Why you shouldn’t get upset when the celebrity professor tweets

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I’m going to make a prediction.  At some point over this weekend a minor celebrity secularist, probably someone holding a professorship in the public communication of science or suchlike will tweet something mildly offensive and ignorant about Christians and the Gospel’s claims about Jesus’ death and resurrection. This will be followed by several responses from minor celebrity vicars and others protesting.

The nature of the protest will be along the lines of “How dare you say that on this incredibly special and holy weekend?  Don’t you realise how hurtful and upsetting that is?”  Others will step in to say that whilst they are not Christians they agree with the celebrity vicars and consider the timing and tone of the remarks to be a little off.

This is not a claim of special prophetic insight. Rather, it’s based on what seems to have happened regularly since the inception of social media. I’d personally discourage you from responding by joining in with those protests.  The problem with the original tweets over the years hasn’t been the mild offense but rather the ignorance.

Take a moment to reflect on these words from Paul:

12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in Christ we have hope[b] in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

1 Corinthians 15:17-19

The crucial question is not whether or not the attacks made are offensive but whether or not they are true. We Christians have not got any special right or privilege not to be offended. Even if such a privilege were available to us, then the spirit of the Bible’s teaching on discipleship is that we should be willing to forgo such privileges.  Furthermore, Paul’s argument here is that if our beliefs and claims are false then we pretty much deserve everything we get. We are to be pitied not respected because we have believed something false. We are to be condemned not comforted because we have lied and given false hope to others.

With Paul however I would respond by saying that what matters is that it is true. Jesus did die on the Cross for our sin, Jesus did rise again for our resurrection. So, I’m not too worried about whether people mock our beliefs now.  What matters is the rock solid assurance we have in the Gospel.

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