Rev. Austin Miles, a chaplain in Northern California is a writer and historian. He is the author of Santa's Surprising Origins, a story that received worldwide circulation and resulted in him being cast in the 2004 Hallmark Christmas Movie titled, Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus. He played the mall Santa who magically received the gift of sign language.

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Monday, April 28, 2014

Religion • Hated For All The Right Reasons

ANTIOCH, California 4/27/14—When leaving my place outside New York to travel to Antioch, California, a part of that journey includes a visit to Antioch Covenant Church to hear Pastor Ron Bowman. He consistently delivers a mind-nourishing message that strengthens hearers for the entire week to come. He knows his subject matter and history well. He taught Hebrew in the Seminary.

His sermon title for this morning was, Sticks and Stones, relating the persecution and vituperative hatred that is openly hurled against those who are Christians (not those who just say it but those who actually are). He used for his text: St. Luke 5:11: “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.”

With that as the compass, this writer is GREATLY blessed. The psychotic hatred against Christians is spawned against God, not at the targeted individual, or for anything that individual did or even said. The atheist does not even see the individual as a person but rather a threatening shadow. That is how blinded they are as they live in a modern version of Plato’s Cave.

There are those who have occupations that generate hatred without effort such as meter-maids, traffic cops, process servers, murderers, rapists, thieves and lawyers. But that hatred comes from what they do that affects your life, not what they think.

Christianity is the only culture that is actively and violently excoriated simply because of a quiet inward belief in God,and the way believers live their lives. The offense this brings to the world is simply for being. Frantic effort is made to attack, criticize, ridicule and threaten anyone they observe whose living standards put a spotlight on their own sins, bringing desperate fear that they will be compelled to alter their lives. They do not want to give up their sins. As one cross-dresser said to me, “I can’t give that up.”

Words are not even necessary. Just observing a believer in God appears to kick atheists in the gut putting them into a fight or flight mode.

The homosexual lobby will go out of their way to attack Christians including those who have done nothing to provoke them. Indeed, they constantly SEEK something to be offended by in order to convince themselves that ‘gay is the way.’

Years ago, while living in Northern California, an editor for the Antioch Ledger, Clay Kallam, put a bulls-eye on me and began public attacks in his newspaper with totally unfounded issues attributed falsely to me. I knew him, accepted him with respect, performed a wedding for a member of his staff, and he never heard me speak anything against ‘gays.’

Yet, Kallam had a driving force to attack me with such vicious editorials that I had every legal right to sue him and his paper. That wasn’t necessary. This ministry was too well known in Northern California. Thousands of subscribers cancelled their subscriptions followed by their main advertisers pulling out. The paper went belly-up and Kallam was literally run out of town. But he HAD to attack simply because he was ‘gay’ and I was a Christian. There was absolutely no valid reason except his own guilty conscience triggered by simply seeing me which reflected his own distorted image of himself.

However, it is not just ‘the world’  that a Christian must deal with. The harshest attacks of all come from….Christians!  They can be nasty. Let anyone write a story concerning theology or even a testimony of God’s blessings, and the righteous immediately march forth to tell everything they perceive as wrong in a public statement or story in order to ‘set the record straight’ and to bring attention to themselves.

This is perpetrated by an inward blast of ego that compels them to prove that they are much holier and more learned theologians than the writer of the piece with solid credentials. They have no thought about turning off the very people that may have been reached by a film. Their selfish immediate-satisfaction-demand has nothing to do with God but only for themselves and their own recognition which equals pride, identified in the Bible as a sin.

I do occasional pieces for Breitbart, Big Hollywood. When I review a program or film about God, such as The Son of God Series or the God Is Not Dead Film, the response section immediately fills with communiques of the ‘saints’ that are bent on correcting the glaring errors they say they see in the film reviewed which prompted one Christian to respond by noticing how a door to the Gospel is opened that a misguided Christian is determined to slam shut.

Mahatma Gandhi was once asked why he had not become a Christian. He responded: “I like your Christ. I do not like you Christians. You Christians are so unlike your Christ. Jesus is ideal and wonderful but you Christians are not like him.”

The world we live in today has lost its stirrups. It is awash in self, with no sense of character, commitment or responsibility, not to mention the slowly vanishing-to-invisible world that once displayed devotion to God.

Only the Remnant Pastors dare take a stand for God with a shield against the sins that has become so rampant that the world is now uninhabitable, unfeeling, uncaring, suffering severe poverty of ethics, character or compassion, and this style of life has become contagious. The zombie world lives but that world is compelled to deal with the fact that we are in their midst. And that rattles their bones.

This is why people are upset by our presence. Not our appearance but what is inside, The Holy Spirit, that conflicts with the evil spirits inside themselves who frantically try to destroy us. Unfortunately, there are those in the church who have allowed themselves to be taken over by such, or were placed in the churches for one reason, to weaken it.

But take heart. What is happening today, evil for the sake of evil, is the last chance of the enemy to corrupt as many as he can for himself to take them with him to the pits of hell where there are no soft drink machines. The reason for such activity is that the enemy’s days are numbered. The finale will be taking place in the very near future as foretold in Scriptures.  The question is, where will YOU be when He passes by? As for the atheists, at that time they will KNOW with certainty that God indeed exists…too late.

There is a bright side to all of this. God tells us that we must love our enemies.We need them Without them, we would have nobody to love. And a major consolation that brings great comfort: We are hated for all the right reasons.

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