CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Christians: How Long Will You Keep Denying the Lord?

Aug 20, 2017

“Who me, deny the Lord?” you might be saying right now. Yes you. It is time to get real here. How many Christians are in fact denying their Lord in all sorts of ways, maybe even on a daily basis? How many because of cowardice, because of being men-pleasers, because of wanting to be accepted, will refuse to stand for Christ, especially at crunch times?

How often have we had a chance to share the gospel or talk about Jesus or stand up for a crucial ethical issue, yet we have remained silent, fearful of upsetting folks and losing “friends,”  or worried about what they might think of us? Come on, let’s be honest with ourselves here.

This is a massive problem and sadly I see it happening all the time. Indeed, I have even had good Christians tell me how fearful they are of speaking up. And they may have all sorts of good reasons for this silence, such as the need to keep their jobs so they can feed their families.

But just how long can we expect that our silence will be winked at or overlooked by our Lord? How long before we realise that maybe some things are more important than even keeping our jobs? How long before we realise that God is quite able to look after and support his own, if they faithfully give him 100 per cent of their lives?

Yes we all must look after our families, and yes we all must be wise here and not reckless, silly or presumptuous. But I believe that as Western culture grows increasingly hostile to Christ and Christians, we will all be forced to make a choice: do we keep denying our Lord with our silence and our cowardice, or do we risk everything for Christ and the Kingdom?

Will we be willing to lose our jobs because we were much more worried about denying our Lord? And do we really believe that God is able to look after us, provide for us, and feed and clothe us, if we stand for him unflinchingly, whatever the cost?

Well, do we? We all need to be asking ourselves these sorts of questions as the days grow darker, the anti-Christian bigotry gets worse, and more and more believers decide to deny their faith instead of stand for what is right. Just whose side are you on actually?

And it is not just refusing to speak up for the Christ and share the gospel that I am referring to here. I believe we can just as effectively deny our Lord when we refuse to speak out on the issues of the day that are so vitally important. And it should be clear what some of these crucial moral and social issues are.

The battle for life is one obvious area. We all should be standing up for the unborn, for the elderly, for the weak. We should be resisting the culture of death. Consider just three biblical passages on this:

Psalm 82:2-4 Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.
Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

Proverbs 24:11 Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter.

Proverbs 31:8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.

And the same with the war on marriage. God’s institutions of marriage and family are under massive assault right now, especially with the push to redefine and destroy marriage, and to steal from children their right to their own biological mother and father.

All Christians should be standing strong on this. All Christians should be speaking out on this. All Christians should be doing everything they can to support natural marriage and resist the militant homosexual agenda. Yet we find most Christians refusing to say a word or do a thing.

For all sorts of reasons they are sitting on their easy chairs tight-lipped as this war on marriage escalates. Shame on them. This is a gospel issue. This is something all followers of Jesus Christ must be involved in. By refusing to engage, we are effectively denying our Lord.

And the Bible speaks to this often, as you should know. One very ominous passage is found at the end of Luke’s gospel. In Luke 22:61-62 we find this: “And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.’ And he went out and wept bitterly.”

Wow, Peter denied Christ three times. But how many Christians have denied Christ hundreds of times by refusing to speak up, by refusing to resist the war on marriage, by worrying about what others may think, by cowering in fear? This is equally as serious and sinful as what Peter did.

Think also of some other very stern words from our Lord, such as 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.”

Another such passage is 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.”

These are some very serious warnings which we all better pay very close attention to. I ask this again: Are we denying our Lord? Are we keeping silent about the things that matter when we should be shouting truth from the rooftops? Well, are we?

