You Don’t Have the Right to Remain Silent!

“When he saw Elijah, he said to him, “Is that you, you troubler of Israel?”” (1 Kings 18:17, NIV)

shhh

photo by citizen_poeta

That Phillips, Craig, and Dean song “You Don’t Have the Right to Remain Silent’ could not be more appropriate today.  For a long time the evangelical church has slowly bought into the idea that faith belongs in the private domain and should be ‘separate’ from the public square.  Biblical convictions are converted to individual opinion and considered irrelevant to discussions about public policy and action.

More in reflecting than in leading the white evangelical spirit of his age, Moody, as if in conscious reaction to the political overcommitments of evangelicals during and after the Civil War, guided his audiences away from external and social duties toward a consideration of inner and personal states of being. Along with large segments of the Protestant world, Moody’s heightened stress on personal piety seemed to entail a decrease of interest in social conditions…The end result from shifting theological emphases toward the turn of the century was that the more conservative and pietistic elements of American Protestantism were neutering the social impact of Christian faith even as many evangelicals continued to find manifold resources in traditional Christianity for private devotion and domestic guidance.

Mark A. Noll, God and Race in American Politics: A Short History, 2008, p 79-80

gag-order

photo by gitgat

May we, at the turn of this century, recover our societal duties, while maintaining fervent in our private piety and devotion.  As we pursue and live out our saving relationship with Jesus Christ, our Risen and Reigning Lord, let us become the salt and light in this world that He has called us to be.  When we rightfully reject the deception that faith is to be relegated to the private realm, we are received with the same warmth that Elijah received from a wicked King “Is that you, troubler of America, this is not a theocracy, keep your morality to yourself and Sunday morning’.  Sadly, we have all too often complied.

It is hightime the church found her voice.  We are heading into perilous times and personal piety and devotion are the starting point, but they MUST NOT be the ending point. When one looks back at Nazi Germany, a common question is ‘Where was the church?’  The church had lost her voice. There were exceptions within her of course who stood boldly for truth.  Their time in the prayer closet led them to also stand and proclaim truth boldly in the public square.  They were willing to learn the true cost of discipleship, their lives.  May we be willing to follow their faithful examples and found worthy of their company in the coming Day of our Lord.

“The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks what is just.” (Psalm 37:30, NIV)

In order to do so, we must begin to pray less for comfort and pray more for courage.

“Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.” (Psalm 37:8, NIV)
Lord, as we move our faith from private piety and devotion to the public square, to engage the growing darkness, help us to remember that your cause has already won our righteousness and that it will in the end overcome all the evil schemes of man and that Your sovereignty is even more certain than the shining of the sun. Help us as we seek to speak truth into this fallen world, to not do so in the angry arrogance of ‘what we think’, but in the calm confidence of knowing Who You Are.

“For [You] did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7, NIV)

Lord, may Your love  compel us to live our faith boldly and publicly.

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