If someone were to ask, “Which people on the planet receive the most hateful injustices?” I would venture to guess that most people, relying on what they hear from major news media outlets and from the education system, would say women, or people of color, or Muslims, or “LGBTQ+” people. Christians probably would be way, way down the list if they’re on that list at all. Of those initial answers that would probably be given, women would be the most accurate according to statistics, but data shows Christians would be on their heels as being much more hated than the other groups mentioned.
Why are Christians such popular targets for hate? Jesus Christ himself gives us the reasons why. It’s not a new phenomenon since staunch persecution against Christians has been happening since the first century when Christ founded his New Testament church. Such persecution is a spinoff of the persecution Old Testament saints faced from their opposition. The following are the general reasons believers in the Lord Jesus are hated so much:
19 And this is the condemnation [of unbelievers], that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. John 3
7 The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. John 7
18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. John 15
Those who don’t believe in the Lord Jesus, and, by default, don’t believe in the only true and living God are content with their own false ideas of what constitutes righteousness. They deceive themselves into thinking their personal standards or standards of their preferred environments are perfectly fine to the point that if God’s highest, purest standards highlight the depravity of their own standards, it churns up their animosity.
Such animosity is especially virulent when they subscribe to a religious system they sincerely believe gives them an accurate perspective or concept about God–whether that system is atheist, agnostic, Buddhist, Hindu, Islamist, Wiccan, etc. The Lord Jesus testified against the world’s wicked ways in both his language and his personal conduct. With his speech he showed how the lack of genuine love was displayed in adultery, envy, religious hypocrisy, stealing, unforgiveness, and a host of other sins embraced by the culture of his day. His upright and holy life of prayer, putting God’s word into practice, and refusing participation in sinful habits was taken as a stinging rebuke to those who did the opposite.
Because his speech and conduct pricked their conscience (since they knew deep down inside he was correct), the selfishness and ungodly pride they had fostered inside themselves made them want to cling even more to their evil. They refused to admit their wrongs. It prompted them to begin with slander, defamation, and libel to persecute the Lord. Then they kicked up the hatred several notches with attempts at violence which ultimately led to Christ’s death. The people of today throughout the world who oppose the preachers and preaching of the cross are of the exact same spirit as those who hated Jesus back in the day. The persecutions Christ’s enemies unleashed against him are the same type of persecutions Christ-haters unleash against the body of Christ today.
They cannot and will not tolerate anyone who doesn’t accept the false image of God they subscribe to. Some will even go so far as to falsely claim their fake concept of God is the true one. That’s how a female Episcopalian “priest” became the head of a pro-abortion group working with Planned Parenthood to murder unborn humans, calling abortionists “modern day saints.” There’s also the false notion about God that permeates all false religions, including atheism, that God neither sees nor cares about the evil actions of humans, so they are free to do whatever evil they please without consequence.
In conclusion, we as Christians need to be aware that the Lord gave us a heads up in his word that we would be targets of hate. It goes with the territory. But for all the hate sent our way, in the end the Lord will give us the eternal victory over all our enemies. And in spite of all of the hate, the body of Christ will never cease to exist on Earth.
Then said he unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of perverseness: for they say, The Lord hath forsaken the earth, and the Lord seeth not. Ezekiel 9:9