Why does Christian blowback exist? It’s simply because many people, even among the carnal-Christian community, consider Biblically-based morality to be hateful and prejudiced. Of course, the two most divisive points are right-to-life and opposition to gay marriage (and all its iterations). However, these two flashpoints only serve to magnify the underlying rationale for any points of diversion between an all-powerful, all-knowing Creator of the universe and man’s (sorry… person’s) innate self-determination.
Where Scripture contradicts our independent nature, man’s natural response is to reject God in favor of our own, individualized, and ever-changing definition of right and wrong. In the case of abortion, adults are sadly more influential in demanding their freedoms than saving the lives of the unborn. On the subject of gay marriage, compassion dictates that those who seem to be predisposed to an attraction to the same sex should be allowed to exercise the same rights as heterosexuals. The more we drift as a nation, away from our Biblical Christian roots, the louder conflicting voices become.
The Deeper Issue
Without reliance on Scripture, there is no external, objective basis for determining truth. In John 18:37-38, Pilate made the point we see operating today when he reflected, “What is truth”? Postmodern relativism has convinced many that all truth claims are personal and subjective. For the vast majority of Americans, there is no supreme, unchanging law around which to build a moral and ethical framework. The media, in their effort to attract and maintain viewership, are given license to reinforce (and often shape) the emerging/prevailing bias of the day. In our post-Christian culture, truth in journalism is no longer the highest priority.
Reporting which provides compliance and reinforcement of prevailing opinions, regardless of their accuracy, has become the standard of judgement. This is true regardless of political affiliation. Sadly, this is true regardless of spiritual affiliation as well. The rallying cry from those leading our news services, as well as the on-camera minions is, “The ends justify the means.”
Trust in conventional news services is at an all-time low. Only 12% of Americans recently polled by Pew Research expressed “a lot” of trust in national news organizations. As more and more people turn to tribal social media outlets to hear their opinions regurgitated back to them, overall only 4% express that they have a lot of trust in what they hear. This speaks to the point above. Truth is no longer the determiner of consumer value in a news broadcast. Reinforcement of our version of truth determines our viewership.
The Result of Subjective Truth
Of course, the lack of acceptance of supreme truth and resulting shading of the facts is not limited to the news media. Our government officials follow the same practices on both sides of the aisle. A recent poll conducted by Pew Research in May of 2021 indicated that only 25% of “Americans say they can trust Washington to do what is right, ‘most of the time'”. Consider the potential outcome if this survey was conducted later in the year.
The Biblical-Christian Response
We are told in Scripture that Christians should live peaceful lives (1 Tim. 2:2), and support the decisions of our elected leaders (Romans 13:1, 1 Peter 2:13-14). However, we also see evidence of a sinless man (Jesus) behaving in ways that demonstrate the acceptability of righteous anger (Mark 3:5, Psalm 4:4, Numbers 32:13, Psalm 7:11, Mat. 21:12-13).
In this culture of subjective truth and media unjustified bias, Biblical Christians will have to make individual decisions on where to draw the line between peaceful compliance with elected officials and a compelling need to obey God rather than man (Acts 5:29).
Will we try to avoid controversy at all costs?
John 12:41-43 – Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him. Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.
Will we express our views and be persecuted for our beliefs?
John 16:1-2 – I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.
As you answer the question of who you are and where you will individually draw the line, between peace and righteous anger, keep in mind:
John 16:33 – I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
John 13:34 – A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Is there some middle ground between being a rebel and hiding our beliefs?
To this end, I invite you to make this prayer by Scottish minister John Baillie yours: “By your grace, O God, I will go nowhere today where you cannot come, nor seek anyone’s presence that would rob me of yours. By your grace I will let no thought enter my heart that might hinder my closeness with you, nor let any word come from my mouth that is not meant for your ear. So shall my courage be firm and my heart be at peace.”
The Greatest Commandment – Luke 10:27 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
As a Biblical Christian, we need to check our heart and our true motives carefully before we move from John 16:33 to Mat. 21:12-13.