1 Peter 3:15 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
Imagine sitting in any kind of class or gathering where the speaker/instructor belittles a particular belief. If there is an individual in the group with that particular belief and he makes it known, the focus likely shifts to him. Typically it probably isn’t mean spirited, but more in the category of “Oh my! How can anyone still believe that??!!” Laughter, polite ridicule and condescension are a powerful combination.
Unfortunately if the person proves to be resistant to the ‘accepted wisdom’ or political correctness, the speaker/instructor can manipulate the nature of the atmosphere to become more aggressive, ‘seasoned’ with anger, intimidation and biting ridicule. In a classroom setting, a subtle intimation can be communicated that good grades are not obtained by those with such beliefs.
This phenomenon can occur over a vast range of subjects depending upon the views of the speaker and the group. Consider some topics: abortion, homosexuality, same sex marriage, voter IDs, enforcing immigration laws, government healthcare, God, Jesus, faith, evolution, the Bible, the list is long. If we are that person and the recipient of such treatment, how we respond is critical.
Our faith identifies such situations as opportunities not victimhood. Christ is our rock and it’s upon Him that we stand. Sometimes we might hesitate to speak up because we don’t want to be a recipient of the verbal attack. That might be wisdom or it might be fear of what people might think of us; or fear of persecution. Maybe we’re just too casual with our faith and feel too inadequate to speak up, or to stand with another believer.
We have a hope that is grounded in eternal reality. We must be prepared to express our faith in ways pleasing to God – not attacking those who oppose but sincerely allowing our light (His light within us) to shine. We must be spiritually and prayerfully prepared to glorify our Lord when such opportunities arise.