Monday, February 27, 2012
After my last post, I was thinking that a follow-up might be in order lest someone think that I am against speaking up for Christ. I was reminded on Sunday about how hard Paul worked to keep the Truth alive and well in the face of adverse teaching, and I had to pause for a minute and sort out some of the things I had expressed that might seem to contradict Paul’s actions.
It seems to me that as Paul determined to make corrections in false teachings and misinformation, he did not do that from a public platform. He did not avoid having the public hear what he had to say, but much like Jesus in His last year of ministry, Paul kept his eye and his aim on believers who needed encouragement and re-teaching, rather on making a public spectacle of arguing with the false teachers. Even Jesus, after having dealt with the false teachings of the Pharisees and scribes, walked away and went out sharing Himself with strangers who needed to hear the truth and to teach the truth more thoroughly to his disciples.
Recently I was confronted with an opportunity to speak with someone who had a truly distorted view of the phrase, “with God, all things are possible.” It seemed to become necessary for me to finally say quietly that though it is true that “With God all things are possible,” the “With God…” part is extremely important to the outcome of our expectations. I don’t think anybody has ever screamed at me quite like she did at that point. Thankfully, we were in a private meeting at the time, so no public spectacle came of it. But I don’t think that we will ever be having conversation again.
But back on point, we will constantly be running into people who “make up” their own faith or choose to proclaim having no faith at all (which is impossible.) Sometimes we will have a chance to speak quietly to the propositions. Other times, no amount of arguing will settle anything at all. We had a neighbor who was an avowed atheist here in these apartments. He was very loud about his beliefs. I have every reason to believe that someone or something has hurt him terribly, and he blames the God who does not exist. Ironic. I never bothered to “straighten him out” on the matter, but neither did I stop talking to other people in the building who enjoyed talking about Christ and His Word as we socialized in the common room.
To me there is a time and a place and an audience for sharing the pearls of faith. This does not in any way exclude evangelizing. But it does exclude screaming and arguing and name calling in attempts to prove ourselves and our God right.
As for the state of the union that current political candidates desire to run, it is every bit as deplorable as in the days of Noah, of Sodom and Gomorrah, of Israel in her worshipful adultery, or of the countries that proceed with murderous genocide and population destruction under barbarian power struggles. Our hope is only this: God. God, who is in control of the nations, and will ultimately have victory over the wicked: He will be glorified in the end.
In the meantime, may our lives be daily glorifying our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with the humble telling of His Word to all who will listen. And may we speak every chance we get.