“Jesus, the favorite Child of God, is persecuted. He who is poor, gentle, mourning; he who hungers and thirsts for uprightness; is merciful, pure of heart and a peacemaker is not welcome in this world. The Blessed One of God is a threat to the established order and a source of constant irritation to those who consider themselves the rulers of this world. Without his accusing anyone he is considered an accuser, without his condemning anyone he makes people feel guilty and ashamed, without his judging anyone those who see him feel judged. In their eyes, he cannot be tolerated and needs to be destroyed, because letting him be seems like a confession of guilt.
When we want to become like Jesus, we cannot expect always to be liked and admired. We have to be prepared to be rejected” (Henri Nouwen).
That’s it. Jesus said that if they hated Him, they would hate us. He also said woe to those of whom everyone speaks well. That’s not a good sign.
I’ve seen a trend lately where American believers want to fit in and be accepted, even at the expense of compromising away their convictions and doctrines.
What you end up with is a sort of “Be nice to each other” kind of theology that is of no use to anyone. We will have lost the very message that set us apart and got people’s attention.
I still love what Mike Glenn said about the world not hating us because we’re too different but because we’re not different enough. That’s where the Israelites screwed up by being too much like the nations around them and not nearly enough like the set apart people God called them to be.
Above being liked and being relevant, the priority of believers is still to remain faithful to Jesus and His gospel, no matter what.