Because I believe John 15:18-19, it came as no surprise when hot coals of ridicule and hatred were heaved recently on Fox News analyst Brit Hume by the news media‘s high priests of secularism and political correctness. Their outrage stemmed from advice Hume offered golfing champ Tiger Woods following the revelation of an adulterous lifestyle that has shattered Woods’ pristine image, threatening his marriage and relationship with his two young children
During the Jan. 3 edition of the “Fox News Sunday” program, Hume suggested Woods seek redemption through Jesus Christ. “The extent to which he can recover, it seems to me, depends on his faith,” Hume said. “He is said to be a Buddhist. I don’t think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith. So, my message to Tiger would be, ‘Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.’ I was watching the program and Hume’s words caught me by surprise. His willingness to so openly share his faith in Christ in such a humble and loving fashion that I was both encouraged and challenged.
The reaction by the secular media was anything but charitable. It was predictable, swift and dripping with revulsion. Bloggers compared Hume to an Islamic extremist. Reporter David Shuster of MSNBC said Hume’s remarks were “inappropriate.” The Washington Post’s Tom Shales wrote that Hume should just “fade away. Is it really his job to run around trying to drum up new business? He doesn’t really have the authority, does he, unless one believes that every Christian by mandate must proselytize?”
It is hard to believe that Shales once won a Pulitzer Prize.
So distressed over what Hume had said, the news media spent the better part of a week weeping and wailing over the issue. “I’ve heard a lot of unfavorable comments from people who claim that I was a pompous jerk who had no business mouthing off on this subject and that I shouldn’t have belittled the Buddhist faith and so on,” Hume said on the Fox News program “The O‘Reilly Factor“ Jan. 4 (see the full story on page 18). When Bill O’Reilly asked why Christianity seems to draw such ire, Hume said it has always puzzled him, but “the Bible even speaks of it, that if you speak the name Jesus Christ – and I don’t mean to make a pun here – all hell breaks loose. It is explosive. I didn’t even say the name in that way. I simply spoke of the Christian faith, but that was enough to trigger this reaction. It triggers a very powerful reaction in people who do not share the faith and who do not believe in it.”
Hume’s experience reminds us of a great truth Jesus told the disciples on the eve of His crucifixion. John wrote it down because Jesus intended for His followers to know what would happen when we tell the world about Jesus. “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you,” Jesus said in John 15:18-19. “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you (KJV).”
The world hated Jesus because He uncovered their sin – and they didn’t like it. When Jesus turned the spotlight of His divine holiness on their sins, they revolted because He stripped away the darkness and exposed their sinful hearts. Instead of placing their faith in Him for forgiveness, the world turned against Him.
The world still hates Jesus – and His followers. So we should be willing to suffer and expect the world’s abhorrence. Anyone unwilling to accept that is not really willing to be the disciple that Jesus wants us to be. Persecution is a part of true Christianity.
We must resist the temptation that we’ve solved the problem of the world’s hatred by being a friend of the world. If that is the case, then we are no friend of God. First John 2:15 says, “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” James 4:4 says, “Friendship with the world is hostility toward God.”
Satan wants to get us to the point where we don’t want to offend anyone. But Jesus hasn’t sent us into the world to make it comfortable. We must offend people with the truth of the Gospel – for their own good. The Apostle Paul said, “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but, rather, reprove them” (Eph. 5:11). In 1 Corinthians 1:23, Paul said, “We preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Gentiles foolishness.” In the next chapter, he said, “I determined not to know any thing among you, except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (v. 2). In Galatians 6:14, he said, “God forbid that I should glory, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”
“When you confront men with their sin, expect a reaction,” says noted author and pastor John McArthur. “Sometimes they’ll receive Christ, but more times than not, they will react violently. If you’re not getting a reaction from the world, you’re probably not confronting it.”
Brit Hume did and got exactly what Jesus said those who love Him would get. May we all be as faithful as Hume. No matter the cost.