Written by Brad Caldwell on 9/6/15.
So I was visiting a Baptist church this Sunday morning, and they had a guest speaker talking upon the subject of “How to Make a Difference in the World,” or something close to that. I thought it was going to be good, but I was disappointed. Because again as so often in churches these days, the underlying premise was, “Shut up and admit the liberals are right.” The message was, “Be sinless! And be so ashamed of yourself if there’s anything in your past that’s slightly inconsistent that liberals or a fellow church member could point to, that you don’t dare call black, ‘black;’ and white, ‘white’!” The message was, “Be discouraged, because they’re probably going to throw you into a prison, and you probably deserve it, too!”
You know, that’s the nonsense that the Jewish leaders were spouting off to their Jewish congregations at the time of the Holocaust. And what did it do? It just played right into Hitler’s playbook.
Well, you know what? I’m not accepting the garbage.
Hitler’s loss of popularity in Germany began when people got the courage finally to pass around tracts discussing reality – that what was going on was horrific and wrong. That the Satanic, diabolical treatment of the Jews was NOT justified for any sick reason set forth, including whether the Jews were “righteous enough” to be treated with human decency!
Although, from a young age, and by the grace of God, I chose Jesus and purity, yet even if I had had a past that people would like to criticize – even if I knew there was “dirt” that somebody could “dig up” on me, I just wouldn’t care – because the Gospel says you’re forgiven (like, really forgiven) if you believe in Jesus Christ.
To really believe the Gospel means you no longer care if someone is able to “dig up dirt” on you.
One Baptist preacher I heard put it well: “God casts your sin into the depths of the sea, and puts up a sign that says, ‘No Fishing.'” Inevitably, though, people will “fish,” and you’ve got to keep believing the Gospel even when they “catch something on you.”
The Bible I read tells me it’s not a sin to be happy about Jesus. The Bible I read tells me that real Christians man up and do something about evil in the world! The Bible I read tells me that if Josh Duggar has experienced repentance through faith in the blood of Jesus, he should go right on doing the work of God however he feels called, and we Christians shouldn’t blink an eye over it. When you make salvation about works, people are going to get more and more entrenched in sin.
Do you really expect, in Obama’s America, when sex has been pushed down everyone’s throat every day for 6 1/2 years, that everyone has been perfectly circumspect? I’d say, if people are still wanting to hold on to Jesus after all the antichrist pressures of extreme Democrats in our country, then God bless them! Jesus started with where people were – He forgave even adulterers, remember? – and we should keep that in mind. The Gospel isn’t about sin and misery, it’s about a God who so loved us in our sin that He made a way for us to be forgiven. In that love that God shows, we naturally find ourselves hating sin, but the focus is on the remedy, not on reinforcing a problem.
The Gospel has a benevolent, gentle attitude towards people that begin with truth, not a “persecutorial” attitude. The Gospel is most fiery, not in crushing weak people who embrace truth, but in opposing religious bullies who perpetrate unreality as being reality.
I think if the church needs anything in these days, it needs encouragement. It needs a free Gospel. Church leaders today are often legalists – adding to the Gospel – by requiring Christians to deny the joy and blessing in their hearts and to “just shut up” about standing up for righteousness, in order to be a “good, true Christian.”
In churches I have visited, I see so little joy and enthusiasm, that for me to sing along a little heartily to the songs makes me stick out like a sore thumb. What in the world!? That’s not a way to make strangers feel comfortable, and it’s definitely not a way to attract new people to Jesus. It’s a good thing God clearly revealed Himself to me at my conversion, because otherwise I’d feel as embarrassed as a nervous toddler at most church services, just to do the things they expect of you, and I’d certainly never want to return to such places! No wonder the churches are emptying out!
So how do we as Christians make a difference in the world? By STANDING FOR TRUTH. By holding fast and saying, “Yes, as insane, as hated, as ridiculed as it may seem under the circumstances, I still believe in everything that is true.” And the thing that is most vilified today, true conservatism, is EXACTLY where we need to stand and fight. And we are HAPPY to fight for it with a smile, because when you stand for TRUTH, you get the supernatural joy that Jesus spoke of!
You are blessed when people hate you, when they exclude you, insult you, and slander your name as evil because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! Take note–your reward is great in heaven, for this is the way their ancestors used to treat the prophets. – Luke 6:22, HCSB
The text of this image is so true, and so applicable to the fight for truth in our day:
“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the Word of God EXCEPT precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Him. Where the battle rages THERE the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battle front besides is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.” – Martin Luther
How do we make a difference? By demanding that the insanity in our churches stop. I mentioned that I was visiting churches. The reason is because a few months ago, an issue came up in the church I had been going to for years. I was asked by somewhat new leadership in the church not to give any public commendation of Ted Cruz. I was told I could commend him “in my heart,” but could not make it public. They literally said:
Just don’t say anything good about conservatives, and don’t say anything bad about the Democrat party.
They refined that ultimatum somewhat, but I was still required to not show any commendation for conservatives online. I could not agree to that in good conscience, so I was shocked to be booted from the church I had gone to for 14 years. Well, I am happy to die on that hill, defending the right to commend politicians if I see some good thing in them. And I did that only by the grace of God, but I do want to mention it, because I really believe it is a time for truth in our churches as well as in our nation. If we don’t stand up to insanity inside the church, if we just go along with it, we will never make a difference. Standing for truth is the answer for how to make a difference in the world.
Those church leaders that forbade speaking good of Ted Cruz also told me, “There’s no chance he can win.” Well, I certainly can’t predict the future, so I don’t know who will win, but I know if we don’t try, even if it is just to get in our prayer closets and pray for Cruz, then we certainly won’t win.
So, lighten up, play some games, enjoy life, laugh at the insanity, and don’t let it overcome you. We’re on the winning side at least in the grand scheme of things, and if the liberals kill you for your faith, let them kill you with a smile on your face, knowing you are heaven-bound, and knowing you fought their lies, and were happy in Jesus, to the bloody death.
All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart has a continual feast. – Proverbs 15:15, CKJV
Ray Comfort has an interesting note on this passage:
Laughter is the enemy of legalism. Liberty and joy go hand in hand.
Go proclaim liberty and joy in Jesus Christ, and God bless!