CultureWatch

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

The Christian Obligation to Speak Truth

Sep 23, 2017

There are certain basics and non-negotiables in the Christian job description. One is to be salt and light as Jesus clearly stated in Matthew 5:13-16. This is not some optional extra, but an essential component of the role of the disciple of Christ.

Refuse to do this and you are directly disobeying your Lord. Sadly, far too many Christians are living in blatant disobedience here. They refuse to be the salt and light they are supposed to be. They refuse to open their mouths about the things that matter.

Whether sharing the gospel message or speaking out on the vital moral and social issues of the day, too many believers choose to remain silent. They choose, in other words, to disregard the clear command of Jesus to be salt and light.

Of course both our words and our actions make up this salt and light business. We are under obligation to make disciples of all nations, to be a voice for righteousness in our culture, and to stand up for truth and justice, even when the surrounding culture does not want to hear it.

Yet every excuse in the book is trotted out by some Christians who refuse to be the godly influence they were meant to be. They actually believe they can ignore and disobey our biblical marching orders. Having just read again this morning this passage, let me offer here the first three verses of the book of Jonah. They of course introduce a very familiar story:

The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish.

And we all know how that ended up. Running away from the marching orders of God will always get you in trouble. In the Lord’s army there is no option for disobedience – we either do what we are told, or we show that we are not a real disciple of Christ. It is that simple.

The most obvious example of this today – at least in Australia – is the war over God’s institutions of marriage and family. Some of the most crucial of God’s good gifts to mankind are now under ferocious attack, and it is incumbent upon every single person who names the name of Christ to rally to their defence.

But, some might argue, defending marriage is not a gospel issue. Sorry, but if this is not a gospel issue, then nothing is. I recently wrote an article on this, so let me quote a part of it here:

The Christian gospel speaks to all aspects of life, including those areas which God most strongly affirms and which the world most strongly attacks and resists. As Martin Luther is said to have remarked:
“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.”
Now is certainly NOT the time to retreat and engage in cowardly silence, or to pretend this is just no big deal. When marriage is under such ferocious attack, it is incumbent upon every single Christian to rally to its defence. It IS a gospel issue. We dare not pretend we can just sit this one out, or somehow straddle the fence.
As a colleague of Luther, John Calvin, once put it: “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.”

Not only is this an integral part of the Christian gospel, but if we do not stand strong here in this great hour of need, we will suffer the consequences big time. Whenever homosexual marriage goes through there is a notable restriction on freedom in general and religious freedom in particular.

All Christians will be negatively impacted by this, not only in terms of being able to freely proclaim the gospel, but in terms of who can be hired in a Christian business, or who can be employed even as a Sunday School teacher. Everything changes when homosexual marriage is legalised.

The horror stories about this from overseas have been recounted plenty of times by me and others. One such story that is worth repeating here has to do with Canadian father Steve Tourloukis. He has been through hell ever since homosexual marriage was legalised in Canada in 2005.

Of interest, The Australian just ran with his story, so let me offer a bit of that here:

A Canadian father of two has urged Australians to resist a push to introduce same-sex marriage, warning that it would have profound consequences for schools and potentially erode parents’ rights over their children’s education.
Steve Tourloukis, who has battled his local school board for seven years over the right to pull his children out of sex-education classes that conflicted with his Christian beliefs, is the latest weapon in the Coalition for Marriage’s campaign against same-sex marriage.
In advertisements to be launched during prime-time TV tonight, Dr Tourloukis argues that the introduction of same-sex marriage in Canada in 2005 had paved the way for “anti-heterosexist” policies in schools that saw homosexuality and gender diversity taught as a matter of course.
“You wouldn’t think that two men or two women getting married would have such a profound effect on the education system but I assure you that it has,” he says. “They began to change the curriculum in schools. They said materials relating to homosexuality and same-sex marriage were to permeate the entire curriculum; all subjects, all grade levels.
“They said all students, including my Christian children, should be required to celebrate homosexuality.”
Opponents to same-sex marriage have repeatedly pointed to Canada as an example of a jurisdiction where religious freedoms had come under threat because of same-sex marriage.
Recently a campaign was launched seeking to remove the tax-free status of churches that refused to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies, while some provinces reportedly have been considering laws that would forbid private schools teaching that traditional marriage was the ideal.
In 2010, Dr Tourloukis, an Ontario dentist, asked the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board for notice if his children were to be taught about homosexuality so he could decide whether to withdraw them from class. When the request was denied, he decided to take legal action.
The case garnered intense media attention across the country, where school-based sex education has become highly contentious. Significant numbers of parents have protested over the introduction of sexual diversity and gender theory into lessons as well as the explicit nature of some sex-education programs, which from grades 6 and 7 canvass topics such as wet dreams, masturbation, oral sex and anal intercourse….
“Australia has a very wonderful opportunity to resist this,” he says. “We in Canada didn’t … there was no election. We just woke up one day and there was same-sex marriage.”

