Good news folks: I have discovered the secret to being able to live a life with no conflict, no disquiet, no opposition, and no rough sailing. Of course not every trouble and difficulty in life will be avoided, but one very big source of strife can largely be eliminated altogether.
I refer to social flack one can get on any number of fronts. One can get criticised and berated simply for speaking out on a whole range of topics. One can get slammed even when one has the best of intentions. One can get viciously attacked simply for taking an unpopular stance on some contemporary issue.
So in the interests of sparing you all this social disapprobation, I here offer a handy list of things you can do to ensure that you live a quiet and peaceful life. Indeed, follow this instruction list carefully, and I can almost guarantee that you will live a life of ease and tranquillity.
Here then are some helpful dos and don’ts:
-Always remain silent whenever a controversial topic is being discussed.
-Refuse to enter into any debate on religion or politics.
-Never offer your opinion on any hot potato issue.
-Always simply agree with what anyone else says.
-Fully embrace the PC agenda.
-Always go along with the crowd.
-Never quote from the Bible or great Christian heroes.
-Don’t try to make the world a better place.
-Whatever you do, never rock the boat.
-Always agree with your ideological adversary.
-Fully embrace the postmodern conviction that there is no absolute truth.
-Latch on to the idea that the main thing in life is to be “tolerant”.
-Avoid all public debates and discussions.
-Stay away from all social media.
-Never write a letter to the editor.
-Do not engage in talk-back radio.
-Steer clear of any public forums where controversial issues are being discussed.
-Convince yourself that keeping the peace is our greatest calling.
-Cultivate a fear of offending anyone or upsetting anyone.
-Let the fear of man be your main motivation in life.
-Let the praise of men rather than the fear of God be your guiding principle.
-Buy into the line which says we should just be “loving” and not get bogged down in doctrine.
-Make sure you put your own personal comfort and wellbeing above all else.
-And above all – rule numero uno – never, ever talk about your Christian faith in public. Keep your mouth shut and never dare to talk about your faith with anyone. This one bit of advice alone will save you countless attacks, rebukes, and instances of ridicule, scorn, derision and mockery.
So as I say, simply follow these easy instructions, and your life really should be a whole lot more pleasant and trouble-free. Of course there is one downside to all this. If you are a Christian and put this into practice, you have effectively denied your faith. Consider what Scripture says about all this:
-Luke 11:23 He who is not with me is against me
-Luke 12:8-9 I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God. But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God.
-Romans 1:16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
-1 Cor 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
-Matt 10:34 Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace on the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
-Matt 13:57 And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.”
-Proverbs 29:25 Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.
-Acts 17:6 These that have turned the world upside down have come here also.
At the end of the day, it is only those who don’t care, or who value personal peace and comfort above all else, who will be quite happy to abide by my list. Indeed, for them it is a no-brainer. They do not care and they do not want to rock the boat.
They actually prefer a life of ease and comfort, and avoid confrontation and controversy like the plague. How many Christians have in fact bought into the current anti-Christian notions of tolerance where the highest good is seen to be agreeing with everyone and challenging nothing?
This false notion of tolerance means that we will never take a stand for anything important for fear of offending someone or causing a stir. We have managed to convince ourselves that tolerance in the face of great evil is some sort of virtue.
But the exact opposite is the case. We are called to take a stand, to represent our Lord boldly and fearlessly, to resist evil, to stand against the works of darkness, and uphold truth in the public arena. A true disciple of Christ will never hide his light under a bushel, but will resolutely proclaim Christ and the values of the Kingdom.
We are never to tolerate evil, falsehood and assaults on our Lord, but stand up for what is right, what is true, and what is important. That is the very heart of the Christian life. One simply has to read the book of Acts to see this lived out on a daily basis.
The late John Stott put it this way: “Tolerance is not a spiritual gift; it is the distinguishing mark of postmodernism; and sadly, it has permeated the very fiber of Christianity. Why is it that those who have no biblical convictions or theology to govern and direct their actions are tolerated and the standard or truth of God’s Word rightly divided and applied is dismissed as extreme opinion or legalism?”
I think Dorothy Sayers, the great English writer, said it best: “In the world it is called Tolerance, but in hell it is called Despair, the sin that believes in nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing, lives for nothing, and remains alive because there is nothing for which it will die.”
But at least you will have a quiet and peaceful life – for a while.