David Murray

Professor, Pastor, Author

Why Are Christians Hated So Much?

As we experience an unprecedented level of hatred and hostility towards Christians today, we find ourselves asking continually, “Why do you hate us so much?”

Politicians, judges, journalists, producers, educators, and many others are sympathetic to, and tolerant of, every kind of false religion and every kind of perversity, except when it comes to Christian teaching and values. Then the sharpest knives are out.

And we ask again, “Why do you hate us so much?”

We pay our taxes, we pray for our leaders, we give generously to charities, we volunteer in local schools and community projects, we love and educate our children, we feed the homeless, we send millions of dollars and thousands of people abroad to help needy nations, and make many other positive contributions to society and the world.

What have you done?
So why do you keep lining up against us and lining up with those who do little or nothing for society or the needy? You love the new atheists, the philosophers, authors, and comedians who launch vile diatribes against Christians and their God. Why doesn’t someone somewhere ask these elite men and women, who have devoted their lives to destroying Christianity, “What have you ever done for the poor? How much money and time do you devote to your neighbors, your community, the poor at home and abroad?”

And yet, it’s us you hate? Why?

R C Sproul supplies the best explanation for this seemingly irrational enmity in chapter 4 of The Holiness of God. He gives two examples, first the Peter Principle and then the Curve-Breaker.

The Peter Principle
This principle, named after it’s creator, Laurence Peter, says, “People tend to rise to their level of incompetence in the corporate structures.” People keep getting promoted until they end up in a job that is beyond their abilities and where they cease to do well. The super-competent are one of the rare exceptions to this rule. They tend not to succeed by moving up the ladder because their bosses feel frightened and threatened by their competency. The result is that they often have to leave a company to move up. But the point is, their advancement is hindered because their bosses are scared of being shown up.

The Curve-Breaker
Dr. Sproul then tells the story of a brilliant female student who deliberately failed an exam because her excellent results made everyone else look bad by breaking the grading curve that other students were relying on to get their marks up. By committing this social unpardonable sin, she was treated like a pariah.

Using these two illustrations as a springboard, Dr. Sproul then applies this to Christ. “Jesus was the supreme curve buster. He was the ultimate super-competent.”

And that’s why the Pharisees and Saducees hated him so much. Although these men were renowned for their so-called holiness, “here authentic holiness appeared; the counterfeiters were not pleased.”

“With the appearance of Jesus, their righteousness took on the luster of unrighteousness. Their curve was broken too…The super-competent had to be destroyed.”

And insofar as Christians reflect the holiness of Christ or remind others of the holiness of God, they too will experience this same hostility. It may seem irrational, but it’s really quite rational. “Your virtue makes us look bad and feel guilty; you must be damaged and destroyed.”

The truth is that many in the world, especially the elites, would far prefer to be surrounded with homosexuals, thieves, polygamists, criminals, and every false religionist under the sun, than to spend time with a holy Christian. The former make them feel good about themselves, the Christian makes them feel guilty.” The Christian must be destroyed.


About David Murray

David Murray is Professor of Old Testament and Practical Theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. He blogs at HeadHeartHand . and you can follow him on Twitter @DavidPMurray .

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