It would appear I have just come down in the last shower. But no, I really do think we're seeing something simmer in recent times that I haven't seen before.
Years ago for the most part as I recall, Christians were regarded as just bunch of fruit loops who assembled together while holding to a set of wacky ideas and beliefs. But were considered harmless, to be avoided perhaps, or an object of jeer and mockery.
But what I see now (granted mainly on online forums) is manifest seething anger and outright hostility.
What is really striking to me as I observe, is that a lot of the angry outbursts are done even when there is no preaching or challenge toward the poster involved. The underlying sentiment of unprovoked hatred toward fundamentalists Christians and the Christian faith is becoming disturbing.
I am not referring here to unbelievers becoming defensively hostile toward Christianity while in a debate where it can sometimes turn into a rather heated argument. I've seen that happening for years and it is understandable. People feeling challenged will often react (sometimes those most reactive become Christians and solid defenders of the faith anyway).
No, what I am talking about here is open hostility, anger and appalling blasphemy in the complete absence of prompting or provocation.
Jesus said:'He who is not with me is against me' (Matthew 12:30). The line between those who are for and against the Lord is becoming crystal clear - even moreso by the day it seems.
What really got to me recently comes from disturbing comments from a person who I have known online for more than ten years, though I have never met him in person. I've always known he wasn't a Christian, but over the years he has never exhibited anything hostile toward Christianity. In fact in some online debates among members of the forum, he has often defended aspects of Christian beliefs. But just this week he posted one of the most unwarranted accusations against Christian believers I've ever seen from him, referring to the fundamentalist Christian interpretation of the bible as 'pollution' and Christians having no understanding of the bible at all.
This is just one isolated example. On facebook I have noted a former top pro Australian bodybuilder with quite a popular following post some of the most appalling blasphemies I have seen, all seemingly without being prompted, with some vulgar and hostile commentary to boot.
These are hostile comments just from people who I know. There's literally numerous comments from people harboring the same hostile sentiments. It's like the world is desperately wanting and trying to rid what they see is the malignant cancer in society - Christianity. I wonder if the violence and frenzy is equally being unleashed in the heavenlies? The world is again beginning to thrash against the salt and light of the earth, and they will soon have their way, though for only a brief period of time in history.
The growing anger and hatred is not something we are going to see reported and analysed to determine if such a trend exists. If anything, media attention may only serve to highlight the intolerance and irrelevance of Christians and the Christian faith in the world. Particularly as the world is attempting to march toward state approval of the immoral, such as the global movement toward gay marriage for example.
This sentiment only needs state / government encouragement by way of legislating against the fundamentalist Christian faith that I see, could switch on the systematic and widespread persecution of Christians the world over, seriously like a full dam with the barrier abruptly removed. But let me hasten to say here, that I am not suggesting we are going to see any such development of state endorsed Christian persecution this side of the rapture. I am firmly convinced that Christian persecution, at least in the western world, will not gain any traction until well after the rapture has happened, and only when the anti-christ is in power and world government established. This will likely be the trigger that will launch persecution not only against the saints of the time, but the Jewish people, where they finally have their eyes opened to their true Messiah, having realized the false messiah who they spent waiting for more than several millennia, has tragically and completely deceived them.
I really see this seemingly escalating hostile sentiment and attitude toward Christians and the Christian faith as yet another clear sign of how close we are to the Lord calling us up. It is sad and disturbing to contemplate what may await the saints of the tribulation period when that pent up satanic inspired hatred is lawfully unleashed. We are seeing evil vigorously attempting to gain traction now, but it is frustrated by the presence of the salt and light of the earth. We are seeing a rapid and widespread shift toward anti-Christian anger and hostility now, and all this before the rapture has even happened. What with the restrainer removed from the world? Is anyone else noticing this?