Thursday, December 18, 2008

Blessed Are You When Men Hate You Because of the Son of Man

Rick Warren's getting grilled.

No stranger to getting flamed by church people indignant over his writings and methods, Warren is now getting flamed by some very vocal supporters of President-elect Obama because he (Warren) is pro-life and against gay marriage.

Shocker, I know.

Rick Warren reads this blog. Or at least, he did at one time. He sent me a kind email once upon a time complimenting the writing here and wishing me well (without so much a peep about my co-opting his "____-driven" thing :-).
I think he's a pretty good guy. That said, I'm neither a Rick Warren fanboy nor a critic -- I've only mentioned him a handful of times on this site, each time positively -- and while I obviously would disagree with him in some areas, I have nothing but respect for him, particularly as it relates to his ministry's great work in Africa.

Here's the thing: Warren is not saying anything outrageous for a Christian minister. He is simply, as most evangelical Christians do, saying that babies should get to live and that homosexual behavior is sin. That he is getting branded a radical hatemonger for these things should tell us a lot about the culture we live in, which -- PAY ATTENTION HERE -- doesn't care if you're a cool, goatee-sporting, social justice loving, Obama voting Christian. If you simply follow the Bible's counsel about life and sin, you're Hitler.

We will see more and more of this. And hear me on this also: this is not cause to rejoin the culture war and restock the Christian Coalition. It is certainly not cause to give up caring about social justice or whoever's being elected president. But it also not cause to give up living the rightside up culture of the kingdom of God, which turns all worldly niceties on their heads. And inspires people to hate us.

Don't be surprised. Don't rev up the marketing campaigns to renegotiate public approval.
When they hate you, when they insult you, when they curse you, it's not because you fell out of God's favor. Being hated was promised by Jesus to those who follow him.
Jesus doesn't need new PR. (He doesn't need anything, really.) He wants self-crucifying, dead-to-the-world, cross-taking lovers of Truth.

If the world doesn't think you're stupid, maybe you're doing something wrong?

9 comments:

Ray Ortlund said...

What if a Christ-resisting world LIKED us? What would that say about us?

Jared said...

I think Jesus said something about that with the whole flavorless salt thing. What happens to flavorless salt? :-)

NaNcY said...

i have seen this happening as well.

Jen said...

Jared, you said what I've been thinking all day since I heard the news about this. And, of course, you're way more eloquent than I would be had I written a post about it (which I thought about but hadn't gotten to because I'm supposed to be working).

Steve said...

Jesus said the world would hate us because of Him, and He said that the world would hate Him because He testified that its deeds were evil.

Nobody likes being called out on their sin, let alone their evil, so we can expect a reaction. But call out we must. Jesus did...

Mark Edwards said...

Thank you for your gracious and wise post.

Anonymous said...

I think I dare to be stupid, often.... and I believe I've not made friends on many occasions when I spoke what I believe to be the truth.... but I really want to be like... is that stupid? : - )

I guess what I would be most interested in... is what, if anything, Barack Obama might add to the Rick Warren conversation. Both Obama and McCain did an interview-type Q&A out at Saddleback with RW... and I don't think Obama did so good... and if he were to comment about the Rick Warren flaming... it might be somewhat revealing... but I don't expect Obama to defend RW's point of view... that would be stupid... politically...

Ah well... what's really new here... as you've pointed out, Jared....?

We are in this world but not of this world... and we're kind of like a rash or something... that gets under the skin of and irritates those who haven't gotten the Jesus vaccine... (was that stupid?)

I think I'm going to check out the ol' University of Stupidity and see if I can get an honorary degree... I've earned it, by gosh...

Cheers,

CEL

Anonymous said...

Now, having read that RW was Obama's choice to give the invocation at his inaugural... it's clear that Barack Obama is open to different points of view... but I still don't think he would defend RW's position on the issues that have outraged the gay/lesbian coalition...

An effort is obviously being made on Obama's part to "bring the country together", as he states... but I'm not sure I can appreciate his profession of faith if he (Obama) is going to be straddling the fence regarding the clarity given in the Bible about homosexuality...

Is that being luke-warm? Is that being tolerant, to a fault? Can Obama have his political cake and eat it, too? Can he be both socially and politically correct, without his faith taking a beating?

I think we're all in for a sociopolitical roller-coaster ride.... and I, for one, hope Barack delivers on his promises... but I'm going to ultimately cling to God's....

I think God has got it going on... and what God says... goes... for eternity... not just 4 or 8 years...

:- )

CEL

Chanda said...

tru dat -- another good one. I'm going to have to get back in the groove of reading this here thingymadoodle... :)