My friend Phil Durt is worried about the persecution of Christians in America.
His concern isn’t that Christian bakers and Christian photographers might have to work at same-sex weddings, although his faith does believe that such unions go against God’s teachings.
And he wouldn’t want to be forced to participate in such ceremonies if he were a baker or a photographer or a florist.
Phil isn’t even worried about atheists trying to remove religious expression from public life, though he’s not the least bit ashamed to talk to people about his beliefs if they are interested in hearing him.
Phil tells me his biggest worry is that Christians — or those who claim the moniker — are dragging the good name of the person he calls his Lord.
And that is bringing a natural negative reaction from anyone who isn’t a Christian.
Phil says he loves everyone equally. It is his firm belief that a human fetus is a human being, so he thinks abortion is morally wrong. But he’d rather try to persuade people to his side than kill them.
“That man in Colorado Springs who killed three people last week at a Planned Parenthood obviously suffered from mental problems,” Phil told me. “But many supposedly ‘pro-life’ people say they can ‘understand’ why someone would do that. That’s not at all in alignment with Christian teachings.”
Jesus said that an “eye for an eye” is out the window and that we should not resist those who do us harm. We are not only to allow bad things to happen to us, but also to invite more. (Turn the other cheek.)
Besides, Phil notes, the three people killed in Colorado weren’t performing abortions anyway — and the police officer was actually an evangelical who was pro-life.
If you are pro-life, you don’t kill innocent people to stop other innocents from dying.
On another front, Phil says he is happy to see evangelicals like himself turning away from Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, but he’s still bothered that they ever liked him in the first place.
“In what way does that fox espouse our values?” he asked. “His life is built on greed and power. He insults people and calls them names. But I guess it’s fine if he drinks his ‘little wine’ and have his ‘little cracker’ when he goes to church on Christmas and Easter.”
Phil admits he sounds pretty judgmental about Trump, which also annoys him.
“I’ve reached the point that my blood boils every time I see him,” he said. “We’re told in Scripture to love even our ‘enemies.‘” Then again, he reasoned, “Maybe it’s just righteous indignation.”