**WARNING: This is NOT a friendly post for those who, religiously speaking, are easily offended.**
Even though I've been on that side before, it never ceases to amaze me how some of those outside of Christianity view it. I mean, we are told in the Bible that Christians were going to be hated, belittled, disrespected, etc, in the eyes of the world. Christianity is barely tolerated (even in the United States) within the scale of the weekly organizer/planner. Sunday, we can "do our thing" for however much time we need (as long as we're done before Super Bowl Sunday!) and, oh yeah, an occasional Wednesday night service has become kind of "standard" and traditionally expected. However, an-y mention of God, Jesus, Bible, Scripture, prophecy, a blessing, a prayer, a praise in the name of Jehoveh OUTSIDE these services, date/time slots, and we are frowned upon and even vehemenently scorned. How DARE Christians openly talk about how God leads them in simple and mundane life things! How DARE Christians give God the glory for blatant miracles that have abounded! How DARE Christians recognize America as a nation with Judeo-Christian foundational principles!! How DARE Christians openly challenge various political observations from a Biblical (even prophetic) perspective! How DARE Christians offer Biblical reasoning for scientific discoveries! How DARE we are Christians outside the church doors and church functions! How DARE we allow our Christian selves peep out from under the worldly overcoats we seem required to wear! I've got news for them...Christianity is NOT a part-time faith! Christianity is literally our LIFE, our BEING. For a lot of Christians, EV-ER-Y-THING in a Christian's life is BASED on God's Word, the Bible, as the FINAL AUTHORITY in all things. We cannot separate Christianity from ourselves. We do not have a Christianity switch to turn on and off at the world's beckoning.
Just how is being a Christian and expressing our Christianity so offensive to some others?? I'm talking extrabiblically-speaking here. I already know the Biblical reason. Jesus Himself already tells us that we will be hated, not so much because we are personally offending, but because the world already hated Him. He is the Light that shines in their darkness, and the world can't stand that light exposing them for who they really are in God's eyes...sinners. They crave that darkness and see no need or reason for redemption/salvation. I've been there. I remember what that's like. I've done my share of rejecting that precious Light before I became truly born again.
However, Christians don't even hafta be Bible-thumpin', fire-n-brimstone-mongering, Scripture-quotin', hollerin' preachers to cause the hairs to stand on the backs of some nonChristian's necks. I have seen the looks in the eyes of some who have not heard my voice but have seen my cross necklace or Heart of God pin, or have seen a Scripture verse I scribbled on a piece of paper. I can wish someone a nice day and still get that look. It's almost like being happy is a sin in their eyes, especially given the current times we live in now. There is no condemnation, no criticism, no judgment going on, just hoping that someone can have a good day.
We live in a "relative" world. What's good for one may not be good for someone else, and "it's okay" until someone tries to "openly practice" their faith, and in today's world, particularly Christians. Every single culture the US has experienced prejudice in some way, form or fashion at one time or another. There was a time when Wiccans were feared, shunned and sometimes considered weird people. But they were misunderstood people and are now kinda considered "cool", and the latest trend in religious worship with some Christians is blending Wiccan worship into their own worship practices. There was a time when devout Jews were feared and/or mocked for living their lives according to G-d's commandments; not to mention that some Jews understandably feared Christians, too. Now they are enjoying some appreciation for the values they hold dear to their being and add to society. The Biblical promise of blessing those who bless the Jews and cursing those who curse the Jews is as true now as it ever was. The Muslims have felt the need to be quiet about their worship to Allah until Americans got around to accepting their right to worship, too. Even the Atheists are enjoying some prominence in America's overall culture, leading their humanist, secularist, naturalist, any other -ist way through our government, education, media, etc. The Atheists were never really "quiet" so much as Christians were almost always louder...until now. What are today's Christians doing????
We have allowed the nonChristian society to dictate how, when and where to worship our God! :O How insidious!! We've allowed ourselves, in an effort for religious "tolerance", to be lulled away from our Father's influence in virtually every arena of our lives! We are not experiencing "tolerance" but exclusion and personal separation~~we are having to turn off and divide away our Christian part of us in order to be "tolerated" by nonChristians. Have we learned nothing from other religions who were hushed and persecuted all these years? Have we forgotten that we are Americans, too? and have freedom OF religion? not FROM religion? I understand that there is a time and a place for sharing our faith (whatever it may be) with others, but I believe it's time to get back to our roots and stop deChristianizing ourselves in public just for the sake of "tolerance." We are subjecting ourselves to not only dividing our personal being, but turning off the very Source of power in our lives by turning off His influence. God is our Escort in life. He is part of every Christian's being. Just like Wiccans are close to their god/desses and their worship traditions. Buddhists rely on their teachings to get through life. Muslims live in submission according to Allah. Atheists rely on human intellect, reason and logic to live through this life.
Jews and Christians are called to worship God in the Spirit. He is the source of incredible love. Jesus is the Christian source of comfort in troubled times, which often happen away from home and church. He is our source of answered prayers.
All faiths affect our core beings. All faiths shape what we believe. All faiths determine the choices we'll make. All faiths determine our actions. All faiths shape our consciousness. None of our faiths can be hidden. So why try to shut that part of us off?
As any other religion, Christianity is NOT a part-time faith. As with any other relationship that any of us may have, Christianity is not a part-time investment but an investment into our whole being. Jesus is our friend and should not be treated as the kid you don't want anyone else to know you actually like.