Wednesday, November 02, 2016

The new normal?

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Luke 6:17-36

TO CHEW ON: “‘Blessed are you when men hate you,
And when they exclude you,
And revile you, and cast out your name as evil,
For the Son of Man’s sake.
Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!
For indeed your reward is great in heaven,
For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.’
” Luke 6:22-23

As I write this the U.S. is still in the thick of the run-up to the election. Recently Megyn Kelly on Fox News broke an item relevant to people of faith. It’s a Wikkileaked 2011 email chain between the high-ups of one of the candidate’s organization and John Halpin from the Centre for American Progress.

Speaking of Robert Murdoch (CEO of Fox News) and the News Corp Chairman Robert Thomson raising their children Catholic, Halpin says: “'They must be attracted to the systemic thought and severely backward gender relations.'”

To which Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton’s Communications Director replies: “'I imagine they think it is the most socially acceptable, politically conservative religion—their rich friends wouldn’t understand if they became evangelicals.'”

On Kelly’s show, Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council characterized these critics: “'They believe that people who actually want to live by their faith are backwater people. [They see religion as a] glorified social club—if you want to live your life according to [Scripture] you’re going to be in trouble with Hillary Clinton’” (read entire article).

Now I know people of faith get insults like this thrown at them all the time these days. But when they come from the highest officers of the person who wants to lead the U.S., Christians are justified in taking notice.

To most of the world, this is a non-story (it certainly wasn’t near the top of my news feed but buried deep in the topic of “Christianity” and only because I’ve selected “Christianity” as an area of interest on Google News). But for Christians it's notable for another reason. Isn’t the attitude exhibited toward believers here exactly what Jesus predicted—one of hatred, exclusion, reviling and mocking (Luke 6:22)?

Rather than being dismayed, maybe we should take His advice and “'...leap for joy...'” over this typical treatment as we anticipate the verdict of the One who really matters (Luke 6:23).

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, in countries where, up till now, faith in You and God has been accepted, even appreciated, it’s impossible not to notice the change in attitude. Please help me to remain unshaken in my faith, and true to Your example in my reactions to hatred reviling, exclusion, and mocking. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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