January 22, 2009

Let us be silent no more

From the By His Grace – For His Glory archives, this is an article I wrote for a pro-life magazine shortly after my son was born.

Throughout history, when conquering forces have subjugated the native people, the conqueror has attempted to silence the Church. They did this because churches historically have been centers for truth dispersal. If a church were allowed to spread the truth to the people, the conqueror’s propaganda would have been compromised.

"Despotism may govern without
faith, but liberty cannot"

Tyranny usually needs to silence the church because God tells us how to live as free men. Christ purchased the chains of our slavery and set us free. Just as Tyranny demands silence from the Christians, freedom demands holy living as taught in the Scriptures. When the church’s voice is silenced our freedom is lost.

In 1835 the French philosopher, Alexis de Tocqueville, wrote Democracy in America. Based on what he had learned from visiting the United States and studying her government and social constructs, de Tocqueville wrote, "Despotism may govern without faith, but liberty cannot.... How is it possible that society should escape destruction if the moral tie is not strengthened in proportion as the political tie is relaxed? And what can be done with a people who are their own masters if they are not submissive to the Deity?"

Whenever the forces of evil have held the church under their thumb, heroes have arisen. Like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, these heroes have refused to bow to the authority of a ruler who opposed and despised God. These men and women of character and principle have spoken the truth when tyrannical rulers attempted to suppress that truth.

The churches of our nation have chosen to remain silent

In America we have grown so accustomed to our freedoms that recent generations have forgotten that these freedoms were won by supreme sacrifice and commitment. That which the forces of tyranny have failed to accomplish in the past has been accomplished in the United States by generation after generation living under the freedoms provided by our forefathers. Each successive generation has grown more complacent and has increasingly taken for granted the freedoms our ancestors enjoyed because they worshipped and served God. The voice of the church has been silenced.

We are no longer a Christian nation. But in the midst of increasing sinfulness the churches of our nation have chosen to remain silent. Within the walls of the Church we repeat the old doctrines and creeds but we do not live holy lives—we do not stand when the enemy says "bow." We do not lay our lives on the line to save the life of another. The legal community uses a phrase that would be good for us to understand and inculcate in our daily lives—"He who is silent is understood to consent."

The Christian songwriter Keith Green wrote, "The world is sleeping in the dark that the church just can’t fight because it’s asleep in the light." We know the truth but we have ceased to proclaim it.

"How then shall they call on him
in whom they have not believed?"

This is a call to our religious leaders and to each of us who knows the truth of Jesus Christ. We must proclaim the truth with a loud voice. We cannot let our society continue down the path of destruction known as abortion, euthanasia and infanticide. While God’s little ones are being slaughtered in the streets we cannot sit inside our pristine cathedrals and congratulate one another with prayers such as "God, I thank you, that I am not as other men are" as the Pharisee did in Luke 18. We must shout from the pulpits and then from the streets, "God be merciful to us—we are sinners." We must proclaim the truth that human life is sacred. We must become the "salt of the earth" so that God can use us in His war against evil.

Although this post is aimed at our church leaders, we all need to do our part in this battle. God has called us to be heroes. As the apostle Paul said in Romans 10:14–15 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?

Let’s determine right now to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ from the pulpits of this land, and in so doing send the people of our churches to preach this truth in the streets. Our voices must not be silenced any longer.

Our future depends on it.

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