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A culture war – or a war against Christ?

Dr. Michael Youssef   - Guest Columnist
http://www.michaelyoussef.com/

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Dr. Michael YoussefSome in the media have popularized the term "culture war," giving the impression that the war being waged against Christianity is the same thing as a war against everything that is traditional.

But in 2013, let's change the term. Let's call it what it is: "A war against Christ."

Certainly there are many American traditions rooted in Christian teaching and history. But mixing some traditions with what is purely Christ-honoring -- although it may recruit support from non-Christian traditionalists or conservatives -- dilutes the Christian dye.

Take for example the ACLU's war against Christians praying in public schools while obliging Muslims the ability make their  noon prayers in a school. Or Vanderbilt University's discrimination  against Christians -- forbidding them from meeting on campus if they adhere to their religious principles. Or dozens of other cases that are clearly a war against Christ and His followers -- pure and simple.

So let's call it what it is.

Christians know why the world hates us. The One we worship warned us 2,000 years ago. Jesus said that the reason they hate us is because they hated Him. Just look what they did to Him!

Christians should seek to understand that type of hatred. But by "understand," I don't mean we should wave the white flag of surrender. On the contrary, we should be worried if the secular culture were to embrace us with open arms. We ought to be wary, for example, if Piers Morgan were to one night praise the sacrificial services that Christians practice as an indication of our love for Christ and one another. Or we should be concerned if MSNBC were to run a documentary on how so many the things that civilized the world -- from our educational system to the hospital movement -- were ALL inspired by the teaching of Jesus Christ.

The norm is for Piers Morgan and his ilk to praise Angelina Jolie for donating a goat to an African village or applauding Brad Pitt for giving a few crumbs from his bulging table to the South African poor through the U.N.

But true Christians do not seek to give of themselves -- healing the sick, feeding the hungry -- so they can be recognized by the likes of CNN. In fact, if we seek the praise of those who control this world's system -- even if some of them call themselves Christian -- then we have lost our reward in Heaven.

I know the desire to have the world recognize their service lures in some Christian leaders. But what they actually get sucked into is a diabolical scheme to equate their obedience to Christ to the "charitable work" of non-Christian groups.

Let them, and us, be forewarned that to crave the world's praise is to lose something far more important: our eternal reward.

Our attitude should be to let them hate us all they want, while we will still love our enemies and bless those who persecute us.

Let them malign us all they want. We will not return evil for evil. We will let our "good" defeat their "anti-Christ" schemes.

Let them denigrate our love for our Lord, and for others, all they want. They can never defeat our caring spirits. "Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world."

We are not in a public relations war. We are in a spiritual war. Therefore, don't wave the white flag. Don't be tempted to cave in to their pressure.

Keep on serving. Keep on loving. Let them war against us to their hearts' content. For we read the last chapter, and it says, "The Lord wins!"

Have a power-filled 2013!


Michael Youssef, PhD is an Egyptian-born American and founding rector of The Church of The Apostles. His messages are broadcast 3,800 times a week into 200 countries through Leading The Way Ministries. He holds a PhD from Emory University in Social Anthropology. His blog: www.michaelyoussef.com. Follow on Twitter: @MichaelAYoussef.

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