From direct experience and observation, I’ve found that in today’s world when interacting with people whose ideology is significantly different from our own, anyone who unashamedly identifies them self as a disciple of Jesus is often branded as “extreme” irrespective of how they may or may not be interpreting and applying the Bible. Increasingly among those who view Jesus as being something different than what the New Testament portrays Him as being; it’s commonly argued that to affirm the exclusivity of the gospel in the sense of faith in Jesus being the only way to God (cf. John 14:6); such conviction is not only arrogantly misguided it also represents the same degree of religious fanaticism that fundamentally drives jihadist terrorism. This guilt by false association points to the fact that the Judeo-Christian worldview which largely characterized the formative years of the American democratic experiment was deemed antiquated and irrelevant in the culture shaping arena of public discourse a long time ago.
When present derisive attitudes and corresponding persecution of Messiah followers is historically considered, it’s clear that such treatment has always had a purifying effect on the church. And when these same currently hostile attitudes and violent actions towards Messianic believers are viewed from the vantage point of the 27% of God’s Word which is prophetic in nature, such antagonism is part and parcel of the general deterioration of the world as Messiah’s return draws closer. However, the inevitability of such decline and oppression need not, and should not, be cause for continual despair. The truth of the matter is nothing can take us out until God signs off on it. And In terms of a saving response to the gospel, as long as there’s breath there’s hope. And as long as we have breath we can communicate that hope; a hope which is absolute because of our relational association with the divine person of absolute truth.