How to Respond to Haters as a Christian
by Martin Pierce
Bible-believing Christians are being marginalized and viewed as extremists on many important social and political issues. As America is increasingly becoming less Christian, more people are becoming openly anti-Christian.
None of us likes to be despised or rejected for our beliefs. Still, we must not compromise on biblical truth or neglect to tell people about our Lord and Savior.
Since God calls us to be His witnesses, we can’t simply go into defensive mode and ignore those who disagree with us. Instead, we all must know how to respond to haters when they question us and ridicule us for what we believe.
I will explain in this post how we can often avoid being attacked in the first place. I’ll also tell you what kind of people we can safely ignore; and how we can quickly defuse tense situations. The information in this post can not only help you on the Internet and social media, but also when talking with people face-to-face.
Though it’s unfortunate that Christians are becoming a persecuted minority in the West, there’s a silver lining when unbelievers go on the offensive. They give us the opportunity to show Christ’s love by responding with compassion and kindness. Even while they accuse us of being intolerant, they show by their words and actions who are the real haters.
Paul’s admonishment to Timothy describes the attitude we should display toward all people:
And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth… 2 Timothy 2:24-25
I’ve come up with four steps which cover both keeping the peace by avoiding arguments, and dealing with any conflict that may occur.
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1. Try Not to Provoke People
Even if you only intend to address other Christians, you should assume that non-Christians will also be reading or watching your public posts in forums such as Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, and Youtube.
Many Christians don’t seem to appreciate the fact that Jesus called us to be peacemakers (Mt. 5:9). Peace must begin on a personal level, in our hearts and in our relationships (Jas. 4:1). Paul wrote, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all (Rom. 12:18).
In the interests of keeping the peace, I would suggest that we shouldn’t write or link to something that might appear to stereotype, disrespect, or show intolerance toward homosexuals, liberals, Muslims, or any other group of people. We need to be sensitive toward all unbelievers. We don’t know what bad experiences they may have had with Christians in the past. Don’t add to the perception they may have of Christians as judgmental people who don’t have the love of God in us…
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