Opportunity through intolerance.

We face intolerance over our faith. I don’t say that as a pity plea nor as a war cry. I simply state the truth. It’s not to hard to believe the reasoning behind it when you look at cults like Westboro. There is a lot of fear over our faith because the press is more obsessed with the wolves in our midst rather than the real deal. Just like the terrorist gets more news coverage than the heroes involved in the after math so do the heretics and hateful people proclaiming Christianity get more press than those who actually live the Christian life.

That’s why I steadily get less and less surprised when I hear things like this current law in the works to essentially ban evangelism in the military. Mikey Weinstein, one of the chief individuals fighting for this new rule had some interesting things to say about Christianity and evangelism.

“Weinstein is the head of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and says Christians–including chaplains–sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ in the military are guilty of “treason,” and of committing an act of “spiritual rape” as serious a crime as “sexual assault.”

I will be the first to admit these statements are incredibly offensive. Easily on the higher end of the most offensive things someone could say on multiple fronts. I’m not sure how anyone looking at things objectively could not find these statements beyond insulting. My gut reaction to something like this is to get angry. If they are going to fight dirty then game on. There will be good intentioned believers out there rallying to set up protests to once again shout out something that we are against. That is always our first response to these situations. We always feel the need to let the world know the things they do they we do not approve of. We are always willing to let the world know what we are against. We are always willing to tell the world the things on the other side of the line that we refuse to cross. Isn’t that part of what got us into this mess though?

I look at statement like these, and if I control my anger I come away with one prevailing thought. Weinstein clearly doesn’t get it. Anyone who actually believes these things clearly does not get Christianity. he Jesus they have been introduced to is a fake. The Christ followers they have met care more about their title than their actions. They only see a fake Christianity. Now I get that plenty of people have seen the real deal and still don’t believe it. However, I have a hard time believing anyone who has seen genuine Christianity can leave it still believing these things.

It is in these moments that we are given a unique opportunity. This is free publicity for our faith. We can use this publicity to once again share with the world what we are against. Perhaps there is more that could be done. Perhaps we can use this as an opportunity to share what we are about. Perhaps this is a time we can share about our love for others. Perhaps we can help prove to the world that even those we do not agree with we can still love and care for thus showing we grasp the spirit of tolerance better than anyone else in the world could fathom. Perhaps rather than spewing hatred and hell warning letters to Weinstein we can pray for him. Not pray for the sinner being prepared to burn for eternity in hell, but instead for the creation of God to experience the real Christ.

Perhaps if we help the world see the good of what we are they will begin to understand the contagion. They will better grasp that faith is not something you can leave in the house. You would have better luck asking a lame man to leave his wheelchair at home. We have a choice my friends. Will we respond to the intolerance and hatred of other with anger and noise, or will we make a lasting impact to use this as an opportunity to show the world what a true Christian looks like?

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