Sadly, we live in a worldwhere most people usually gravitate to one of the spectra. Either we go theroute of extreme coldness, or we choose the polar opposite of searing heat. We becomeeither too hot, or we become too cold. The best course of action, in mostcases, is to be someone in the middle. For many principles, the Bible advocates a position of moderation.
It is fine and decent to enjoy sports but never to the point that falls into an obsessionor addiction. It is perfectly acceptable to practice healthy living but never to the point where one is interjecting themselves with illegal drugs, ala, Lance Armstrong. It is certainly fine to become weight conscience yet never to the extreme of bulimia and anorexia.
My bewilderment is what in gosh pickin name happened to the Evangelical Church. It seems for many of us; we have become afraid of our shadow. We should recede in the background because we do not want to cause a scene or thought to not be on the right side of history as the secularists love to say nowadays.
After the George Floyd massacre, we actually have Caucasian pastors attempting to justify or pacify the actions of looters.
Many Evangelicals still agree with the maxim good people never discuss politics, sex, or religion. I had my Thursday night lead Bible instructor chastise me for bringing up a matter he felt should never be addressed. I admit both his public rebukeand subsequent justification really pissed me off and saddened me. It pissed me off because of the public manner he went about it. It saddened me because his reasoning goes against the very Word of God.
While I can quickly get over the emotions of being pissed off (and I did), the state of sadness still remains to this day. Does not the Holy Scriptures command Evangelicals to take every thought captive to obey Christ [emphasis mine] (2 Corinthians 10:5)?
Now, I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but doesn’t every thought mean every thought? Does not the opinion and subsequent discussion about sex constitute a thought? Can you truly have a dialogue about politics, whatever you political identification, and that dialogue about your political position without warehousing that ideology under the category of thought?
Hopefully, I need not continue, having sufficiently made my case. Yet, we have Evangelicalseverywhere advocating these subjects are taboo, even to the point that believers should not wrestle with these subjects.
Adopting this foolish (and I hasten to add cowardice) notion is one of the chief reasons, so many of our young people leave the Church once they lead the home and venture out into adulthood. Like the parents who never discuss sex with their children because the parent determines it is too uncomfortable, the child is left to fend for themselves. A sure recipe for disaster, one which Satan is all too happy to exploit with his vain philosophy.
We see it in all segments of the Evangelical community, starting right at the top. Many pastors avoid controversial topics like one would desire to avoid the Black Plague. These timid and insecure Pastors do not trust the sovereign rule of God. They operate from a naturalistic worldview that says, if not explicitly, but clearly implicitly, I received this position by the will of the congregation, and I can lose this position by the will of the congregation. Consequently, I dare not risk the alienation of a considerable portion of the body by speaking out on this matter.
That, my friend, is not leadership. It is not Convictional. It does not honor God, and it does not edify His people. I am not advocating anyone to assume reckless abandonment. As in all things, we need to be as well as a serpent and wise as a dove.
Sometimes it will fracture relationships. That result is calamitous, but a ministry, by definition, is messy. It is true; you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet. The leader who leads from a seat of fear is not fit to lead, at least he is not fit to lead me.
Not when the Word of Godexpressly says
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
So, what is the problem, my fellow Evangelicals? Yes, I understand the culture is hostile, but the culture has always been hostile. Yeah, I get it; living in an honest and non-apologietic manner places me at odds with the culture.
Well, guess what? Living as an alien in hostile territory has always set Evangelicals at odd with the culture, so get in line and join the rest of us.
Here is the bottom line. Let us move away from the abstract and theoretical. What about you, the specific reader? Do you confidently engage the culture? When topics arise in your sphere of influence, do you, as we say in the fraternity, represent the colors? Do you speak up for the cause of Christ even when you are the minority and know you will receive the onslaught of attacks?
Just this morning, I heard Dr. Albert Mohler recounts the shot across the bow to the Evangelical Community from secularists is that Evangelicals need to get with the program. Professor Berg wrote a column for Religion News Service on August 7, 2020. The headline of his article was On LGBT Women’s Equality; Stark Reality is Coming for White Evangelicals.
There can be no mistake in what message is being conveyed by the use of words “coming for.” The choice of wording is direct; it is explicit and frank. The secularist theorizes if feminists are embracing ideologies such as identity politics, they will most assuredly embrace the calls for the transgender revolution.
So, my fellow female Evangelicals, you are now on notice the secularists have made their gameplan abundantly clear. The only question that remains is what will be your response?
Will you recede into thebackground, avoiding giving a direct answer for as long as you can or will you courageously step up to the microphone and say as Martin Luther is purported to have said (who knows if he actually said or not but it sure sounds good so I am going to go with it)
Unless therefore I am convinced by the testimony of Scripture, or by the clearest reasoning, unless I am persuaded by the means of the passage I have quoted, and unless they render my conscience bound by the Word of God, I cannot and will not retract, for it is unsafe for a Christian to speak against conscience. Here I stand, I can do no other, may God help me, Amen!”
I know, with the Lord enablement, what my response to the culture will be. I have recently experienced repeated vile attacks, and many of them are members of my own fraternity. I have been accused of being “brainwashed.” Just yesterday, I received a Facebook Messenger message from a family member who decided it was a good idea to share with me “how limited my thinking was.” What this family member expected to accomplish still boggles my mind, but you can be sure that conversation did not go well.
For those who know me, you will chuckle at the next statement. I have a very healthy self-esteem. My parents raised me in a manner to believe I was not better than anyone else, but equally important; I was not any worse than anyone else. The only Person’s opinion that matters to me is Jesus Christ Himself. I can very comfortably live with ridicule from fraternity members, so you might imagine I would not have any problems living with scorn from the general public.
Thankfully, God does not require Evangelicals to be masochists, so we are not gluttons for punishments, yet we know it is an occupational hazard. Our sovereign Lord gave us advance warning when He declared in the Holy Writ.
And you will be hated by all for My name’ sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes. A disciple is not above his teacher,nor a servant above his master. (Matthew 10:22-24).
Many ridiculed and mocked Jesus Christ in His day. When we assume the identity of Jesus Christ, we knowingly accept the moniker, Christian. As a result, each one of us needs to put on our Big Boy Pants and our Big Girl Pants and saddle up.
What say ye, fellow Evangelicals? As for me (I won’t even attempt to speak for Monique), I will choose to be bold and courageous because God hasindeed not given me a Spirit of Fear. FDR so eloquently said long ago there is nothing to fear but fear itself.
Do you agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments. Until then, keep your hands to the plow and seek to serve for an audience of One.