Reality check: Fear of God, or Fear of Man?

Three things we can do to counter the Cultural Silence

499_4406013What gives you greater fear?

1. What man thinks of you?
2. What God thinks of you?

This year we had an opportunity to unite as believers in Jesus Christ and to stand on the authority of God’s Word. As the church, we failed. We allowed the “tolerance police” silence our voices. We allowed the new godless “feel good” doctrine to change our own belief on sin.

Try this experiment: Do a quick scroll through your news feed on social media, and then reask yourself the two questions above. The majority of us will say, “well of course I can answer that question…#2 silly!”

When you went scrolling down memory lane what did you find?  Did you find more puppies than boldness? Think about your trips with girlfriends to the local coffee shop. Do you remember when these uncomfortable topics came up and you felt your stomach start to knot up, but you didn’t speak out for fear of what others may say? What about when your fellow pew sitters began to turn their profile pictures to the rainbow after gay marriage was legalized… you just shook your head and remained silent for fear of being unfriended, deleted, called a bigot. Guys, it’s time to get real. I’m right there with you! Most of us are more afraid of what man says or thinks of us instead of what God says. God did not call us to silence. He called us to speak. Many of us are mute.

There are many reasons why we have chosen silence. Here are three.

  1. Fear. We are afraid of persecution. No one likes to be called a bigot or intolerant. We are afraid they will come after our family.
  2. Education. We see and feel what is going on, but we don’t know what to do.
  3. Doctrinal change. We don’t believe in sin anymore. Jeremiah Johnson said it best when he said, “America has now legalized homosexual immorality because the American church legalized heterosexual immorality first.”

Whatever the reason for our silence, we now live in a new world. However, here is the good news! It’s not over. The moment the Supreme Court announced their decision, they launched a battle unlike any other you have seen. Religious Freedom is now target number ONE with the left. They will begin to do anything and everything to keep you from speaking out.

The ultimate goal of the left was NOT gay marriage.  In fact, they don’t even care about “marriage equality.” Statistics have shown that the countries who legalized gay marriage, only have a small fraction of the gay population who actually get married. The ultimate goal of the left is to destroy religious freedom.

Step one accomplished… We were silent.  The ink hadn’t even dried on the Supreme Court decision, and the left already had targeted people of faith. Talks of removing the tax status of Christian organizations, colleges and churches popped up out of the blue.  One senator from Wisconsin even went so far as to say, “Religious Freedom should not extend outside the walls of the church.” This is the new attitude of the left. They will try to silence your voice in the marketplace first, then immediately target people of faith and the church building itself.

What can we do?

  1. We can ask God for a baptism in boldness. Leave the fear in the ditch and prepare to engage. I’ve always joked with my political friends and said, I want a candidate who looks himself in the mirror every morning to practice standing up to his critics this way… “You can call me a bigot, hater, unchristian, or intolerant all you want.  I will still love you and I will still stand for truth, so help me God.”   We need to be bold.  We need to stop worrying about losing friends or being called hateful names. Stand on truth in love and be bold. Never cower in the face of the enemy.
  2. We can educate ourselves.  There is A LOT going on right now in the world. Many have threatened to turn off the news and crawl in a hold. While it may seem tempting, it’s NOT the thing to do. If we are not educated, we will not know the attack plan of the enemy and we’ll be walloped by the left. Educate yourself. Do you have to constantly live in the media muck? No! I try to take Sunday’s off to remove the muck and refresh for the upcoming week. As much as we want to, we cannot stick our heads in the sand. Boldness comes from facing the truth.
  3. Get in the Word of God! I had countless friends contact me this week to say, “Did God really say…” Friends, this is dangerous stuff. The rainbow sweep in our pews did not happen because we all just want to love… the rainbow sweep happened because there are many believers who attend drive-thru churches who won’t preach the truth. We must know the truth if we are going to stand for truth.  We can deliver the truth in love. We can stand against the gates of hell if we know what we believe. It’s time for a crash course in God’s word.

790_4550262I challenge you to speak up.  We have a dying and lost world that needs Jesus. We need to engage the culture and give hope. It is not the time for retreat. The ruling that came last Friday was a battle cry for the church. If you have not engaged, its time. Put your fear aside and begin to speak out. If you’ve been engaged on the field, it’s time to step it up a notch.  Don’t grow weary in well-doing. Keep pushing forward.

Our religious freedom is worth fighting for!

 

 
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