Faith under Siege

Three events highlight the struggles that people of faith must recognize and face head-on in the increasingly hostile and secular world. I’ll follow a triangle from biggest in scale to smallest…

1. The abusive priest problem goes back a long time. That doesn’t excuse it in any way; in fact, it shows how insidious the trouble has been. A fringe minority of people in positions of trust have done absolutely horrible things while cloaked within the Church and wearing the robe of the Lord. It’s real, and it’s evil, period. Yes, they and their knowing enablers committed wretched crimes in the Lord’s name, which is as purely bad as bad gets. That’s not an indictment of religion itself either, as so many anti-religious zealots wish to smear with a one-coat-fits-all paintbrush. The faith didn’t commit those crimes! People did…bad people who need to be not only defrocked, but locked up so they never again can come anywhere near a child. This is the ugly reality of the nature of imperfect humanity, a humanity of brokenness and manifest evil, an intrinsic part of the very same godless humanity that atheists want us to embrace and celebrate. Yes, godless. These priests doing heinous things in the name of God are, in reality, separated as far as can be from God when they are doing so. They were no closer to God in those acts than Mao Zedong and Josef Stalin, both atheists, both also representing that same ugly human reality when slaughtering millions for mere disagreement or suspicion thereof. I will neither endorse nor tolerate any religious or nonreligious group or individual that violates kids, bombs subways and buildings, or commits summary genocide. Yet the enemies of Christianity surely will use new developments on this front, as they have in the past, to smear religion. That too is a predictable and longstanding pattern. And it’s reactionary, thoughtless, kick’em-while-they’re-down crap.

2. These extremist nut cases in the Michigan backwoods do not, in any reasonable or rational way, represent Christianity! Yet you can bet that anti-Christian hatemongers the world over, including a good many right here in the States, will use the actions of a fringe few to mis-characterize the rational majority. Just watch.

3. So some Trinity University grads want “Year of Our Lord” off their diplomas. Hello, wake up here…it’s Trinity University! If they didn’t want references to the Lord on their diploma, they should have matriculated elsewhere. Otherwise, use an eraser, piece of dark tape, liquid paper or scissors. University admins should not let the tail wag the dog and make rash decisions to appease a shrill and exceedingly minuscule minority in the name of political correctness.

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One powerful undercurrent is clear to me from these developments and others recently, including assorted hostile socio-political proposals from the halls of Congress and the current Administration. Ignore the badly mistaken misconception of anyone who denies the following 5 words: Christianity is under ferocious attack. This is the case not only from without, but from within, from the far right and from the far left! Lie down and take it in facile submission, thereby becoming part of the problem, or speak out and push back.

Jesus himself had many enemies, not the least of which was Satan himself, and one thing the Savior did not do was compromise his values for any of their sake. Nor did he stand idly by, as many of today’s Christians do, and meekly ignore anti-scriptural garbage in the name of “diversity” or “tolerance,” nor for the sake of keeping quiet and not making waves. News flash: Jesus was not a wimp. He was a controversial figure of the first order, a rabble-rouser, a troublemaker, and he knew it. Lest we forget, he got really pissed off at malfeasance going on in a place of worship, wielded a whip, overturned tables, and ran the money changers out of the temple grounds. Prince of peace? Indeed. Warrior? You bet. In many ways, he was both, without any conflict or contradiction between the two.

We must not be simpering cowards and let our faith be besmirched, especially from within. I’m far from perfect myself; but I’m not about to just sit idly and keep quiet about such things, sticking my head in the sand and pretending it will go away. If someone you loved was being insulted and smeared with hate from many directions, how would you react?



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