When General Douglas MacArthur passed away in 1964 at the age of 84, one word kept cropping up in the deluge of comments about the distinguished old soldier. Both friend and foe agreed on one thing–he was a controversial figure. Of course he was. Any man as forthright as he, in a day when it is no longer fashionable to take a clear- cut stand on anything, is certain to stir up the cosmic dust. He was accustomed to winning wars and did not feel at home in the present-day “peace without victory” or with appeasement and compromise.
One thing is certain–Jesus Christ, the Author and Finisher of our faith, was the most controversial figure in all of history. He had just been born when his enemies slaughtered babies in the hope of destroying Him. His earthly ministry was one long conflict with bitter foes. Almost every page of the gospels records a clash with scheming adversaries. They fought Him at every turn until He died on a cross, crucified by the religious people of His day.
Controversial? Any true Christian is a controversial figure. He lives in a world of constant conspiracy against the truth. If he is a friend of the world, then he becomes an enemy of God. The Christian is a perpetual contradiction to this world and a continual threat to the devil. For the believer in Jesus Christ while in this world, it is either conflict or conformity. A non-controversial Christian is a backslidden slacker not worthy of the name of Christian.
– Vance Havner