In places where radical Islam is in control, we expect to find stories of hatred and oppression against those who disagree with them. It is an actual article of faith for radical Islamists to act that way. On the other hand, we don’t expect that from people in the West who tout values such as tolerance and peace. Yet when the definitions of tolerance and peace emerge from a naturalistic worldview, you can actually get the same kind of hatred and oppression.
Take a September 2018 event that happened in England, for example. Franklin Graham was scheduled to travel to Blackpool, England to speak at the Lancashire Festival of Hope – a Christian event about the hope that can be found in Jesus Christ. However, there was a movement to protest his coming, even to the point of trying to ban him from even entering the country. These protesters claimed that Graham’s biblical beliefs about homosexuality and Islam promote prejudice and hatred, and they called him a bigot. There are even government officials and some Blackpool clergy who were among the protesters.
While it was expected that Muslim and homosexual activists would be protesting against Graham, interestingly, the greatest objection to his coming came from the country’s Atheists. It seems that the Christian message exposes the intolerance of their belief in “tolerance,” as well as shines a light on their support of immoral lifestyles.
But if you think this kind of hatred of a Christian worldview is limited to a secularized Europe, think again. We see this very same naturalistic worldview being expressed daily, even in America, as Christian values are increasingly attacked. Christians are being attacked in the media, in the entertainment industry, in the court system, in the workplace, and, in some places, even in state and local legislative bodies. The expressions of this can be seen as we watch the rule of law being overridden by activist judges, Christian symbols being systematically removed from the public square, and Christian values ridiculed in the media.
As Christians, it is important to stand up against these various attacks out in society. But in the long run, political and social activism will not solve the problem. The root of this opposition is spiritual, not political or social – and the solution will also have to be spiritual. Changed hearts are the only solution to hearts that promote hatred toward God and Christians.
As we seek to promote the message of peace from Christ, and the hope that we desire in the future, it is essential that we recognize that outward peace emerges only from a pure heart devoted to God, and true hope only exists in relationship to God. If we want to effectively express peace and hope in the world, we have to do it by sharing with people how they can know the Prince of Peace and the Author of Hope. To do this, we cannot make it our primary focus to change society. Rather, we must help people have a true change of heart. Outward peace and hope will naturally follow.
Freddy Davis is the president of MarketFaith Ministries. He is the author of numerous books and has a background as an international missionary, pastor, radio host, worldview trainer, and entrepreneur. Freddy is a graduate of Florida State University with a BS in Communication, and holds MDiv and DMin degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a popular speaker, particularly on the topic of worldview and its practical implications for the Christian life. He lives in Tallahassee, FL, with his wife Deborah.
You may also contact Freddy at Leadership Speakers Bureau to schedule him for speaking or leadership engagements.
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