Emily Timbol, writing at Huffington Post, says that being hated by the world should not be a point of pride for Christians:
Last Friday, Gawker, no stranger to harsh criticism, posted an article declaring that "Christian Evangelical" is now an empty phrase. A few days later, a Barna Group study made the rounds on the internet declaring that the majority of modern Christians are more like Pharisees than Jesus. Ouch.
Responses to the Barna Group study varied. Some Christians posted it with a simple accompanying, "Amen." Others were defensive, and questioned the findings. But one response to this damning view of Christianity kept popping up in my News Feed.
"Good. If the Christian-bashing world hates us, it means we're doing something right." ...
When you dive into that Barna Group study, or really any study that's come out in the past 50 years about the world's view of Christianity, you'll see that Christians aren't being hated because of the radical, faithful way they're following Christ. They're being hated because they've spent 2,000 years telling the world what Christ died for, but then doing the opposite. Often in His name.
It's time that Christians stop accepting this label of "hated" as a badge of pride, and start viewing it as a warning. It shouldn't be a chink in our armor against darkness. It should be a call to cause us to examine the weakness we have before we go into battle. Because it's true that if we're following Christ, we'll be hated. But it's important to pay attention to just who will be hating us -- and why.
It's only then that we can get back on track to doing what Christ sent us to do. Loving God, loving our neighbors, and following His example in how to do just that.
Read her full post here. And earlier this week, John Blake wrote about the recent tendency of conservative Christians to claim persecution for their views on homosexuality ("When Christians become a 'hated minority' ") at CNN's Belief blog.