A couple weeks ago I watched aghast as Bernie Sanders made outlandish declarations about Christians in positions of political power. I was appalled, not by his disdain of orthodox Christendom (which was not surprising), but rather by the fact that Sanders champions “love,” “acceptance,” and “tolerance” yet his diatribe was laced with rank hypocrisy being anything but loving or tolerant of those holding beliefs contrary to his own. This open assault from a famed politician was only the latest in a landslide of attacks against the message and followers of Jesus.
With increasingly more pressure at every turn for believers to compromise the Gospel and cower in fear, we need, more than ever, to be reminded of how we are to operate within this God-supressing culture. We need to remember what we are called to. We need answers on what it looks like to fight for the faith while loving like Jesus did.
As antagonism mounts, believers are beginning to crumble. Doctrine once clutched tightly is now deemed irrelevant preferences or harmful dogmas. Clergy and congregants are openly denying foundational Christian truths all in the name of love and cultural sensitivity. Words such as sin, repentance, confession, wrath, depravity, predestination, and atonement are classified as controversial, the truths behind them only held to by narrow-minded bigots. Compromise abounds. “Let’s just show them the love of Jesus!” the glee-filled quasi-believers quip, all the while failing to realize that a compromised Christ is nothing more than an anti-Biblical fantasy with no power to save.
In reaction to this blatant compromise other believers white-knuckle the fundamentals of Christianity swinging far free of anything resembling love or acceptance. Their tone is demeaning. Living lives looking more like a big bully than a little Christ, they pride themselves on burying their opponents almost taking pleasure in damning souls.
There is a better way. The answer is not bigotry. The answer is not compromise. The answer is found in the writings of Jesus’ little brother: Jude. This brief epistle paints plainly how Gospel-embracing believers living in the midst of a hostile, sin-riddled society should respond. It is a message that Christians need to hear. It is a message I am looking forward to unpacking this summer at BLDG 28.