We live in a day and an age where the church is being shouted into silence. To express a view that runs contrary to where our culture is, is to open yourself up to ostracism, castigation, and verbal and legal assault. Make no mistake about it, this is not the land of free speech. Expressing a Christian viewpoint will bring out societies killer bees, and they do have a very sharp sting in their tail!
Because of that many have adopted a keep quiet approach. I am not saying that is without merit, I tend to think in terms of, choose your battles wisely. Will speaking up improve the situation, or only exacerbate it? Questions we should ask ourselves before we open our mouths. Yet, what we have to say is of extreme importance. In the picture at the top of this post, Nathan the prophet is confronting David about his sinning with Bathsheba. We see the prophets bony finger pointing at him and down through the corridors of time we here those penetrating words, "behold, thou art the man!" David had heard a story from the prophet about a rich guy who had stolen a lamb from a poor guy, and as king he was incensed and ready to issue judgment. That is when the prophet revealed to him the story was about David himself, who had stolen the wife and life of an honest and good man.
Ezekiel 3:17 "Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman to the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me.
Ezekiel 3:18 "When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die’; and you do not warn him or speak out to warn the wicked from his wicked way that he may live, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.
Ezekiel 3:19 "Yet if you have warned the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered yourself.
I think the danger of this age is twofold, getting all up in someone's business when it is not the right time in their life to effect change. The other is being so afraid of the culture that we become scared into silence. May God give us wisdom! Of the two dangers I think the latter is the one the church is most succumbing to. For that reason I leave you with the words of Jeremiah the prophet:
Jeremiah 20:8 Every time I open my mouth I’m shouting, "Murder!" or "Rape!" And all I get for my GOD-warnings are insults and contempt.
Jeremiah 20:9 But if I say, "Forget it! No more GOD-Messages from me!" The words are fire in my belly, a burning in my bones. I’m worn out trying to hold it in. I can’t do it any longer! (MSG)
And always remember, keep your fire burning!