When discussion of a newspaper issue on religion began in the newsroom, I was very apprehensive. Quite frankly, I didn’t want to even write for this issue because I had, and still have, zero confidence that the staff can handle the topic in a respectable manner. Some of the most wicked things I have ever heard have come out of that room.
I discussed the matter with my folks, telling them I didn’t want to write in an issue of the paper that was likely to be filled with anti-Christian articles, but they said to me that other Christians will likely read the paper and they will be very discouraged if all they see is slander.
The world is very terrible right now, and it’s only going to get worse. Right now, elsewhere in the world, war rages on and everyday the chances of our country being dragged into it increases. Not only that, but civil war begins to boil here and the two sides of the political aisle fight for dominance and total control. The world, which is corrupted by sin, is a terrible place that we must walk through daily.
The world will work against Christ in total opposition. They will tell you to keep to yourself and to not force your beliefs on others while they hypocritically do the exact opposite of what they said to you. They will take the word and twist it and obscure parts of it to their liking, even so-called Christians. The only way to defend yourself from these attacks is to use the scripture as your shield. Read it and study it so that you may be prepared to defend your faith.
However, many who claim to be Christian are often too hateful of sinful men. While we must hate sin, many are hateful of the sinners themselves, but remember that you were once no different.
Nineteenth-century pastor and theologian John C. Ryles wrote, “To treat them with the utmost courtesy, kindness, and charity whenever we do meet them is a positive duty. But acquaintance is one thing and intimate friendship is quite another. To seek their society without cause, to choose their company, to cultivate intimacy with them, is very dangerous to the soul.”
So when you meet someone you know to be an unsaved sinner, do not be hateful to them, don’t even think hateful thoughts, for that is murder. Instead, do your best to spread the word to them.
The scripture, in Matthew 5:13, tells us that “You are the salt of the earth,” salt is a preservative and can disinfect and clean, but also creates thirst. We are to have this effect on the world, to heal it and preserve it, and to make people thirst for God’s word.
The world is falling apart all around us, but remember that we already knew this world to be temporary, and that God’s kingdom is what will last for eternity. We are all wicked sinners, but Jesus Christ’s love paid for our debt of sin, but only those who follow him and reject the world.
So where will you be on the day of judgment?
Connor Keating is a Halstead sophomore in general studies.