I’m sure you ‘ve seen the news coverage. A restaurant in Virginia recently cancelled a Christian non-profit group’s reservation for a pre-booked private banquet. The cancellation call came about 90 minutes before the time the group was to have arrived. The reason for the cancellation? The employees felt ‘unsafe” serving the Christian group.
There are lots of things we can say about this. On one hand we can’t help but think that the employees must be the same people who demand ‘safe spaces’ on college campuses because they aren’t stout enough to socialize with someone who thinks differently.
Or, we could think, “How ironic. These are the same people who are suing a Christian baker for refusing to provide a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage.”
I suppose we could also think, “Hurray for the restaurant owner. No reason to serve people who think differently.”
Snarky comments aside, there is a significant lesson in this for Christians.
This incident is just one expression of a deeper trend. We’ve witnessed the culture shift in the last three decades from being primarily ‘Christian’ to ‘secular’ and now we’re seeing the next phase – ‘anti-Christian.’ I expect we’ll see other expressions of the growing anti-Christian mindset over the next few years.
There are lots of reasons for this. The release of files from Twitter has exposed how wide-spread is the conspiracy to prevent free speech and the expression of ideas which run counter to the progressive agenda — big tech, the legacy media, and various government agencies colluding together to suppress information.
We’ve all heard the expression, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupt absolutely.” Typically that translates into suppressing the speech of those who disagree with you. It is predictably one of the first initiatives of those who come to power. We see that played out in Iran, as the rulers suppress free speech and refuse to allow people to question them. We see it in Russia, as the Putin administration censors any idea that runs counter to its version of events. And we see it here in the US, as the ruling elite suppress any ideas that question their agenda.
If the suppression of free speech was limited to political agendas, it would be worrisome and unacceptable. But the suppression of speech goes beyond political agendas and now includes spiritual issues. The Christian group was denied service, not for any political reasons, but because they support the Biblical guidance in regard to families and marriage. This antipathy to Christianity from the left goes back generations and can trace its modern-day roots to Karl Marx and the communist dictatorships that sprouted from him. It is now an integral part of the left’s mind set.
But the media portrait is just one of many factors that have contributed to the anti-Christian culture. Much of it is our own fault. We have been too comfortable in our lifestyles, where we piously go to church on Sunday, and then live by the world’s rules Monday through Saturday. We’ve been taught that the institutional church is the focal point of our Christianity, and it’s been comfortable to believe that. We hide behind that concept as it gives us a reason to stay quiet and keep our faith buried in the marketplace – “Because I attend church on Sunday I don’t need to stand up for Christ during the week.”
So, our colleagues, customers, and vendors don’t see Christians as intelligent, hard-working, and empathetic, because we have chosen to remain on the sidelines. We see the unfortunate consequences in incidents like this. How long will it be before the trend accelerates and Christians are persecuted?
So, we will continue to see, in ever more blatant incidents, big tech, the legacy media, and government agencies put forth a derogatory portrait of Christians. The average American will continue to be exposed to a very twisted view of Christianity.
Unless Christian businesspeople step up.
We can provide a personal alternative to the media’s manipulated messages. It’s one thing to see a message on social media, it is quite another to see lived out in someone you know.
The time is now for Christians in the marketplace to shed their cloak of anonymity and begin to be visible and verbal in the marketplace.
Note: If you are wondering where to start, read a series of posts: “How Can I Integrate My Faith with Day-to-Day Business Practices” Begin here.