Let me finish with a few words to encourage you and inspire you in these matters:

“The desire to please may be commendable enough under certain circumstances, but when pleasing men means displeasing God it is an unqualified evil and should have no place in the Christian’s heart. To be right with God has often meant to be in trouble with men.” A.W. Tozer

“Rule of thumb: if your principles evaporate the moment courage is required to defend them, you have no principles. You’re a panderer, not a warrior.” Matt Walsh

“How few men are strong enough to stand against the prevailing currents of opinion.” Winston Churchill

“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady on all the battle front besides is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.” Attributed to Martin Luther

“Boldness enables Christians to forsake all rather than Christ, and to prefer to offend all rather than to offend Him.” Jonathan Edwards

“Even a dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God’s truth is attacked and yet would remain silent.” John Calvin

“What the world needs most is a voice that courageously speaks the truth, not when the world is right, but a voice that speaks the truth when the world is wrong.” Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

“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.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.” Billy Graham

Let me ask one last time: Are we denying our Lord?

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16 Responses to Christians: How Long Will You Keep Denying the Lord?

  • So true Bill. I’ve found that speaking out on the Christian view of Same Sex Marriage on social media lately can be very lonely and hard however we must speak the truth. After I spoke out where people were asserting the Bible is not agsinst homosexuality it becomes a situation where it’s 15 against one like a pack of wolves. I was bullied, mocked and lambasted by a group of people on one site for 26 hours because I wouldn’t back down from the truth. And again the following day. If more stood with you it would make a big difference!

  • These “Christians” imitate the detestable Muslim teaching of Taqiya which allows the believer to deny their faith under threat without divine punishment.

    For the Christian there is no Taqiya, only eternal punishment for denying God’s truth.

    Also, friends, we must be on our guard even though the plebiscite hasn’t started. I heard from an Anglican friend here in Sydney that they are worried that there are signs of discussions between the Catholics and some conservative fake marriage pushers (homosexual Liberals) for a compromise of beefed up religious protections that Catholics are asking for in return for the Catholic clergy not campaigning for a NO vote. If this is true the bill supported by the Catholics would include protections for the “confessional vows” as well all churches right to fire teachers and other employees who have entered into fake same-sex marriages. I’m not sure if this is true but we should be holding them to their undertaking to fully support the NO campaign.

  • Thanks Bill. Am Seeing many Christians knocking on the door of apostasy by embracing or accepting this “attack on the gospel” through biblical marriage due to cultural pressure and seeking to be inoffensive. Marriage represents the relationship of Christ and His church. The church is the bride of Christ. It’s a creational and gospel issue not a cultural issue.

    Saw this article that a Christian posted on their Facebook site. This article seems to be what many Christians are using to excuse their unwillingness to take a courageous stand in these perilous times.

    Would be interested in your thoughts on this article and maybe a response or article addressing this “Christian perspective.”

    Seriously, according to the philosophy of this article’s arguments – we may as well accept and tolerate, abortion, incest, pornography, pedophilia etc all because they already exist and we don’t want to offend participants.
    http://www.ethos.org.au/online-resources/Engage-Mail/six-reasons-to-vote-yes#.WZYAUFqzFVA.facebook

  • Thanks Lyndon. Yes I have seen it and too many other articles like it. It is awful, and I can’t believe folks claiming to be Christian actually write such rubbish. It does my head into be honest! I will give you a brief rebuttal soon, but many of my earlier articles offer much the same.

  • I think of when Jesus looked Peter in the eye at the High Priest’s house – after those denials: What if the Lord looked us in the eye right now?…

  • Yes, it can be very lonely, in human terms, standing firm on God’s Word. Even without “fearing men” here can be self- doubt as to whether we are being overly harsh, speaking the truth but not in love, etc. It doesn’t always feel like a privilege to uphold what God has told us so clearly in His Word.

    None of the prophets was universally loved. Elijah stood up to Jezebel. She had God’s prophets killed. Elijah was convinced that he was the only one left. But he WASN’T. There were 100 others kept safe, of whom he hadn’t been aware.

    So here we are. In a spiritual war. Let us not be defeated by the giant of self pity (as referred to by the late Selwyn Hughes many years ago). We all know that we are NOT alone, ever. Additionally, “those who are with us are more than those that are against us”. And lastly, even unknown to us, there are others who are standing firm under God’s protective hand.

