"Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law." Psalms 119:18 (KJV)
Many have been so indoctrinated with the “don’t-offend-anyone” philosophy that even Christians are afraid to speak up against moral and spiritual wrongs in this world. That thinking is not Biblical.
Certainly the Biblical teaching never intends the Christian to be purposefully nasty and hurtful to anyone. We are to warn the world, however, of encroaching dangers and pitfalls. We have the spiritual eyes to see them coming, and we are to warn those that cannot see or understand them. Yes, the guilty person or persons may scream bloody murder when their violation of God’s principles has been exposed, but it still is our obligation to help them, and it is not necessarily “hateful” or “unloving” of us to help them. It certainly is not “pushing it down their throat” when we show them what God’s Word says.
We are to be the “light” of the world, so we should illuminate. Also, we are to be “salt of the earth”, so we need to preserve the world by fighting and exposing that that would harm it. The jeers at us when we speak out are just the “light” altering the darkness.
Nowhere in the Bible are we told to tolerate sin, and to be quiet and allow it to continue unopposed. We are in a battle, (Ephesians 6:12), and it certainly is not easy. A battle indicates that it will be rough and many times people may get hurt. Certainly, looking the other way and letting sin continue is not a battle. Toleration usually is cowardice.
The world some times believes that we are being “hateful” and “unloving” by condemning their sin. Actually, it takes a whole lot more love to stand up against it and voice a Biblical opinion against a possibly socially accepted sin and be unpopular. It can only be love when preachers and lay men stand up against the hisses of the public; when they speak out against adultery, homosexuality, abortion, and other sins. Actually, it is not showing any love or compassion when you know it is wrong, and you shut your mouth.
Several years back there was a popular phrase with parents. It was “tough love”. If one’s children were doing wrong, the parent was encouraged to do the right thing even if it was unpopular to them, painful, costly, or inconvenient. If you really loved them, you would help them - no matter what.
The word “love” is used loosely today. If we really love those around us, and we know the Biblical truth and know who it comes from, it is our commanded responsibility to share it with them so they do not get hurt.
Telling someone without Christ they are going to hell is hard to do. However, that conversation could keep them from eternal torment. Isn’t the possibility that they miss that punishment worth their getting angry or hurt, (it could be conviction), at us?
If you know that deceitfulness is wrong, do not wink at it. Speak out. You know that homosexuality destroys lives, don’t tolerate it. Abortion kills and ruins the lives of the mothers and kills children, so don’t stand quietly by while colleagues at the work-place discuss it and consider it. When a friend mentions their adultery, don’t agree with their reasons. If you know a neighbor is not saved, don’t allow them to go to hell. Speak up! Sin is sin, and if we don’t tell them, who will?
The liberal “Christians” that object the most about our making a stand and being “hateful” are probably the least loving. If they really believed what they read in their Bible and what they hear from the pulpit, why are they remaining silent when the world is crumbling? We have the truth; we should brandish it with honor and pride.
It’s interesting that that same group will turn their nose up at us and judge, “some Christian you are.” Well, if they really are Christians, then they need to be like Christ, as the name applies. What would Christ do if he were in an unbiblical situation? I’m glad you asked.
At one time, Jesus called Herod a fox (Luke 13:32). The leader was a fox: sneaky and politically maneuvering to have control and get “votes” at the same time. Our Saviour did not pull his punches. He called him exactly what he was. Even when knowing that he might be killed for the remark after the Pharisees he told it to reported it to the ruler. Our Saviour made a stand, and certainly He didn’t tolerate it.
Seventeen times Jesus called people hypocrites in the scriptures. Nine of those instances he was talking specifically to the church leaders and teachers. He was not concerned about being politically correct. They were saying one thing and living another. They were hypocrites and the all-knowing son of God called them what they were. He did not think of a way to show them without hurting their feelings, or to politely reason with them. Jesus told them the truth, and certainly feelings were hurt.
Eventually, Christ lost His life because of the crowd he offended. Rather then turn from their wicked ways, they decided to have the person that was making them uncomfortable with their convictions, killed. A wise person hears a rebuke and turns from their wrong ways (Proverbs 15:5, Proverbs 15:31). Those hypocrites were certainly not wise.
Four times the Bible tells us that Jesus called people “vipers”. A viper is a stealthful, inconspicuous, deadly snake. Those people wielded deadly tongues and doctrines that bite in to lives, destroyed them and eventually sent others to hell. They were sinful and sin made the Son of God angry. Sin should make us angry. The world needs to once again see that it is wrong, and they will not unless the “light” shines in their dark sinful places and exposes it.
Speaking out against sin is not judging. We’ve all heard the defensive quote, “Judge not, that ye be not judged”, to get conviction off their backs. Yes, the Bible does say it, but discerning wrong activity is not necessarily judging. We do have to discern many things in this world. If you don’t discern that the stove is hot you will burn yourself everyday. Likewise, we need to discern that gossip is wickedness and that we should keep from that sin, along with other wickedness.
If those quoting that verse would read the rest of Matthew 7, they would find at least three things God wants us to “judge” so we don’t get hurt by them. Verse 14 warns us to discern false preachers from the real ones. Verse 17 urges us to recognize that some that claim to be Christians may not really be because they are not producing spiritual fruit that a true Christian would exhibit. Finally, verse 21 makes it very clear: Not everyone that claims to be a Christian really is. A quick study will reveal most of the things Christ spoke out against fall in the above three categories.
Today’s convicted crowd, like Biblical days, still hates it when they are called what they are. More then once, I’ve heard the defensive smokescreen when telling them that Jesus also called folks names, “well, you’re not Jesus,” they retort. They certainly hoped that distraction would place the guilt on me, and I would stop bringing their sin to light.
But other people of God also called “names”. John the Baptist found himself before a powerful leader who was in an immoral situation. Boldly, he told Herod that it was wrong for him to have his brother’s wife. Angered by telling him that he was wrong, John was thrown in prison and later lost his head. John knew the truth and told it.
Elijah stood all alone on Mount Carmel and mocked the false god of the prophets of Baal. “Well, he shouldn’t have been so unkind and inconsiderate to them. They have the right to have their own beliefs,” some would defend today.
No one has any right to have other gods. There is one God and one way. God’s law commands not to worship any other then the one true God. Their worship was sin. Sin hurts others around it and it was hurting his people. It made Elijah mad. After he proved to the bystanders and the false prophets who was the true God, he had the false prophets killed. There certainly was no toleration there.
Later, in non-biblical days, Christians stood up and were counted. Many died because of their stand. True Christianity was grown with the blood of martyrs. Many times they were killed for their “religious” views, for speaking out, and for just living a righteous life. Some of the martyrs could have kept their lives if they shut their mouth, but the truth should not be kept quiet.
It can be offensive to call “names” or point fingers at a sin, but many us needed offending to turn from our wicked ways. Few have turned to the right path by suggestions, toleration, and fear to point it out. Yes, it is the Holy Spirit that does the convicting, but He does use His children as messengers many times. If you really have the mind of Christ, you love the things God loves and hate the things He hates. He hates sin. It destroys families, children, imprisons multitudes, ruins lives, and sends too many to hell. We shouldn’t be squeamish about putting our finger on it so it will be revealed and stopped. It’s usually the roaches that don’t like when the spotlight is turned on them.
That is why the unsaved world has always hated true Christians: because they know what is right and will point out what is not right that it may be stopped. Getting rid of the messenger or sin-exposer does not diminish the truth; it can only briefly quiet the conviction. We need to call sin what it is and not to lessen its reproach. If we don’t speak up who will? If we don’t point to the sin, who will?