HATRED OF MANKIND
This was one of the charges brought against early Christians by the pagan world. Since Christians refused to participate in pagan rituals, superstitious pagans blamed every catastrophe on Christians. “If the Tiber floods the city, or if the Nile refuses to rise, or if the sky withholds its rain, if there is an earthquake, a famine, a pestilence, at once the cry is raised: ‘Christians to the lion’.” – Terutllian, Apology.
As many believers in God continue to meet for prayer and worship during this pandemic, undoubtedly fearful, suspicious people will bring this charge against Christians today. And this time, instead of superstition, the opponents of Christianity will claim to have “science” on their side. In fact, this is already being done. Last week the New York Times carried an op-ed blaming Christians for the coronavirus. The op-ed also ranted about Christians as anti-science whose social and political influence has put the world’s population in peril.
Then, as well as now, we must stand firm in faith, armed with God’s armor, as we answer these charges. “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who ask you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evil doers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.” – 1 Peter 3:15-18.
I cannot speak for all those who claim Christ, but as I believe in God, I also believe in facts established by science. I trust my doctor and I am a beneficiary of the medical knowledge and advancements in medicine. I am glad to be alive in this era. But science and medicine does not have all the answers and they certainly have their limitations. And I trust the promise of Jesus that as I give Him and His kingdom the priority in my life, I will be blessed – Matthew 6:33.
The world may never understand or accept Christianity, but this trust allows me to be assured in the face of dangers and to have “the peace that passes understanding.” – Philippians 4:7.