The world needs unbridled, unfiltered Christianity. The ancient, remarkable, simple, beautiful Gospel of the crucified and risen Jesus Christ. It’s what’s been sparking revival in sub-Saharan Africa, southeast Asia, and Latin America. It’s what brings the world to life and makes the darkness tremble. This planet needs the sting and salve of the message of repentance from evil deeds and full-bodied trust in Jesus Christ, not merely a winning smile and a pleasant-sounding insinuation that everything’s going to be just fine.
Packaged, focus-group-tested, man-centered, worldly Christianity, Christianity where we try to be so much like the world that they won’t be bothered or offended, makes Satan laugh and lulls unbelievers faster to sleep as they careen towards God’s eternal judgment.
The world needs us to be willing to be hated. Not to seek it out, mind you, but simply to be ready to accept when it comes, and then to respond with mercy and forgiveness and more pleading for them to repent and believe. We are tragically misguided if we thing that if we as Christians were more like Jesus, everyone would love us. The truth is that if we were far more like Jesus, many people would love us deeply, but many others would be standing right behind them, shouting for Barabbas to be released so they could get on with their crucifixion. And Satan might be right there with them, snickering at our blood.
But then it wouldn’t be the first time he was shortsighted.