Monday, September 5, 2011

On the Hatred of the World

It is a peculiar fact that one of the surest signs of goodness in this world is the hatred of evil men.
This statement may seem harsh and cynical – but it is demonstrably true. Evil people always hate those who exhibit goodness. The greater the good that exists in a person or in an institution, the more hatred that evil people will spew at that good person or institution.  
For the devil hates what is good, and inspires the same hatred for what is good in his followers (those in persistent mortal sin). And this rabid hatred of Christianity – what Chesterton termed “the halo of hatred around the church of God” – is a sure mark of its essential goodness.
The world has tried to stamp out Christianity since the birth of Christ. Herod attempted to kill Jesus while He was still an infant, and Jesus was persecuted for His beliefs throughout his ministry. After Christ ascended into heaven, Christianity was opposed by  Jewish leaders who persecuted Christians. The Romans followed, and since then the Church has had to fight off enemies from without – constantly.
And of course, divisions rending the very heart of Christianity have also plagued the Church from its origins. Men who claim to be Christians and seek nothing less than the destruction of the Church are everpresent in the history of the Church. (i.e. heretics and Modernists)
Brutal forms of persecution, including torture and death, still occur even in our “modern” age. In countries such as North Korea, harsh punishments, up to and including death, are meted out to those who seek to follow Christ. Martyrdom will never cease as long as Christianity exists.
Persecution in “free” countries comes in forms more subtle than martyrdom, but it does happen. The scorn and mockery of cultural elites who take up positions contrary to the law of God is omnipresent in “free societies.” Immoral figures in society flaunt their evil behavior and taunt those seeking to live a Christian life. And the forces of "tolerance" demand that every voice be heard - except the voices of Christians, which they do their utmost to silence.
Every Christian is called to die to self entirely and to follow Christ, no matter the cost or the opposition. And every Christian who faithfully attempts to live out this calling will be opposed in this mission by those who seek to thwart God.
Our Master warned us of this phenomenon. He said to His apostles: "If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you." (John 15:18)

And so, indeed, it has. And the better men and women we are, the more hatred we will experience. Hopefully, we will bear this hatred as a badge of honor.

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