Brit Hume was discussing the downfall of Tiger Woods with Bill O’Reilly. Tiger has claimed the Buddhist faith publicly on at least one occasion. Brit said, “I don’t think that faith (Buddhism) offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith. So my message to Tiger would be, ‘Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.’”
Now, why would Brit Hume say that to Tiger? Perhaps, as an evangelical Christian, Brit is trying to follow the directive of Jesus Christ to proclaim the gospel “to the ends of the earth.” In Brit’s own words, “all hell broke out” after he offered that advise. Why? If Brit were a New Ager and he suggested that Tiger do some deep meditation and some yoga to achieve peace of mind would anyone have objected? If Brit were a Muslim and suggested Tiger visit his mosque this week, would anyone have objected? Absolutely not!
So why do people object to Christianity so vehemently? A journalist for one of our local papers here in Georgia, Jay Bookman of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, criticized Hume sharply by saying, “Faith is a private matter between that person and God, and is not a matter to be judged by some pompous TV anchor.” Rest assured, had it been any other religion other than Christianity Bookman would have no words on the matter.
I recently watched Tim Tebow endure a great amount of criticism for displaying his faith so openly and Colt McCoy, the Texas quarterback has also received flack for referring so often to his Christian experience. This hostile reaction to Christianity is nothing new. Americans have been protected by large numbers of those of like faith down through the centuries. But, this has not been true for Christians in Korea, China, Somalia and many other parts of the world. Religions that carry no truth endure no hostility. Christians endure the angry retorts and persecutions of so many haters because the truth “cuts like a two edged sword.”
What two words have stirred more dissension and controversy than any other two words in history? Jesus Christ. In the course of Jesus’ three year ministry, he saw many more people walk away from him than walk toward him. His words were too difficult to accept. People today hate Christ for the same reasons people hated him in Galilee 2,000 years ago. They hate him because he claims to be the Son of God. They hate him because he declares himself to be the only path that leads to God. They hate him because he says he is the only solution to their problems, he is the only one who can fill the void in their hearts.
They hate Christ and all those who follow him because his words call for them to confess their sins, and if they truly submit to him they will find themselves living by a certain biblical standard that is in direct contradiction to their non-Christian lifestyle. They hate him because they feel guilt.
There is a certain dog in our neighborhood that I dislike greatly. Every time I see him, I feel like picking up a rock and trying to hit him with it. I think I hate this dog because he tried to bite me one time and when he comes around I fear him. Fear spawns hatred. We almost always hate that which we fear. They hate Christ because they fear him.
Someone will read these words and hate me while they accuse me of being judgmental and arrogant. It’s easy to distinguish between the Christians and non-Christians. Jesus said you will know those who belong to me by their love for others.
I am inspired by the boldness of Brit Hume to declare his faith. Who can know how much he actually risked to say what he did. But I am more inspired by the words of Hans Haslibacher (12/20/1571 in Berne, Switzerland) as he was about to be decapitated for his faith, "I am ready to suffer my head to be struck off, much rather than apostatize from my faith."
Let we who are Christians declare Christ boldly to as many as we can as often as we can!! And let us say with Esther, “If I perish, I perish!”