April 23, 2011

When Good Men Do Nothing

I don't know, I guess I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. Perhaps it is because the flesh has reared up in me. Perhaps it is righteous indignation. Perhaps it is because every time I turn on my television I am being lied to by the media. It might be because every time I hear a politician speak or see their lips move it is because they are probably lying or deliberately being deceptive to serve their ends. Perhaps it's because of the recent controversy over Rob Bell or televangelists on TBN raking the poor and downtrodden over the coals for their last dollar by promising healing and riches (contrary to methodologies outlined in Scripture). Most likely it is because I am a disciple of Christ in search of His truth. Because of His truth I can more clearly see what amounts to deception in contrast to Him.

Of late people not making clear statements has been annoying me to no end. People communicating in half truths and not being clear is driving me batty and nuttier than a fruitcake. People not being decisive has become the scourge of our world. People say what they don't mean and mean what they don't say. Any communication from people that deliberately does not come right out and state a clear truth or purposely makes things more difficult to understand makes me question their motives.

Another issue on the table in terms of communication is we Christians who have become to gun-shy or tentative in our approach to addressing untruth's or even our willingness to make clear statements when confronted with these ambiguities or outright stated untruths or heresies. We have begun to tiptoe around clear statements of denunciation. We do it while we are staring vapidly in the face of what is a statement contradictory to the Bible or a statement so close to being contradictory to the Bible that the difference is indistinguishable.

People tell me that my annoyance with these things make me intolerant and shows me for the sinner or hypocrite that I am. Intolerant. This might be the most aggravating word today in the English language (or any language for that matter). In my desire to be clear and make clear statements of my position and condition I am labelled as exclusivist and intolerant. Because I make a clear, definitive and positional statement I am being anti-whatever. When others will make no statement of position whatsoever. Who is being duplicit and deceptive here? Because I make a clear statement and steer clear of postmodern goobly-gook I am anti-conformist, and working against the norm. Who da thunk it? So be it. Better to be hated and misunderstood for who I am than loved for something I am not.

"Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one." ~Matthew 5:37

"Above all, my brothers, do not swear--not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your "Yes" be yes, and your "No," no, or you will be condemned." ~James 5:12

People in power or positions of notoriety make deliberate statements or what appear to be deliberate half-truths purposely obfuscating (clouding) thoughts to be able to embrace as many people as possible. In a race to be as appealing to as many as possible and offend as few as possible they don't tell the truth plainly. Then people like myself are always stuck in a crux where we need to be either devisive or polarizing to determine what truth is. We need to dee if the words match the picture and when they don't we are forced in a decision of conscience. Do we attempt to force clarification and potentially offend people sitting on the fence with the culture? More plainly put, do to we state the truth outright and let the chips fall where they may? Conversely, do we "beat around the bush" and fall victim to the very scourge that is sweeping modern conduits of communication? Many Christian's fall victim to the latter of the two. In an attempt to not "offend" people with the truth or a reasonable facsimile thereof, we either chose to respond in a tentative or tepid manner or we don't respond at all. By little response or no response we do not clear the waters for anyone (even ourselves). As Christians we need to place on the table the possibility (that many are unaware of) that unclear statements from some people are deliberate deceptions. If not deceptions they are uninformed and uneducated heretical statements...or worse... deliberate heretical statements.

I have often been told that we need to keep the dialogue open if we want to help correct a false teaching or heretical statement. To some extent I agree...but not to the extent where it allows the person making those asinine statements to continue to make them unchecked. Jesus did not maintain lines of communication with the Pharisees for continued conversation. Jesus saw that they were making converts "twice the son of Hell" that they themselves were. Did he have a conversation with them? NO! He condemned them! Openly and publicly. Of course they decided they were going to do Him in and kill Him too. Such is the nature of wicked men.

There is a price to be paid to follow Christ in a system controlled predominantly by the Devil. We need to take up our cross. We need to understand that those that carry a cross most often carry it to their death. Those that followed Christ also follow Him to death. We will often times need to be willing to forsake what we believe is "safe", "comfortable" and "conducive" to a peaceful existence to do what is right. Sometimes that means condemning what is wrong flatly and plainly, not having conversations about it. When there is room for chit-chat we need to be able to recognize it but not compromise doctrine and tenants of our faith to maintain the conversation that is undermining to our faith. When in doubt and when the statements being put forth are ambiguous or unclear ask the speaker to clarify. If he refuses to clarify the statement or makes the issue more muddled....you then know what you are dealing with. As Christians we should allow people the benefit of the doubt but if they continue to subvert or cloud the truth...address it. The worst thing a Christian can do in this situation is nothing. You know the old saying.

The only thing evil men or evil powers need to triumph in the realm of man is for good men to do nothing.

We wonder nowadays why many of our civil and religious leaders are falling like dominoes in a wind storm. Our leaders and others like them are not being held accountable for what they say (or do). Actions start with ideas. Ideas often verbalized or acted on. People are following them in droves like lemmings running off a cliff. They never once are questioned for the things they say. People, too afraid to disturb the status quo are scared into silence. People not educated enough in their own faith are afraid to speak truth that their heart tells them is true because of the Spirit of Truth that is in them. Because they are not versed enough in their own faith to hold a consistent debate they avoid the debate entirely allowing those that area clearly wrong to continue spreading their lies. What is worse, they cannot expose a blatant wrong or lie for what it is when confronted with it.

The liars and deceivers have gotten the upper hand in this society and the world a large. We as Christians are called to be beacons of light in a dark world. We need to know the Truth and are called to defend it (1 Peter 3:15) effectively. We need to speak up and stop being afraid of defending the Truth when it is clearly being violated and intruded upon. Otherwise when people all start running for the cliff at the same time, we will be in no situation or condition to stave of disaster. In the mad rush we will be swept over the cliff with the masses. Unless someone comes forward to tell the truth many will perish in their ignorance. If you know better, why do you remain silent?


Duke Taber said...

Great Post! I couldn't agree more. It is time for our yes to be yes and our no to be no.

Keep up the good work!

Andy Pierson said...

Thanks Duke. I battle with when to speak up and when to remain silent. I guess today I just woke up a little cranky. :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...