    Bill. I am grateful that you do not become weary in doing good (even though I’m sure you become weary!). You keep pointing us back to God’s Word, and in doing so you are extending the opportunity for life eternal.

    You may be the target of nastiness, Bill, but that is primarily because your courage IS contagious. It makes you a focal point of hatred; but you make sure we keep Jesus the focal point of our trust and hope.

  • Lyndon Beasy,

    Following is my comments posted on the link you gave (complete with errors.) I have posted it here because it is just as likely to not appear on that web site.

    1. Nomenclature is important. When you redefine marriage as no longer based on biology you are also saying that the family is an artificial construct and the only authority parents have is that given by government. People don’t seem to understand the ramifications of what has happened overseas where the law is changed so that all instances of “natural parent” are replaced with “legal parent”. What this is saying is that there no longer any God given parental rights.

    2. What you are acknowledging is a falsehood. Homosexual relationships are not sociologically, physically, sexually, functionally nor morally equal to biological unions, so you are cementing a falsehood into law.

    3. Church and state arguments are a complete red herring. All civilized cultures, even those accepting of homosexual practice, have in the past recognized the uniqueness of the biological union.

    4. The safety argument is the moral equivalent of giving drugs to a drug addict who threatens to kill themselves if you don’t give them drugs. No normal person would threaten to kill themselves because the name of their relationship is not what they want and any effect here has got to be ridiculously overstated.

    5. Our mission is to let God’s will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven, not to oppose His will and promote family breakup and sexual immorality.

    6. If our witness is to support immorality in society then it is very much a false witness.

  • Thanks for that Michael.

  • Thanks again Lyndon. As mentioned, this is such a terribly poor article, that it shocks me that there is a group claiming to be Christian that actually ran with it. And also as mentioned, I have replied to so many of these lame pieces before that it gets real tiring real fast. It is just the same old same old which I have dealt with so often already.

    Here is the short list of replies (and I may do a fuller piece on this at some point):

    1. Words matter, and what they signify matters. And social engineering is always preceded by verbal engineering. Play fast and loose with language and you can play fast and loose with a culture and its institutions.

    2. So what if they exist? So do threesomes, polygamy, group marriage, and incestuous relationships, to name but a few “alternative lifestyles”. Should we “acknowledge” all of them as well? If not, why not? And don’t tell me no one is demanding the legalisation and public recognition of these other types of relationships. As I have carefully documented in entire books, they most certainly are. Why in the world would a person claiming to be a Christian want to affirm what God clearly calls sinful?

    3. Oh good grief, here we go again with utterly foolish remarks about a theocracy, imposing our values, etc. I expect atheists and homosexuals to throw up such red herrings and straw men arguments, but certainly not folks claiming to be intelligent Christians. And I have dealt with this foolishness far too many times already. See here for starters: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2015/07/20/are-christians-forcing-their-morality-on-others/

    4. Once again, this writer is utterly clueless about what is actually going on here. The claim that if we legalise homosexual marriage we will reduce homosexual suicide is completely and demonstrably false. Places which have fully embraced homosexuality and homosexual marriage still have very high suicide levels for homosexuals. It has nothing to do with “homophobia” and the like. Again, I have this all fully documented in my books. Why don’t these people actually do some research instead of just blindly repeating homosexual propaganda and falsehoods?

    And just take one howler of a statement: “I am arguing for the preservation of human life, a deeply Christian concern. If legalising same-sex marriage will contribute to that, let us do it.” For heaven’s sake. Some rapists, murderers and thieves may also feel bad about what they have done and feel the lack of social acceptance and approval, and may therefore take their lives. So according to this brilliant bit of reasoning, we as Christian must be fully in favour of abolishing all laws against rape, murder and theft to ensure that these people do not feel bad about themselves, do not feel social disapprobation, and possibly self-harm. Oh Puh-leeese.

