Christians … a Threat to the Social Order?


HighBeamMinistry.com

Facebook can be a pain in the tuchus.


What’s a tuchus? Read for yourself.


When you look at the bottom of the definition, you see that tuchus means, well, “bottom.”


“Borrowed from Hebrew taḥath (tachath) ‘under, below’.”


Now that you know what a tuchus is, here’s a quote from the Merriam-Webster definition that made me smile.


“The world already has competitions for talent and achievement, irrespective of how one's tuchus looks in a bikini. These competitions have names like "the Nobel Prizes" and "American Idol," and the standards are way higher. (Gene Weingarten)”


Made you smile, too, right?


Anyway, Facebook can be a real pain in the tuchus, except when someone posts something that stirs your thinking. I read the following post from Roger Kuhn from the International Ministerial Fellowship (Read More) , the organization through which I’m ordained.


“We heard Tim Keller preach when we were in Manhattan, and he seems to know how to speak clearly there in his city. Here's a quote from a few days ago:


* Roman Empire: “You Christians are too exclusive. You threaten the social order because you won’t honor all deities.”


* Modern West: “You Christians are too exclusive. You threaten the social order because you won’t honor all identities.””


This quote got me thinking. What is a deity? To the Merriam-Webster Dictionary!


According to Merriam-Webster, a deity is:


1: the rank or essential nature of a god: divinity.

2: when capitalized: god sense, supreme being.

3: one exalted or revered as supremely good or powerful.


Christianity was perceived as a threat to Rome for several reasons, most of them baseless and easily disproved (Examples). However, some of the accusations were true, such as not honoring the Roman gods. Because Christians refused to accept the Roman pantheon (“the gods of a people” (Source), Christians were regarded as atheists. They were also accused of treason since they refused to acknowledge the Emperor as a god (the imperial cult).


Roman society was infused with idolatry and the social order was maintained by allowing everyone to worship their preferred gods, the spiritual or physical entities they regarded as “supremely good or powerful.” Of course, one of those gods was the Emperor himself.


“Go ahead and worship whom or what you will. Just be sure to offer a pinch of incense to the Emperor (imperial cult worship).”


But Christians wouldn’t bow to the Roman deities. To do so would be a flagrant betrayal of their Lord and God Jesus the Messiah Who claimed their singular allegiance and devotion (John 14:6; 10:30). Peter, Jesus’ primary disciple, affirmed His claim. “… But in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, ready at any time to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:14). “Lord” means Jesus’ supreme deity and “holy” means He is utterly apart and above all else.


“Jesus is the Lord of all or He is not Lord at all” as the old saying goes. To be blunt, equality with Jesus isn’t even an option, much less supremacy over Him. Jesus’ lordship demands singular allegiance and obedience.


Hence, the above accusation, “You Christians are too exclusive. You threaten the social order because you won’t honor all deities.”


Correctamundo!


For faithful Christians, there is only one deity that reigns supremely good and with absolute power. Thus, honoring Jesus alone was, to the Romans, a threat to their world because it opposed the religious underpinning of their social order.


As a side note, Rome didn’t mind if the Christians worshiped Jesus as God, as long as Christians acknowledged and respected the plethora of other gods (even the ones adopted from other conquered nations) as the Romans did. But no true Christian could acknowledge any other god as equal (or above!) their One True God.


In our day, we face the same situation as Tim Keller points out, only the religion at odds with Christianity is humanism. Per Christianity, Jesus is Lord and God, supremely good and powerful. In humanism, people are lords and gods, supremely good and powerful, like the Roman Emperor.


The clash is inevitable. Humanism rejects Christianity’s God as supreme. Christianity (per our God) rejects humanity as supreme. When a society is built on humanism, any challenge to the “divine order” of humanity is a threat to the social order.


In our day, leftist politics has raised identity to near deity status. While the Bible reveals humanity as one people, springing forth from one human couple “in the beginning” (Genesis 1:1), and unity brings strength (Genesis 11:6-8), persons whose goal is to control others have learned that division brings weakness and an opportunity to take over.


Modern West: “You Christians are too exclusive. You threaten the social order because you won’t honor all identities.” Of course not. Not all man-made identities align with God’s standard and therefore worthy of honor.


Sure we recognize differences within humanity. Men-women, adult-children, nationalities, general skin tones (although today’s social scientists admit there are more hue differences within races than between races), abilities, and on and on. These “identities” are fine because they don’t defy God’s standards.


However, when identities are established that oppose God’s revealed standard, Christians are not obligated to give them honor, even though we recognize they exist.


For example, being a member of a violent gang is an identity. I recognize that, but I won’t honor it. Being a homosexual or transgendered person is an identity, but I won’t give that identity honor either. You can identify as a criminal, but I certainly won’t honor that. Per God’s standards, some identities are not to be honored.


However, in our modern culture, some ungodly identities are being elevated to a near unchallengeable, deified status as supremely good and powerful. Ya doubt me? Confront the premise upon which any of those identities are based and you’ll likely be viciously attacked.


On the flip side, we’ve seen how it’s socially acceptable to slam one racial identity, gender identity, religious identity, sexual identity, and behavioral identity, but dare not say a word against others. Why? Because at this point in history, after almost fifty years of cultural indoctrination, such deified identities have been woven into the fabric of our society.


Hence, “You Christians are too exclusive. You threaten the social order because you won’t honor all identities.”


Let me take it one step farther.


According to the current activist, leftist, progressive, and woke “cult”-ture, the above statement can easily be rephrased, “You Christians are too exclusive. You threaten the social order because you won’t honor all idea-ties.”


Idea-ties include not just identities, but deities (religious and spiritual world-views), philosophies, and political positions which spring from a humanist belief system. Since humanism elevates humanity above God, therefore humanistic ideas are also elevated above God as supremely good and powerful.


The clash is inevitable.


Either human beings are supremely good and powerful or God is. When Christians assert God’s supremely good and powerful standards in opposition to the humanists’ deified standards, the humanists lose their minds! We have violated their belief system, enraged their gods, offended their priests, and defiled their cultural temple!


We are now a threat to their humanistic social order.


That’s why we see Christians (and others) attacked when we refuse to “burn a pinch of incense” to the imperial cult of humanistic ideas.


Oh, we Christians will be left alone as long as we accept all of their other gods alongside Jesus.


But that’s not an option for the Christian who accepts Jesus’ claim of exclusivity and whole-hearted allegiance.


Sadly, though, many Christians have surrendered to the culture and betrayed their singular commitment to the LORD Jesus just to have peace. A false peace.


Because in the end, as goes the phrase from the movie Highlander, “There can be only One.”


What’s the solution? One side must submit to the other and it ain’t gonna be God. But in the meantime, the humanist acolytes will continue to attack God’s representatives. Why?


“You Christians are too exclusive. You threaten the social order because you won’t honor all idea-ties,” the idea-ties that underpin the humanistic social order.


In Roman times, Christian persecution arose when the Roman “system” felt threatened. We’re seeing the same today. Read the internet news sources, opinion pages, and social media. The tide of humanism and woke-ism is rising even more quickly, and with that so will the attacks on those who refuse to offer a pinch of incense to the humanist imperial cult.


Yup. For Christians who take a stand for Jesus, it will be a pain in the tuchus for now.


But imagine the pain in the tuchus it will be for others when the One, True, Supremely Good, and Powerful Diety returns to establish His right and just social order.


Pastor Jay Christianson

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