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December 2, 2014, 1:00 PM

Christian Courage in an Non-Christian Culture


What has happened?  Are we all now wimps?  As the late Dr. D. James Kennedy once said.  “[Everybody] is coming out of the closet, but Christians are going in the closet!”  In an age of increasing secularism, increasing religious intolerance, and abandonment of biblical morality, it appears that many Christians—preachers and parishioners alike---have lost moral courage.   
There seems to be an unwillingness to take a stand for biblical truth and a Christian worldview, particularly in the face of a virulent, strident, and sometimes, vicious anti-Christian fervor.  

Is it possible that even many preachers who trumpet strongly against some moral issues may be hiding the fact that they are, in reality, merely “prophetic wimps”?  When the majority of the audience to which you speak is already predisposed to agree with your positions, it does not take much courage to take a strong biblical position.  For example, to emphatically declare that racism is unjust to a predominately African-American congregation is not particularly courageous, when most parishioners have similar convictions.  The result is that often a Christian—preachers and parishioners—will often speak loudly on certain issues but are yet strangely silent when the gospel demands a response.  This movement from “loud to laryngitis” is disturbing and telling!  

To take a biblically moral and ethical stance against the prevailing winds of the secular culture usually requires much more courage!  This is often true in congregations, families, workplace settings, and other community venues in which we find ourselves in the minority as Christians.  Even many places that include a supposed majority of professing Christians may be difficult, because some members of these communities take their perspectives and social cues more from the secularized culture than from God.   Consequently, when a preacher (or Christian) takes a principled stance informed by the Word of God (Bible), he or she may experience an immediate backlash or resistance even from Christians.  

To be true to biblical truths, Christian doctrine, and personal convictions, Christians need courage to go against the socio-cultural tide.   Courageous Christian actions require preparation for loses!  There may be loss of affirming looks or verbal responses to preaching.  There may even be prosecution and persecution from both Christian and non-Christian sources.  Often, a Christian may not encounter a direct, overt and vitriolic response.  It may be a danger much more subtle, silent, and yet ominous.  Notwithstanding, all Christian—pastors and parishioners alike--are called to speak courageously and prophetically to the current issues in our world!  We are called to make God’s position clear concerning every issue.  It must be spoken but most importantly it must be acted upon!  The Gospel of Jesus Christ demands it! 

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