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)