Last night I had family over and at the end of a long day we collapsed on the couch to watch a movie.
I searched through pay-per-view to find a movie and happened upon a temporary category in their download section called “Faith and Family Films”…The list was long and pretty good.
It got me thinking, though, about how often I hear leaders complain about how there’s a conspiracy or a movement against Christians and Christian culture. Personally, at least in America, I don’t buy it. And the fact Comcast thought to insert a category for faith films speaks to the reality large companies are more than willing to cater to Christians, and happily so.
Do certain groups hate Christians?
Yes, just as any group of people is oppressed in some ways, but by in large, Christians are more than tolerated in our culture, they are celebrated and have an enormous amount of power.
In fact, it’s hard to think of any other segment of American culture that has as much power as Christians and yet gets as little push back. What race, sexual orientation or religious perspective gets as little resistance as Christians in America. I’d argue none.
What I think is really happening is a small group of Christian leaders identify themselves as victims of an oppressor, an oppressor necessary to live out their own partly delusional narrative they are the heroic underdog up against an evil enemy.
Recently, a controversial pastor in Seattle was confronted with accusing an Orange County City Council of religious discrimination for not allowing him to plant a church in their city. He beat the drums of war and promised his congregation, and the world, he’d stand his ground. One of his own pastors finally went public saying his boss always knew the building wasn’t zoned for a church, had been warned about it and was being manipulative to get his way.
There were hundreds of churches in the town in question. The issue was a zoning issue.
Of course, actions like this make law-abiding, non-manipulative (who are in the majority in evangelical circles) Christian leaders look bad. Playing the victim when you are not a victim is a form of deception. It’s the kind of game the “Father of Lies” likes to play.
Not only this, but this kind of cultural manipulation takes needed attention and resources away from true Christian martyrs all over the world who are truly being oppressed for their faith. In China, Syria, Iraq and Iran, oppression against Christians is rampant. But in Orange County? Really? Aren’t you just flopping like a European soccer player?
I am a Christian. I follow Jesus. There are people who don’t like that.
They are sometimes rude to me. Sometimes they criticize me online. Sometimes to my face. But that happens to anybody who believes anything. I am not a victim. I am not being wrongly persecuted. I’m fine. I know how to turn the other cheek. I’m not crying about anything.