    5. Baloney. God’s truth is applicable to everyone, not just to Christians. That is, God has given us general laws which apply to all, via the state. God created the institution of the state and he expects all people – saved or not – to abide by the laws so set up. This idea that we have utterly nothing to say to unbelievers on moral and social issues is just ludicrous, as well as patently unbiblical. One might as well foolishly argue that we cannot expect a non-Christian to observe speed limits or refrain from running stop signs. Yeah right, try telling that to a judge.

    6. Witness? Are you kidding me? We are going to somehow offer a great witness to the world by siding with sin, effectively telling God he is a wrong, and refusing to obey God’s word? Yeah right, great witness. No wonder the church is dying all over the West. When you baptise sin, evil and unrighteousness, and simply run with the world’s faulty notions of tolerance and acceptance, you have already lost. Why not just stop all the Christian pretence and admit you think and act just like the pagans do?

    The truth is I have little time at all for such blatantly unbiblical, irrational and emotive pieces. As I say, I expect pagans to carry on with all this nonsense, but it grieves me greatly that people who say they are disciples of Christ run with this, and with organisations that claim to represent biblical ethics. Shame on these people for writing them and publishing them.

  • For the Christian who actually dares to believe that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, there can be no argument. Right from the beginning, God made it abundantly clear that his plan was for one man and one woman to be united ‘as one’. It is interesting that this union is in some ways similar to the relationship that has existed eternally between Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
    Now the crucial question – the one that overrides all other questions – is this: Do we believe God’s word – even at those times when a multitude of voices of ‘reason’ are arrayed against us? Is the Word of God the same as his fundamental nature: eternal, unchanging, and a true reflection of his character? Or is it what so many conveniently believe today: a contemporary guideline of suggested moral behaviour that reflects our changing times?
    If our answer to this question is an unswerving ‘yes’ – that is, we do believe that God’s Word is unchanging and eternally relevant – then we dare not try to change it for the sake of making our lives more pleasant, or in order to justify our actions, no matter what pressure is brought to bear.
    If, however, we follow today’s trend and join the ranks of moral relativism, we will be more popular, easier to live with and perhaps eventually an endangered species. As Joshua said to the Israelites, “Choose today whom you will serve!” This is a decision with eternal consequences.

  • OK, I bit the bullet and I penned an entire piece on her silly and dangerous article. It is found here:

    https://billmuehlenberg.com/2017/08/21/no-not-representing-christ-biblical-truth/

  • Thanks Bill but you do realize that this is all part of those who claim to be Christian but who really aren’t, being revealed. Those that “work iniquity” will be told to “depart.” There is nothing surer. The prophecies are clear that they will attempt to wear down God’s people and that is exactly what is happening. Satan knows well the tenacity of the homosexual spirit and just how to use it best and God will see exactly how everyone votes on the plebiscite and the idea that we are showing “love” while opposing what God clearly told us will surely not go down well. Only those who, in humility, understand that God is in fact many, many orders of magnitude smarter than we are and who have not risen up against Him in pride, will be accepted. That is the whole point.

  • Thanks Michael. While some of these folks are just woefully confused and woefully under-informed and unbiblical, I have no doubt that many are simply wolves in sheeps’ clothing and/or apostates. So yes, I do believe all this madness is in part how God is doing his sifting and separating process, showing up who are the wheat and who are the tares. This is as good an issue as any to see who are genuine biblical Christians and who are just lefty trendy churchians and religionists.

  • Keep these coming Bill as yours is a lonely but needed voice out here.

    On the train at the weekend I spoke with a fellow passenger on the way down to Melbourne and another on the return journey. I simply asked if they knew with way they would be voting in the marriage plebiscite. One was a Catholic who was not sure, another an agnostic who was giving a ‘yes’ vote. After chatting and having the opportunity to bring some facts that are rarely discussed in the MSM, but would read about in Bill’s articles, they both made up there minds to vote no. This is not about me but about all of us having some facts, conviction and are willing to share them with strangers for the sake of the future of Australians.

  • Well done Keith. We sure do need many more folks like you who are brave enough and concerned enough to speak truth in the public arena. Bless ya.

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