For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ (Philippians 3:18)
"... don't you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be the friend of the world becomes the enemy of God" (James 4:4).
If you are an unashamed and dedicated follower of Christ you will have enemies. A lot of enemies.
The idea of having enemies is not very popular among Christians today because so many of us seem more intent on fitting into culture, or at least getting its affirmation, than opposing it. And the entire idea of having enemies seems out of sync with the Christian life.
But it isn’t.
Jesus made it very clear that He did not come to bring peace, but a sword. Little wonder His life did not end with a crowning, but a crucifying. He also said that we too would be hated by this world. In fact, His apostles and disciples and tens of thousands of followers were put to death for their faith.
So, why are so many Christians today opting for a popular stance in society instead of a prophetic one?
Because we are misguided, that’s why. We actually believe that acceptance by the world is validation of our Christianity… so we don’t’ take a clear stance on anything (no matter how clear the Bible may be) and avoid the issues at all cost.
For others, it’s a kind of spiritual insecurity. Somehow they are not legitimate until they land on Oprah, are covered by USA Today, or invited to make the talk show circuit.
It’s almost as if we are trying to emulate Bono – a kind of rock star or celebrity who espouses Christian faith. Not to denigrate Bono, but a better model would be Bonhoeffer (as in, Detrick Bonhoeffer). He was a believer who clearly saw the lines of good and evil and worked tirelessly to overthrow evil (in his case, Adolph Hitler and the Third Reich). Rather than being crowned with popularity, for Bonhoeffer, it ended in execution at a concentration camp.
Suffice it to say, we are behind enemy lines. And when you are behind enemy lines, there are, well, enemies. The goal is not to be enemy-free, as if Christianity in its purest form is so cheerful... so happy... so agreeable... and so compelling that no one will ever reject it.
No, the gospel is truth. It's God's truth... and, as such, it is offensive to some; especially those with an unregenerate mind. Many will openly reject it, not to mention its moral mandates. No, we are not to embody culture, but to be counter-culture. The
that we advance is not the kingdom of this world. kingdom of God
So stop worrying about having enemies. It goes with the territory.
You’ll have them when you stand for truth.
You’ll have them because you don’t flow with majority opinion when it crashes against Biblical authority.
After all, Jesus did.
And do you really think following Him would avoid any kind of cross?