If You’re a Christian Leader, You Should Have a Target on Your Back

If You’re a Christian Leader, You Should Have a Target on Your Back by Michael Brown for Ask Dr Brown

A few years ago, I offered to help an organization I had worked with in the past. They were excited by my offer, since they had followed my work for years and agreed wholeheartedly with the positions I had taken. I had also made clear that I was not concerned about compensation. My goal was to help.

But nothing came of it, so I simply assumed it wasn’t God’s timing or plan.

It turns out there was more to the story.

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As a colleague within the organization explained to me, a key decision maker told him that if they became publicly associated with me, then LGBTQ+ activists might target them for criticism and attack. And so, although they respected me and agreed with my position on these issues, appreciating the way I had handled the culture wars, they didn’t want a target on their backs.

When my colleague informed me about this, I replied, “If they don’t have a target on their backs, they’re doing something wrong.”

Really now, how can we affirm what God’s Word plainly says about homosexual practice, same-sex “marriage,” and transgender identity without being branded homophobes and haters and bigots and transphobes? How can we not have a target on our backs?

To be clear, we are called to be peacemakers, not troublemakers. And we should be known for our love, our compassion, our kindness, our longsuffering, our good works. Absolutely.

But you can be assured that if the world hated Jesus, it will hate us too.

The Lord said so Himself, quite clearly and emphatically: “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.” (John 15:18–21)

The darkness will always hate the light and the world will always reject God’s Word.

That means that, as we let our line shine and preach the truth in love, we will be hated and reviled by many. Or do we somehow think we can be more Christlike than Christ? That we can be wiser than Jesus was? More loving than the Savior? Not quite!

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