Many Hollywood professionals were “blacklisted” in the 1940’s and 50’s from well-meaning government officials who thought those artists might be communists. They knew then – as they know now – that their work influences the world. They targeted writers in particular who might create stories favorable to furthering communism. Many were put on a black list which made them lose their jobs and livelihood. While that was a difficult period, today, a new unspoken blacklist exists in Hollywood. Not from government officials but from many industry leaders who disagree with people of faith. This was evident at the 2017 Producers Guild of America Awards. Mark Burnett was awarded a Producers Guild Award for his reality TV show, The Voice and many of the attendees at the event booed him because of his beliefs. This unspoken undercurrent of spiritual and political intolerance from a community that prides itself on tolerance is almost comical.
So how do we as Christians not fight back or take flight? We don’t do either one. We choose a third way – the way Jesus took. He responded by asking a question or telling a story. Jesus came to people humbly and we are to do the same. The Bible says “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23 NIV). Christians make mistakes and sin just like anyone else and we’re not to fight maliciously or belligerently. Jesus said to love your neighbor as yourself and allowed knowledge and wisdom to take the lead. He used stories so individuals could grasp the meaning and not feel belittled or threatened.
The one time we saw the wrath of Jesus was in the temple with money changers – merchants who clearly had desecrated God’s Temple for selfish gain. Interestingly, His anger was shown toward people who knew better. They were people who called themselves religious but weren’t followers of God’s teachings. We have lots of those in today’s culture. I call them “notional” Christians. They have a “notion” of God, but only follow Him when it’s easy, suits their lifestyle, or doesn’t cause conflict.
The Bible says we will have conflict, especially in the last days. Are you practicing God’s way of dealing with persecution? Jesus said in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. (NIV).
Excellent! In the rise of such spiritual and political intolerance, I think we are about to witness what true strength and integral Christianity looks like at its best. The more polarized the current landscape becomes, the less likely it will be to find a cozy fence to stride. What doesn’t kill you simply makes you stronger.
Thanks for your comment Brenda. Christians need to be trained better in knowing how to defend our faith. We need to know the Word but we need to also know how to speak the language of love and knowledge.