The Bible wisely warns, “To him that knows to do good, and does it not, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17). This message compels us to do the things we know to be right regardless of the consequences. And this message directly applies to our current socio-political circumstances. Christians are called to be faithful preachers of God’s word, and as such, must seek to preach the “whole counsel of God.” Unfortunately, many think it is OK to skip over the parts about the sanctity of life and marriage that some might find controversial. If we truly believe the Bible is God’s word, we should not omit any part simply because society finds it offensive. The Gospel is offensive because it declares there is only one way to Heaven, which is through Christ and by faith. Will we stop preaching this to avoid offending someone? No. As Christians, we have a responsibility to stand for truth, not just in church, but as we go about our daily activities interacting with others. Pastors have an even greater responsibility to do this since they have been entrusted with the souls of their congregation.
Jesus was once asked, “Who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29) This is a pertinent question that demands not just an answer, but action. To be clear, our neighbor is not just our family or friends or those we go to church with each Sunday. Rather, our neighbor is also the woman who just had an abortion and who must hear that Jesus is capable of forgiving and healing her. Our neighbor is the co-habiting couple down the street that needs to hear that marriage is a sacred covenant between one man and one woman. Our neighbor is the also the homosexual couple who adopted a child without grasping that children need a mother and a father.
Without a doubt, these people must be treated with dignity or respect, even if their actions contradict our Christian beliefs. But we must love them enough to share God’s truth—even if this means offending them. We have a moral duty to share Biblical truth with family, friends, neighbors and even acquaintances. For pastors, this means that Sunday is the perfect opportunity to speak truth to those gathered in the house of God.
If you have received God’s grace and know the truth, you now have an obligation to speak it. You cannot ignore truth and still have a clear conscience. The good news is that when we do what God is calling us to do, He will honor our efforts. This does not mean that every person is going to agree and love us. Some people will get mad and be offended by our professions of faith. But just as Jesus stood up for Stephen as he was being stoned to death, so too will Jesus stand up for those who do right.
Don’t live out your faith in silence while your neighbors continue to live sinful lifestyles. There is nothing loving about letting people live in sin without telling them there is freedom in Jesus. You know what is right, now you must be willing to proclaim God’s truth.
Russell Moore recently said that Christians:
“need to start seeing the fact that we’re very similar to the way the Christian church was at the very beginning of its existence — a minority of people who are speaking to the larger culture in ways that are going to sometimes seem freakish to that larger culture. I don’t think that’s anything that should panic us or cause us to become outraged or despondent. I think it’s a realistic view of who we are.”
Our views will seem “freakish” to a lost culture that is becoming increasingly hostile towards Christians. But that still does not justify remaining silent. Let us never forget that America’s Christians and pastors need to stand boldly for truth regardless of the consequences.