To Christians, Jesus Christ is the Savior of the World, the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords. We especially believe that He is the Prince of Peace. However, to the unbelieving world, the religion He founded is a litany of hatred that some have even labeled genocidal.
During the persecutions of the early Church by the Roman Empire, the main charges leveled against Christians were essentially these: refusing to acknowledge Caesar as the supreme Lord; and claiming that faith in Jesus was the only way to know the true God.
It wasn’t that ancient Rome opposed the idea of another god. They customarily added the gods of their conquered countries to their Pantheon. There seemed to always be room for another.
But what they really opposed was that Jesus claimed to be the ONLY true God and the only way to salvation. If the only way to heaven is by believing in Jesus Christ, it automatically condemns all non-believers to hell.
To the Romans, that constituted a “hate crime.” And since the Caesars claimed deity, it became an act of treason to claim that Jesus was the supreme Lord above him. Two thousand years later, the Bible and Christianity are facing the same charges for basically the same reasons.
Except it’s even more irrational today than it was in Roman times. At least the Romans believed in an “afterlife.” So in their minds, they were being excluded from an eternal reality.
In the West, the biggest persecutors of Christians don’t even believe there IS a hell, but they are still furious at being excluded from it. Now that is irrational – wouldn’t you agree?
A website called Frontline Fellowship that keeps track of such persecutions worldwide noted the following cases. In Sweden, a Pastor in his 70s named Ake Green was sentenced to a month in prison for offending homosexuals in a sermon.
In Canada, Hugh Owens was prosecuted for placing a small ad in his local newspaper. In it, he responded to all that he had been forced to observe during homosexual pride week. His ad simply listed four Bible references.
From these references, he put an equal sign to a drawing depicting two men holding hands. Then he superimposed over this drawing the universal red circle with a slash through it. Before one could even be offended, one had to first to look up the references in the Bible.
But somebody took the time necessary to look it up, be offended and file a complaint. As a result, Owen was charged with a “hate crime” and fined $4,500. The newspaper was also fined.
In New Zealand, two Christian videos that questioned safe-sex slogans and exposed the link between AIDS and homosexual behavior were outlawed by the New Zealand Parliament.
Dianne Haskett, the mayor of London, Ontario, Canada, was fined $10,000 for refusing to proclaim a “Gay Pride Weekend.” After she lost her case in Canada’s courts, she resigned as mayor rather than be forced to proclaim the event – just three weeks before Election Day.
In another incident related to Christophobia, a local school in Canada started distributing copies of the Quran in 1998. It also announced that it would provide a room in which Muslim students could pray during school hours.
Pastor Mark Harding objected. To substantiate his assertion that Canadians should be wary of local Muslims, he produced a pamphlet listing atrocities committed by Muslims in foreign lands.
The pamphlet said: “The Muslims who commit these crimes are no different than some of the Muslim believers living here in Toronto. Their beliefs are based on the Quran. They sound peaceful, but underneath their false sheep’s clothing are raging wolves seeking whom they may devour. And Toronto is definitely on their hit list.”
Pastor Harding was convicted of “hate crimes” and sentenced to two years probation and 340 hours of community service. He was placed under the supervision of Mohammad Ashraf, general secretary of the Islamic Society of North America in Mississauga, Ontario.
His sentence was upheld by Canada’s Supreme Court in 2002. When Harding later attempted to book meeting space in a church in nearby Hamilton, the local newspaper launched a campaign against him.
The Hamilton Spectator’s story opened this way: “A convicted hate criminal trying to organize an anti-Islam conference in Hamilton has become the subject of a new hate-crime investigation.”
In Canada, “phobias” seem to have overruled freedom of speech. Dean Steacy, a top investigator for Canada’s Human Rights Commission, was once asked by defense lawyer Barbara Kulazka in court:
“What value do you give freedom of speech when you investigate one of these complaints?” Steacy’s reply? “Freedom of speech is an American concept, so I don’t give it any value.”
Something similar is beginning to happen in the United States. “Islamophobia” is being increasingly charged against those who would urge surveillance of mosques and Muslim communities. Such actions are rational in the light of recent history.
Christians especially have become aware of what is written in the Quran and are beginning to speak out. If ever a basic holy book promoted hate, certain verses in the Quran do. Yet the Christians are the ones being labeled “hate mongers.”
Jesus predicted that the hate against Christians would be irrational, because it is supernaturally inspired. This all fits into the scenario Jesus and the Prophets predicted would happen in the last days.
Jesus said that shortly before His return, “They will deliver you up to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations on account of My name. ” All around us, we are seeing what He predicted: “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master. ‘ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.”
The world is now falsifying the meaning of Christianity to justify its hatred of Jesus Christ and His followers. Jesus explained why: “And this is the basis of judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed” (John 3:19).