Time To Come Out of the Closet
There is no question about it – we should have done it a long time ago. It is high time we all come out of the closet and reveal who we really are. I refer here to the countless millions of incognito Christians in the West who are doing their best to conceal their identity.
No one would even know most people who call themselves Christians are in fact followers of Jesus. Not only do they live lives which are identical to any worldling, but you never hear a peep out of them – they never talk about Jesus in public – and hardly ever in private as well.
It is time for these closet Christians to out themselves. They need to get out of that closet and start acting and talking as if they really were disciples of Jesus. Those who refuse to speak up on behalf of their Lord and who operate in the fear of man can be rightly questioned as to whether they really are Christians.
Those who refuse to say anything about their faith for fear of offending someone are likely not Christians at all. Jesus made all this perfectly clear. He pointedly told us that if we will not stand for him, he will not stand for us. It is that simple. Consider just a few passages on this:
-Matthew 10:32-33 Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.
-Mark 8:38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.
-Luke 9:26 Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
-Luke 10:16 Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.
These are some pretty sober warnings coming from the lips of Jesus. If you think you can be an “undercover” follower of Jesus and never open your mouth and testify about him, then you are only kidding yourself. We either stand boldly for Christ, or we deny him.
And while we’re at it, it is time to start coming out on the crucial issues of the day as well. Remaining silent about the things God cares greatly about is a betrayal of our faith. Indeed, as the new Pope Francis said recently, to refuse to get involved in the political arena as a Christian means you are really just a Pontius Pilate:
“The one adult – a Spanish and religion teacher – who asked the pope a question, wondered what kind of role, if any, Catholics should play in politics. The pope said Catholics have ‘an obligation to get involved in politics. We can’t play the role of Pontius Pilate and wash our hands of it. Politics is one of the highest forms of charity because it seeks the common good.’
“He said those who complain that politics is ‘too dirty’ should ask themselves why. Perhaps it’s ‘because Christians haven’t gotten involved with an evangelical spirit.’ It’s easy to blame others, he said, but people need to ask themselves: ‘Me? What am I doing’ about it?”
Yes, what am I doing to be salt and light? It is easy to just complain about things, but how many believers are actually doing anything about all the evil and injustice in the world? And getting involved in politics is part of this. We must let our faith impact the social and political arenas.
We must no more remain silent about things like the destruction of marriage and family, or the slaughter of the unborn. We must come out of the closet and start speaking up for that which is important. Failure to do so is also a sign that we are not really His.
One woman has recently written about this very thing. When it comes to standing up for the unborn, she has decided to come out of the closet – and stay out. Here is part of her story: “The day I ‘outed’ myself to my ultra-liberal family I was terrified.
“These are the people that basically tried to bully me into aborting my son (aka, their grandson) back in 2011. Lord knows I love them, but I was seriously considering taking this to the grave. You’ve got to understand that I’ve always been the person in my family to keep my opinions to myself. Thank goodness I didn’t do that when I found out I was pregnant at 17 years old….
“Now, at 19, I am taking these things more seriously and trying to live like a Christian in every aspect of my life. I’ve noticed the gifts God has given me that I’ve stuffed down for so long. I have a voice. I’ve always used this voice in music, and my parents were always blown away by my sometimes very dark, deep lyrics. At some point your ears are burning too much that you just POP! Well now I use my voice. They like to think this is an ‘early 20’s phase’ and that I only believe abortion is wrong because I’m a Christian. Oh, also something about me living in Texas.
“Sorry to break the news, folks. I’m pro-life because of many, many reasons. Yes, I do believe the Bible is clear about this issue. But for me, I just have a hard time ignoring the scientific facts. I have a hard time believing that the testimonies of people who have worked in the abortion industry are ‘fake.’ I know those pictures of aborted children aren’t photo-shopped. I know countless women who regret their abortions. My mother-in-law hung out with Norma McCorvey, aka Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade. Norma, who helped make abortion legal, is now pro-life!
“I mean, come on guys. I have yet to meet someone who has made the switch from pro-life to pro-choice and has medical evidence to back up their claim. I know you think that it’s rude to be in people’s business because everyone had their private reasons for aborting their child. I get it. But with that same logic, if I see a little girl being punched by a guy on the street I shouldn’t call 911 or somehow intervene. I mean, he MUST have his own private reason for abusing her right?”
Yes she is quite right. We are all appalled when we hear of a news item telling us about some poor women who was being attacked in broad daylight yet people just passed by saying nothing and doing nothing. We rightly say, “How can they be so callous and apathetic?”
