Do you ever look at the ‘readers' comments’ sections of on-line newspapers? Be careful - it can be quite disturbing!
Whenever there is an article or editorial to do with Christianity (or any other faith), it is followed by a rash of comments mostly with this theme: ‘Religion is based on a set of myths and lies, and these myths and lies have brought untold misery to humanity throughout history. We need to throw out the myths, expose the lies and duplicity of those who propagate them, and bring freedom to the millions who are fooled by religion.’ This is what many people genuinely believe nowadays.
Only a few decades ago, religious faith was generally seen as ‘a good thing’ even by those who did not have any faith themselves. (At the same time, people could describe themselves as ‘Christian’ when all it meant was a belief in doing good, with a casual nod to traditional religious observance.) But nowadays, a declaration of personal faith can expose us to ridicule or outright hostility.
Is this surprising? Not at all! Should we be worried? No! Should we be prepared? Yes!
If you feel that you just don’t seem to fit in with the world around you, it’s because you don’t! But this is no excuse to withdraw from the world entirely. Instead, we are to be ‘in the world but not of the world’. We are to be ‘salt and light’. Salt preserves and adds flavour, but it also stings and people try to keep it away from the corrupt places. Light exposes evil, therefore evil prefers the dark and hates the light.
So, let’s be salt and light! ‘Happy are you when people hate you, reject you, insult you, and say that you are evil, all because of the Son of Man!’
Prayer: Lord God, whenever I am discouraged by the lies of the enemy, please bring Your Truth into my heart so that I can stand up to whatever comes against me. I choose to be salt and light. I choose to believe Your Truth and to live by it, whatever the world says. Amen.
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