Ridiculed for Christ

January 27, 2010 at 9:01 pm 2 comments

Am I willing to look like an idiot for Christ? 

I was thinking about that today.  Recently, I’ve been given lots of opportunities to listen to other people ridiculing my faith.  (Well, they weren’t specifically talking about me – they were talking about Christians in general).  A classmate was poking fun at a “wacky” conversation she overheard, where a girl was concerned about a guy because he wasn’t a Christian and therefore a relationship wouldn’t work out.  And another classmate was laughing at the stupidity of Communion – some ritual involving bread and wine and body and what??  (My teacher offered the comment that while there’s lots of different “breads” – wafers, crackers, pita, whatever, now some churches are making the switch to whole wheat pita, so the body of Christ is healthy.  And some serve grape juice, because obviously they don’t believe in drinking).  And it continued in this vein, poking fun at the writing of the Bible and comparing certain elements to other strange parts of other faiths.  (“And remember, we can’t judge religion by logic,” my teacher cautioned, which is absolute nonsense, because I, for one, want to know beyond the shadow of a doubt that what I’m believing is actually true and not just hocus pocus).

I didn’t jump into the conversations – it wasn’t really appropriate, and I didn’t know what to say anyway – but their comments did make me feel uncomfortable.  Foolish.  Awkward in the only stupid and weak people need to hang onto religion to make it through life kind of way. 

You know, it’s so funny.  Christians were and are being actually persecuted for their faith – tortured in unimaginable ways for the sake of the Cross.  Jesus promised, in fact, that we would be hated because “the world loves its own”, and we no longer belong to the world, no longer owe it our love and allegiance. 

And we fuss because we look stupid.

He promised us that too, actually (Jesus is very up front with everything we’re getting ourselves into!); the Bible reminds us that “the message of the Cross is foolishness” to those who don’t believe, “but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Cor. 1:18)  It goes on to say that “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them…” (1. Cor. 2:14).

We are incapable of understanding God unless He Himself is working in our lives and revealing Himself to us, allowing us to see and understand.  Therefore, of course these classmates consider this to be so much rubbish.  It’s foolishness to them. 

But the question is, how do I respond?  I do get uncomfortable; I do feel like an idiot.  Sometimes, we think it would be easier to stand up, to do anything for Christ, if it required actual danger – you know, the “I’ll die for you, Lord, but don’t make me look stupid in front of my friends!” bit.  Nobody likes embarrassment. 

And it’s awkward overhearing their impressions of us.  Sometimes, it makes me sad, because we have indeed done an awful job of representing Christ.  And my friends are rightly offended at what they perceive as “Bible-thumping” and “tract-shoving” people looking for “conversion bonus points”.  That’s another topic entirely.  (I cringe, too, when I pass people preaching in front of the student union.  We have a few regulars to come and stand there with their Bible and yell at people as they pass, about hell and sin and whatnot.  And what they’re saying may be theologically true, but it’s just such an awful and ineffectual way to show people the freedom and love and grace that is Jesus.  No one appreciates religion shoved down their throats.)  Anyway, I’ll step off my soapbox and get back to the topic at hand.

The point is that this is nothing new.  I’m going to look stupid a lot, and I may even run into legit persecution.  I shouldn’t be surprised, and I shouldn’t be blindsided when people think I’m an idiot or inferior because of Christ. 

But He was mocked and ridiculed too.  (Not to mention killed).  Should I expect to be treated any better?  Why should I fuss because I’m not popular, or ignored, or made to feel silly? 

Isn’t the Cross worth it?

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Entry filed under: faith.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Joanna  |  February 3, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Thank you for this thought-provoking post, dearest. I haven’t thought about it like that – “Am I willing to look like an idiot for Christ?”. But you’re right – Jesus looked like one, and as followers of Him, we should expect the same.

    Reply
  • 2. Donna  |  February 4, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    I came across your blog on Kelly’s Mcklinky for “Simple Pleasures” and I identified with your blog immediately, especially this post!

    I can’t even begin to count the number of times a similar situation to the ones you have written about above that I have been placed in since beginning university.

    Your blog is so thought provoking and easy to relate to for me. I’ll be sure to follow.

    Reply

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