Christians often seem to take strong moral stands on issues pushed by the progressive social revolution. From abortion to same-sex marriage, Christianity seems determined to stand on the “wrong side of history.”
Why is that?
Surely it would be easier, and more popular, to go along with the prevailing social opinions. No one can accuse the Church of standing against change because it’s safe. Christians have lost jobs and been publicly humiliated for sticking to their beliefs as their society changes around them.
But even if Christians won’t change their beliefs, couldn’t they still get along better by just keeping quiet about it? Why do so many feel the need to stick their heads up and make a ruckus?
To Change Minds
We have the good fortune to live in a society where change for the better can be effected with persuasion and reasoning rather than physical violence. However, the only way to effect that change is to be bold enough to stand up and enter the public sphere.
If Christians believe, as we do, that the Bible’s moral code is wise and good – if we believe, as Proverbs says, that “righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” – then why wouldn’t we stand up and campaign for righteousness?
To Keep Discussion Alive
In sociopolitical debate today, it’s popular to “steamroll” opponents – overwhelming them with buzz words, catch phrases, and threats – and shut down debate before those listening have a chance to process or consider the arguments. Rational thought is less important, politically speaking, than manipulating listeners with quick, pleasurable retorts.
When you slow things down and dig into the meat of things, it’s usually obvious that the steamroller has only a shallow grasp of the subject and no real logical arguments. They rely on their speed and hostility to compel submission. When we stand firm and forcefully but clearly rebut their fallacies, we cut through the propaganda and give listeners a chance to consider the logic behind the discussion.
To Warn of the Consequences
Ideas have consequences. We can look back through history and see the consequences of some ideas in past civilizations – anarchy, leading to chaos and destruction; repressive government, leading to a hostile populace and, eventually, revolt; or wise government, leading to economic and societal flourishing.
As Christians, we have been entrusted with God’s promises of consequences, both for righteousness and for sin. It is our responsibility, as Jeremiah did, to proclaim those promises and warnings aloud:
For Our Nation
When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan. (Proverbs 29:2)
The beliefs of individuals affect the well-being of entire nations. A society which upholds good and condemns evil will flourish; a society which reverses its priorities will soon destroy itself.
For Our Neighbors
The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the upright will flourish. (Proverbs 14:11)
The beliefs of individuals affect not only themselves, but the family and friends around them. Where sin runs rampant, it brings destruction. Where righteousness is cherished, good fortune follows.
An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous, but one whose way is straight is an abomination to the wicked. (Proverbs 29:27)
There will never be peace between those who live a holy lifestyle and those who wish to be free from the constraints of that morality. We are a persistent reminder that will burn in their conscience until it is removed. What, then, will our fate be, as those who reject that morality rise in power?
Will You Stand?
I don’t ask you to stand on a street corner and carry signs. I don’t ask you to plaster Facebook with dozens of provocative pictures. But when God gives you an opportunity to stand up and speak the truth – whether to change someone’s mind, or to give them cause to ponder, or to give them warning – will you?
If you have time, read the first chapter of 2 Timothy (it’s not long). Do not be ashamed of the Word. Share in what little suffering we now experience for the Gospel. It may be that God will open someone’s mind and heart through you!