Christians: The "softer, kinder, gentler" approach ain't working.
One of the perpetual myths well-intentioned Christians indulge in is that if we are just nice enough, winsome enough and persuasive enough, everybody will love us and eventually agree with us.
This is a pernicious and fatuous lie. It is a deception forged by the father of lies to induce Christians to be passive, meek and timid instead of bold clarions of truth and true justice.
By believing this lie, we have neutered ourselves in the public arena. Rather than winning others to our side, we have earned only their dismissive contempt. Rather than respecting us, they now feel free to punish us by shutting us up and shutting us down, and sending us off to re-education camps if we won't cooperate.
It's been tragic to watch as one pro-family leader and organization after another has lost its nerve and gone to ground rather than going to the mat. Organizations that once stood as beacons of light for the entire nation are now largely forgotten and ignored. They no longer have a message that the world fears. They have been domesticated.
But we do not serve a domesticated king. We serve the Lion of Judah, who is not, any more than Aslan was, a tame lion.
It's time to be done with the "nicer than Jesus" mentality. It never has worked, and it never will work. It only fools us into thinking we are being Christ-like when in reality we are only being wimps.
The odd thing is that Christians who have lost their spine and have become silent and soft are often harshly critical of those Christians who do stand publicly and without apology for the time-honored truths of Scripture. This is especially the case when it comes to things such as declaring that homosexuality is not a benign alternative to heterosexuality but a form of sexually deviant behavior.
Jesus wasn't crucified for being nice. He was crucified for being bold and confrontational. Don't misunderstand: He was the kindest man who ever lived. But he wasn't a sap. He knew when kindness was called for, and he knew when it was time to get up in somebody's grill and challenge them with the truth.
Jesus had no hesitation about speaking truth to political power. The Pharisees and the Sadducees were the politicians of Jesus' day. They passed laws that controlled the details of the ordinary, daily lives of everyone who lived in Israel. They could arrest people for violating those laws, detain them, put them on trial, flog them, and even persuade the Romans to put them to death.
Thoroughly unintimidated by their police powers, Jesus rebuked them publicly and directly and even knew when to call them "a brood of vipers" (Matt. 23:33, ESV) and the spawn of Satan: "You are of your father the devil" John 8:44).
So let's not hear any more of that nonsense about how Jesus was not involved in politics. He was involved in politics, and in the end it cost Him His life.
Bottom line: God has not called us to be nice. He has called us to be good. Nice people never confront evil and error, but good people do. It is the truth that sets men free, and genuine love will drive us to declare the truth no matter the cost. It's time to put on the full armor of God, unsheathe the sword of the Spirit, and go to war.
Bryan Fischer is the director of Issue Analysis for Government and Public Policy at the American Family Association and host of the talk-radio program Focal Point.