nuisance and something to move on from. Just as I have listed Christians who have fought for the freedom of slavery, there is dark and sordid history of professing Christians fighting FOR slavery and even having slaves. The Bible says that its words are twisted by the untaught and unstable to their destruction (2 Peter 3:16) and also references the heart as, “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?(Jeremiah 17:9 KJV). We also see the fruits of this verse when there were witch hunts back then, hypocrisy, Pastors using their position of authority to molest children, abusing their wives, adultery, as well as how legalism can snuff out the desire and ability to see Jesus as He really is. Jesus said that, “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.”(Matthew 5:13 NLT) and His words are true before our very eyes. As much as I see hypocrisy and bias in the article, I see the fruits of sin that has made us as the salt of the earth lose our saltiness.
Aside from the obvious repentance needed because of the sins of the Church, there is one more aspect that we tend to lose sight of in this time that we live in. Since Jesus established His Church on the revelation of Himself as God, Savior, and Lord, there has been a concerted effort to make Him and His people invalid in the world so that humanity doesn’t turn to the truth. Two weeks ago on Instagram, I posted my thoughts on Proverbs 2:6-7, and I explained that since the spirit of the antichrist is already in the world and we have Satan as an adversary, we notice a specific attack on the people of God as an attack on God HIMSELF. In God is wisdom, knowledge, and understanding (Colossians 2:2-3)…don’t you notice that Christians are always pegged as stupid, ignorant, and foolish? We all know that as Christians there’s no perfection here, and we are all at different levels in understanding, yet at the same time we must remember that we have an “acccuser of the brethren”(Revelation 12:10). We’ll have the enemy attack and try to draw our pastors into sin so that we continue to lose our saltiness and integrity in the world, we’ll have the enemy sow seeds of discord to keep us fighting, gossiping and operating in condemnation. Then we’ll have demons promote their false doctrines so that confusion reigns and makes people spiritually weary so that they do not see the truth of Christ nor even want to bother with going through finding it. In spite of God saving souls and giving them the Holy Spirit so that people can learn how to walk enlightened and in His power, holiness, wisdom, and understanding, there’s always been a veil cast so that many will only see it as the opposite.
In the time of the Roman Empire the Church was seen as rebellious to the Empire, sadistic(didn’t understand why we do Communion), suspect, weird, pointless, and more. Satan inspired government leaders to devise all kinds of torture so that believers would leave the faith, the Bible even says that through this, he was as a roaring lion seeking to devour believers (1 Peter 5:8).
As we witness the world mock our brothers and sisters in Christ, and see the wickedness that does occur in the world, may we be diligent in our thinking so that it may be Christ like and let us not forget the power of God that is in the gospel that we preach. Let us not forget that through the presence of God and His rule and reign being expressed through His Church the world has been tremendously changed in spite of the evil that plagues us. May we not despair and lose the will to stand firm in the truth of Jesus because of what we see and hear. If they call us annoying, let it not be because we walk in hypocrisy and sin, but let it only be because of Christ in us, and through us. No matter what anyone says or do, because Jesus reigns, no matter how annoying He may seem to the world…He’s never gonna go away. We all will stand before Him and give an account for our lives, so strive to live in His love. Don’t be so worried about their perceptions of us, as long as sin and Satan remains that will come, just do the will of God and be transformed by Him.