At every turn we are seeing the media sell the narrative that Christianity is outdated and oppressive. Not only is Christianity useless in society they tell us, it is also dangerous. Recently in cooperation with Planned Parenthood, many in the media spun the news of a shooting in Colorado saying that it was caused by the “inflammatory rhetoric” of Christians and the pro-life position. We are even seeing the phrase Christian terrorism being thrown around.
So what are we to do in response?
First, we’re not going to be surprised. Christians have been slandered for 2,000 years. It comes with the territory. The apostle Peter wrote of this in 1 Peter chapter 3. He taught that we are to answer slander with the quality of our lives and a reasonable defense of our beliefs.
We must live in a such a way that slander has no audience. Christians, we need a healthy public image. The quality of our lives should make a phrase like “Christian terrorist” seem like the dumbest thing ever spoken. We want our neighbors to be watching the news thinking, “Ha! Christian terrorism. They surely haven’t meet my neighbor. I wonder if they’ve ever actually meet a Christian.”
But that’s the problem isn’t it? How many of your neighbors and co-workers know you are a believer? Christians, it is time to come out of the closet and let your light shine in this darkening time. We need to be present in society doing good while proudly bearing the name of Christ. Let us be salt and light, and may our conduct answer our critics.
Now, along with a good public image brought forth by the good works of true believers, we need to offer a reasonable defense our beliefs. When pressed, we need answers that consist of more than “The Bible says so.” and “I just have faith.” These responses will not often work. They will not be persuasive. And it is unbiblical to only quote the Bible while engaging a non-believing world. For not even Paul employed a scripture only cultural engagement strategy.
When we are charged with inflammatory rhetoric because of our pro-life position, we must be able to offer a reasonable defense. And we have one. There is nothing inflammatory or unreasonable about our belief in the sanctity of all life. The pro-life position states that:
It is always wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human being
Abortion is the intentional killing of an innocent human being
Therefore, abortion is wrong.
How could anyone possibly think that is inflammatory? The only thing that could inflame ones anger is that it doesn’t fit their belief system. But surely the media wouldn’t try to demonize those that don’t share their viewpoint, would they?
Our position is not driven by hate or even religion. It is driven by science and philosophy. Science establishes for us that from the earliest stages of development an embryo is a distinct, living, and whole human being. And philosophically we know that there is nothing morally significant between the embryo I once was and the adult I am today. In short, as Scott Klusendorf explains “although humans differ immensely with respect to talents, accomplishments, and degrees of development, they are nonetheless equal because they share a common human nature.”1
This is our position. It is reasonable. It is grounded in science and philosophy. And it is undergirded by the gospel, the good news that God will forgive all that are in need of forgiveness. And that is all of us. We are all on equal footing before the judgment seat of God. So Church, prepare yourself for slander, and may the quality of your life and your reasonable hope put it to shame.
1. Read "How to Defend Your Pro-Life Views in 5 Minutes or Less" by Scott Klusendorf for a good explanation of this.