Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act. – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Proverbs 3:27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so. – Proverbs 3:27(NKJV)
I read Eric Metaxas biography on Dietrich Bonhoeffer a few weeks ago and I have been thinking about this idea of “withholding good from whom it is due” and what does that mean in our life. In Bonhoeffer’s day, he of course was speaking about how the German church refused to stand up to Hitler’s anti-Semitic policies etc. The church didn’t want to look bad to their society so it was easy for them to justify their leaders immoral positions.
But I think most of us miss a great application of this idea of his point. We have stood back and let our society & culture become over run with sin. We endeavor to explain it away and rationalize our current morality.
Recently, I was told about an informational gathering at a church where, in an attempt to communicate how rampant the problem of sex trafficking is in our society, a film was shown about how a porn convention operates. Some of those who attended this meeting where deeply offended and approached the leaders of this gathering expressing their objections to this film. They were rebuffed and told how this was just “reality” and everyone has seen this kind of thing before.
Well maybe, but is it necessary? Really? A porn convention? In church?
I am beginning to accept the fact that I am somewhat out of the norm. I think sin is wrong. I don’t think it should be condoned and further it grieves me deeply when I read (or hear) how in our churches, we accept the lack of moral standards of the world and embrace that same lack of standards. Many attend church and often lead in areas of ministry, yet they display a real lack of decorum when it comes to sexual matters. Whether it’s living in sexual sin or using inappropriate language, I think we have missed a golden teaching opportunity to be a beacon of truth and righteousness in our society.
You might say I’m a prude and maybe I am. But I think the church is missing some wonderful teaching opportunities. If we really believe sin is bad and God can and does empower His people to live above the filth around them, let’s take some stands for righteousness. Let’s encourage people to step out of a life of sin, rather than looking the other way. Let’s not encourage activity that leads to sin, but give people instruction from God’s Word on how we as followers of Jesus are to be the “called out ones.”
Here is what Paul tells us:
Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortionist will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. – 1 Corinthians 6:9b-11 (NKJV emphasis added).
Paul says …”and such were (past tense) some of you.” In other words, this kind of activity was how you conducted yourself in the past. But now, you know better. Don’t act like that anymore.
Just a few verses later Paul writes, “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful.”
I’m afraid we want so badly to be accepted and loved by people that we refuse to take any stances for righteousness.
I’m not passing judgment on anyone’s standing before God. But I am challenging those of us who claim the name of Christ, to live to a higher standard that what is acceptable to our society. Just because living together before marriage is no longer taboo in our world, it still isn’t God’s standard. Just because we are told that having wine with dinner is a normal part of living, doesn’t make it the right thing for us to do.
Have we have become like the German church of the late 1930’s? We want to be loved and accepted, we want to fit in and be a big tent, welcome everyone and not hinder anyone from coming to Christ. Those are wonderful goals and I would agree with striving towards those ideals. But we can’t sacrifice morality and righteousness just to please our society.
Spend some time in His Word and let it speak to you about righteousness and sin. Let His Word, not society set your moral standards and take a stand for Him.
Blessings My Friend.