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Joy-Ann Reid is a host on MSNBC. She is a true left wing firebrand and is well known for her anti-Christian rhetoric. It needs to be understood, though, that her rants against Christianity and Christians is not, in her mind, related to religious faith. For her, EVERYTHING is political, so she lumps Christians in with both conservatives and Republicans, and attributes their motives to a desire for political power.
Not too long back, she compared America’s religious right to the Taliban in Afghanistan. Her stereotype of Christians is that, just as the Taliban, Christians in American want to force women “solely into childbirth” and out of the workforce. She thinks Christians dream about how they can establish a theocracy in America that would impose a particular brand or Christianity on the nation and use that to control all politics.
Sadly, Joy Reid is not alone. There are a very large number of people, many in positions of power and influence, who agree with her point of view and applaud her willingness to say what she said about Christians on her TV show.
What makes this so difficult for Christians is that her kind of behavior is actually foreign to Christian beliefs. Genuine Christians who are trying to live out their faith in the world would never stoop to that kind of behavior. This does not mean that Christians never behave badly. Some certainly do. But while Joy Reid-like behavior is actually acceptable by the worldview belief she holds, it is not acceptable based on Christian beliefs. When Christians act that way by lying or twisting the truth, the are actually acting contrary to the beliefs they say they hold. So exactly what is it about Joy’s beliefs that are different from Christian beliefs?
The worldview belief system that Reid’s beliefs represent is Naturalism. Naturalism is the belief that the only thing that exists is the natural universe operating by natural laws. There is no God or any kind of transcendent reality. In the realm of morality, that means that there is no such thing as an objectively real moral standard. The reason that is the case is that no authority source for defining what is good and bad, right and wrong, exists outside of mankind. Thus, human beings have to make up their own moral standards. It is possible, of course, for people come up with a set of moral rules that a population may agree to live by, but it is necessarily a relative standard. That means it can be changed anytime by anyone who has the power or authority to make it happen.
What we see in Reid’s case is that she has defined right morality for herself and pronounced Christian beliefs to be immoral. Additionally, she characterizes Christian beliefs in ways that do not actually correspond to what Christian’s actually believe. And since she has done this numerous times in different contexts, she has made it clear that, to her, either lying is acceptable, or she is so full of hatred for Christians and Christianity that he doesn’t care to actually find out the truth. But as noted above, there is no reason why she holds the moral position she does beyond the fact that it is her personal preference.
Christians are increasingly coming under fire by people who hold naturalistic beliefs. The question is, how should we respond? And there is a correct answer to that question ... we should respond as Christians.
First, we must have a right attitude. As Christians, people are not our enemies, they are our mission. People who hate God and Christians really need Christ, and in spite of being attacked, we should express love and compassion toward those who don’t know Him.
Second, we need to understand that having the right attitude does not mean we must be a doormat. When people like Reid lie and mischaracterize our faith, we need to correct the record – even strongly if necessary (keeping in mind, of course, that we must still maintain the right attitude). It is possible to do that and still maintain love toward those who hate us. But as it relates to tactics, the only way to fight a lie is with the truth, and we should actively, even aggressively, push back with the truth.
Finally, we need to recognize that ultimately the fight is not in the realm of politics ... it is in the realm of the spirit. We don’t fight against flesh and blood, but against a spirit of evil. People who attack our faith are acting in concert with the spirit of evil himself – Satan. What is able to conquer an evil spirit is God’s spirit. Thus, whenever people push evil on us, we need to respond by sharing with them the truth of Jesus Christ.
We live in a day where we must stand strong like never before. This means putting our lives in a position where we are right with God, and equipping ourselves to push back against the lies of the evil one as they are expressed through the lives of those who follow him.
So, will you be bold, or will you fold?
Freddy Davis is the president of MarketFaith Ministries. He is the author of numerous books and has a background as an international missionary, pastor, radio host, worldview trainer, and entrepreneur. Freddy is a graduate of Florida State University with a BS in Communication, and holds MDiv and DMin degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a popular speaker, particularly on the topic of worldview and its practical implications for the Christian life. He lives in Tallahassee, FL, with his wife Deborah.
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