The Christian reputation is in dire straits. It needs explanation, clarification, nuance, and many times, repentance. Christians are perhaps known more for their political alignments and what they are against rather than for laying down their lives like the servant-king Jesus. Some of this reputation is earned, other times it is not. However, there is a necessary embrace of and encouragement to take in our reputation as well. After all, “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you” (John 15:18-18). There will always be a central element of being a Christian that invites scoffing, slander, and hatred. That central element is belonging to Christ, and proclaiming his death and resurrection.

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