Why does the world hate Christianity?

Questions about God, the Bible and the Christian culture

(Click here to read Monday Musings ... the place where I discuss the thinking that went into this article.)

Question: Why is Christianity — out of all religions — the one most mocked and hated on the Internet?

Answer: Greetings friend. Thank you for asking this important question. This question challenges us to examine ourselves — to see if we are in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5). Since I think more “believers” should test to see if they are indeed in Christ, I like your question very much!

That being said, if what we affirm as Christians is true (and that is our stand around here), then what people think of us is beside the point. In fact, if the world thinks ill of us — and your question implies that it does — then we are probably doing our jobs as Christians! The last thing I’d want to be is a Christian who is loved by the world.

Jesus himself taught about this dichotomy: either our hearts belong to him or they belong to the world. Now, we need the world to serve and glorify God. But we should exercise caution: we are to love the world’s people but not its systems. We must use the world to perform the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), but we should do so without preferring it over Jesus (Matthew 6:24).

But here’s the thing: people of the world — that is, people who do not have the indwelling Holy Spirit — understand on some level that many things traditionally associated with God exist. For example, God has revealed himself in creation (Romans 1:18-20) and in human morality (Romans 2:14-15)… and everybody “knows” this. People of the world also understand that we Christians see Scripture as authoritative… and that it teaches how God wants humanity to engage this world (2 Timothy 3:16).

But since the unregenerate person cannot understand spiritual things (1 Corinthians 2:14), those who do not belong to Christ live with a cognitive dissonance between the things the world teaches and the things they know internally... and I think this dissonance is the key to answering your question.

You see, people refuse to see their sin for what it is. Yet, they are horrified that we might be right about damnation! In my opinion, this is the primary reason why they lash out... at least, this is why I lashed out before I was saved. I sensed God’s pull (John 6:44) … but I felt the world’s pull too.

God won, of course... but it cost us both: it cost me my pride (Proverbs 26:12; 1 John 2:16), and it cost him his Son (Romans 5:8). Salvation, it seems, is expensive on both sides. This “cost to self” is one of the reasons that people who have not come to grips with their sin are not inclined to change their lives.

(I highly recommend that you watch Ray Comfort’s teaching, “Hell’s Best Kept Secret.” Find it at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ucnf4rm75Fk.)

So, why do they hate us? God created every one of us with a moral core (Genesis 1:26; Romans 2:14-15). But people of the world dismiss, rather than embrace, what they feel in their souls to be a godly, moral and necessary path. So, they are threatened by people like us who have already chosen to enter the narrow gate and are following the narrow way (Matthew 7:13-14). To them, Christians are nuts! Who in their right mind goes out of their way to limit their life’s options like we Christians do? Turning from everything they know is a huge decision, though, so who can blame them for lashing out!

Now, I too confess that sometimes I feel a little beat up by all the anti-Christian rhetoric. But I take heart: potentially, there is a convert behind every acerbic remark. Perhaps he or she will someday look back on their tirades like the apostle Paul did when he remembered how he had terrorized the Church — which is, in terms more tuned to his offense, “The Body of Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:9; Ephesians 4:12).

This is my primary answer. Since God made us to be moral creatures, those who are in the process of figuring out what that morality will cost are in a spiritual crisis... and their engaging in anti-Christian rhetoric on the internet is a cry for help. However, I do have a few more ideas.

My second idea is the world hates Christianity because Christianity is “the establishment” — and people feel the need to “rage against the man,” if you will. (Excuse the dated references. I came of age during the 60s.) Rebellion was the first sin (Genesis 3:6; 1 Corinthians 15:22), and rebellion has been humanity’s flagship sin ever since (Deuteronomy 31:27; Hebrews 3:8).

Now, the following observation might time-sensitive, but it speaks to Christianity being “the establishment.” Today, children are indoctrinated rather than educated, so they may not have been exposed to all the historical facts about Christianity’s contributions to culture.

You see, people of the world make caricatures of us; they imply that we are back-woods-Bible-thumpers who hate social progress and science. But what “society” has forgotten is that Christianity was the force that launched and sustained Western civilization.

We Christians discovered the scientific method. We established hospitals, spread knowledge, development and advanced the cause of women. We helped countries flourish by encouraging people to obey their governments. After all, the Bible encourages us to work peaceably, pay taxes — to be good citizens! The result is that, over the centuries, we have developed a certain “moral gravitas” … and morality is continually assaulted by Satan and his troops.

What makes their job easy is that people tend to forget how God has worked in their culture (Judges 2:10), and they start to rebel against those who carry God’s torch. They — the very beneficiaries of Christian faithfulness through the decades ask of the establishment — “Who do you think you are!” And those who are benefiting from the freedoms brought through Christ squander that freedom with the attitude, “No one tells me what to do!”

Third and finally, people hate — and I mean hate our claim — that salvation comes only through Christ. They would “put up” with our worshipping Christ as long as we affirmed that all other “ways” are equally valid. But we will have none of that because Jesus would have none of that! Nor would his followers!

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6, NIV)

[Peter said] “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12, NIV)

Thanks again for asking this question. I enjoyed our time together. I hope that these perspectives helped.

 

(Mainsail Ministries articles often have a preamble where I discuss the thinking that went into them. These are called Monday Musings — and if you haven’t read the one associated with this article — consider doing so at the following link: 20210614 Why does the world hate us Christians so much?).

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