There it was on Facebook. The first of the season. It was an old Christmas re-post of a reposted repost that was reposted again. The meme shouted defiantly that the individual will keep saying ‘Merry Christmas’ no matter how much culture tries to ban it.
I see now that christian persecution complex is a real thing. CPC is the notion that christian values are being oppressed by secular culture. For example:
“Our church is defying health orders to take a stand against the government’s persecution of christian worship.”
Let me try some of my own:
“I will never wear pink T-shirts no matter how fashionable they are!”.
“I am going to buy radishes whether they’re in season or not!”
See? It’s easy to imagine things to be angry about.
It really can be discouraging. All the pettiness and selfishness that’s done in the name of God.
A ‘christian prophetess’ has dispatched a million angels to stop Critical Race Theory from being taught in schools and damaging the children. CRT is the study of how racism has become deeply institutionalized over generations. I mean, what self-respecting prophetess would want the rest of us to learn the secrets of how to take advantage of people?
Donald Trump called in to a conservative christian program last week and ranted against those who doubt his godly intentions. “… nobody has done more for christianity or for evangelicals or for religion itself …” than him. The ‘christian’ broadcaster didn’t challenge the ignorant absurdity of the statement.
An assault trial began this week for a member of an Ontario church and a confrontation over a Covid-19 lawn sign. Of course no guilt has been established but it happened in a community that has become increasingly toxic from the pastor’s outspoken views on masks and vaccines.
‘Yeah, but Brian, they’re on the christian fringes.’
So let’s look at so called mainstream christians.
Just a short while ago a judge ruled against some Manitoba churches who complained that the province’s pandemic restrictions interfered with their charter right to worship. In his statement the judge observed that they “…had failed to make a convincing argument…” and that it was “… at best, a contrary if not contrarian scientific point of view.”
A well-known christian personality spoke out against divisive politics this week, calling for national unity. He said this without a hint of irony as he continues to rail against Democrats and secular culture almost daily. It’s almost as if negativity is the only way he knows how to practice his faith.
A woman in Colorado with stage 5 kidney disease discovered that her hospital wouldn’t perform a transplant until she was vaccinated for Covid-19. Their policy is based on the high rates of organ failure in patients who develop covid. She refused, citing her christian opposition to abortion and the (inaccurate) belief that fetal tissue is used in vaccines.
‘Oh, but Brian, most christians are more reasonable than that.’
Agreed. Happily most are.
I was pleased to read a PEW Research poll showing that by far most churches either endorsed vaccines or chose not to speak about them at all. (The number who openly opposed vaccines is in the low, single-digit percentages.) And then I thought about how much we’ve lowered the bar – how we are now giddy to hear that christians are peaceful.
We are hearing increasingly from those who are arguing about everything from politics to vaccines; from doctrine to Sunday evening church; from masks to music. They are with us on social media, with us in pews, with us as we sip coffee. They are us.
And that’s what bothers us. These are people we like, but we feel badly that they are filling their hunger and thirst for righteousness with shrill complaints and empty beliefs.
Yes, christianity is under attack – but the attack is from the inside. Christian persecution complex is simply revealing the rot that follows the bad teaching and shallow spirituality we’ve come to accept. It’s more proof that christianity without grace and love is just another angry religion.
But don’t let the craziness and dissension discourage you: God is aware, is near, and is in the process of purifying.
So we simply have to begin with ourselves. Am I a disciple of Jesus or am I a disciple of CPC? Is my love for others growing or diminishing? How should that kind of love act?
There is an interesting mini-series on Netflix right now that I won’t recommend because we all have differing tastes. But I really liked it. It’s called Midnight Mass and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about all its mind-stretching layers.
Fair warning, it is graphic in a horror-movie kind of way, and while it has its weaknesses, the music and characters are memorable. In fact, by the time I realized it was the kind of series I don’t enjoy I was already hooked and enjoying it.
As the title suggests, the story is woven around a little church and the fickle faith of its isolated community. The plot is driven by a couple of strong personalities: Father Pruitt, the charismatic new priest and Bev Keane, the Bible-quoting protector of the church who works tirelessly to put people in their place.
When the series is nearing its climax, Bev is met by a fellow citizen she has known for many years. The person confronts the religious fanaticism that Bev has worked so hard to enforce by telling her:
“You aren’t a good person.
“God doesn’t love you more than anyone else. You’re not a hero … and you certainly aren’t a victim.
“God loves everybody. Why does that upset you so much?”
~ ~ ~
Image by www_slon_pics from Pixabay