Yet are we not like this every single day? We know babies are being butchered in nearby abortion mills yet we say nothing and do nothing. Our silence condemns us, and one day we will have to give an account to our Lord for our deadly silence and inaction.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer knows all about the importance of speaking out – even when it is very costly to do so. He paid for his courage with his life. As he once said, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
Silence of the Lambs
Wandering the hillsides of complacency
Grazing in apathetic fields
Drinking from still waters of indifference
So far from the shepherd’s will
He cries as He hears
The silence of the lambs
Heaven’s eyes look on in tears
At the lack of concern for man
The created fail to fulfill
The Creator’s perfect plan
And He cries as He hears
The silence of the lambs
(Harry and Joyce McCollough, 1994)
11 Replies to “Time To Come Out of the Closet”
We’re passengers aboard the train
Silent little lambs amidst the pain
That’s no longer good enough
And when it’s time to speak our faith
We use a language no one can explain
That’s no longer good enough
And God knows it’s a shame
‘Cause if we look to pass the flame
We are not the worthy bearers of His name
Michael W. Smith Live the Life
One simple little thing some friends and I do, is to say grace when eating out. We don’t look round to see if we’re noticed because we’re not doing it to be noticed by anyone but Our Lord.
Indeed. I love talking to people and get such a buzz when the Lord opens up a conversation. I carry little Bibles and Creation magazine, and often have the opportunity to give them to the people I meet.
At the local service station on Wednesday night I had a great talk to the attendant for over 15 mins (there were no other customers). It emerged that he loved reading philosophy and is reading Christopher Hitchens at the moment. I said that I liked reading philosophy too, dropped a few names, and said that, when I was in my early teens, I had decided to follow Jesus Christ, which had made a huge difference in my life.
He said he was an atheist, so we talked about what that looked like. He said he had not seen any evidence for God, such as healing of cancer as a result of prayer.
I said it was an answer to prayer that caught my attention when I was about 10, and related the story (very briefly) to him. He was clearly interested. He said he had never asked God for anything like that. So I talked about how God was close and personal and interested in him. We also chatted about how he could ask God for help for situations in his life. Eventually I gave him my card. We mentioned meeting again, and parted on the best of terms.
I have learned (and it has taken me years to discover this simple truth) that I just need to be open, show an interest in the person, actively listen to them, and drop little personal insights/testimonies about Jesus into the conversation as appropriate. I don’t have to manipulate the conversation, preach, argue, or convince them of anything.
What’s *really* impressive about that woman is that her switch to the pro-life side wasn’t just emotional or personal. It seems to have been done on the basis of reason and evidence.
Anybody who takes a hard headed approach to life and doesn’t just insert quasi-religious entities, like a Cartesian soul attached to the body, has to agree that the human person is integral to the human body and thus a person begins when the organism begins – and that’s at conception.
Dear Bill, I like to announce my belief in Jesus in the local paper and among my workmates. They use their broad sense of humour to comment on my beliefs. We do not always need to be serious. This is for your information.
Regards, Franklin Wood
Strong stuff as usual, Bill, and great to read … Say you’re against abortion and people say “Oh … I didn’t know you were a Catholic” – and I sometimes point out that even non-Christians may believe in the value of human life, and that there is an organisation in the U S called “Atheists for Life”. But the church …! I recently heard a sermon where the vicar seemed to be suggesting that some women who have aborted their babies have awful “feelings of guilt”, presumably lacking the knowledge that they have actually, really done something wicked …
John Thomas, UK
Thanks Bill – very convicting.
I wanted to pass on this clip about abortion which is from a lecture in a New Zealand university. The speaker explains the ethical nature of this issue extremely well.
I thought your readers may appreciate it.
Thanks for that Annette
Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch
It always amazes me when people accuse those hurting from Silent no More of being “paid” by pro lifers to share their stories and hold their “I regret my abortion” signs. REALLY???? My heart just weeps for those women so much when I read their testimonials and I cannot believe that the side that supposedly “cares” for women would diminish womens’ feelings so much.
When accused of lying, I always just say “Well, ask yourself this, planned parenthood makes money every time someone has an abortion. I and the groups that counsel women NOT to do not make ONE red cent if they change their mind, so who stands to benefit from lying??”
Yes quite right Michele
Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch
“I cannot believe that the side that supposedly “cares” for women would diminish womens’ feelings so much” (Michele Cook, here) – Michele, I often think much the same about those who promote homosexuality: do they care at all about the thousands of men who will suffer from terrible diseases, as the direct result of anal intercourse? I think not (Britain’s deputy Prime Minister called homosexuality “harmless and normal”). Those men are considered just expendable cannon fodder in culture wars (like the women you refer to); it’s all about political power; actual, ordinary people don’t matter at all.
John Thomas, UK