This is just one of hundreds of stories that I and others have documented. When homosexual marriage goes through, watch out – we are all put at risk. If you care about your faith, about your freedom, and about your family, you have an obligation to speak out now while you can.

This is important for everyone, but Christians especially need to start praying for some Holy Ghost boldness here. The time for silence is long gone. The time for fence-sitting is over. The time for craven Christianity is now a thing of the past.

We either speak out now, and strongly, or we shut up as we see our freedoms disappear. It is your choice. I know where I will stand on this.

billmuehlenberg.com/2017/09/03/marriage-gospel-issue/
www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/christian-kids-will-be-forced-to-celebrate-homosexuality/news-story/f812b86f5d7fe25b9568c5ae8d235231?nk=4c6e99ad6efdf07459d6ec6e0127b422-1506125212

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12 Responses to The Christian Obligation to Speak Truth

  • Paul summed it up in Acts 24:16…” I take pains to have a clear conscience before God and Man.” Because our final authority is scripture on these issues it is no 1 and then we are to be at peace with all yet if there is rebuke and counsel do it in love and grace.

  • I love this absolute truth! You are a legend.

  • As I said right from the beginning. Parental, children’s and, as a consequence, all human rights – down the toilet. We are already seeing this impact in Australia plus the impact on free speech and religious freedoms. The sort of thing that previous generations would have died to preserve because they understood just how fragile our freedoms are, we are now throwing away because to raise any issues means that you are a “bigot.” What a con. How is it that people have not noticed that nothing like 100% of homosexuals are in favour of the change but 100% of political left wingers are in favour? This should be ringing alarm bells everywhere.

    How dare any government or political party countermand the rights of the parent as to how to raise their children – especially regarding sexuality. Sex is the sort of thing that should not be taught in schools anyway let alone teaching this sort of nonsense. How dare these governments countermand our fundamental rights.

  • I agree Bill. I am grateful for those who are speaking out. However the whole truth is not being told.
    The law is a teacher. If same sex marriage is legalised it teaches our young people that homosexuality is a life style option. The safe schools program would then be mandatory in all schools. This program minimises or dismisses the negative health consequences which always follow this behaviour. Some of these consequences are, HIV Aids genital cancers, antibiotic resistant STDs, physical injuries, parasitic infections, plus a high rate of mental illness, suicide and domestic violence. Due to bi-sexuality and the immune suppressant nature of HIV (eg TB as an HIV co-infection) homosexuality poses a threat to the whole community.
    How is it legal to encourage legislation which will increase risks to public health?
    The above question is a precis of what I have sent to MPs and Christian organisations. I received this response from ACL,
    ‘We’ve done focus groups where we put ideas out there to groups of random people and gauged their responses. That is how we got the consequences information. I am not sure if the health side of things was one of factors in the mix.’
    And from a Senator,
    ‘Thank you for your email regarding marriage.
    I appreciate you forwarding me this information. Currently however, the focus is on the consequences a change in the definition of marriage will have to our freedoms of religious expression and speech, as well as the effect this will have on children.
    Thank you for contacting me on this important issue. It is only through speaking up that we will be able to defend our history and values from these attacks by the left.
    Let’s keep up being unabashed supporters of marriage for the sake of the next generation. ‘

    Meanwhile the real bigots and intolerants are telling the public that it is the alphabet soup crowd that will suffer health consequences!

    Still waiting on a response from the health minister…

  • I doubt you’ll get a response, Gail. Simon Tatz, from the Australian Medical Association, denied to me that there are health issues for homosexuality, but admitted when pressed that ‘Sadly, there is still no cure for AIDS.’
    Someone suggested that the reason homosexuality and euthanasia are being pushed by politicians is that they are worried about the growth of the world’s population and see these as ways of curbing growth! No doubt abortion is too. Perhaps a law could be introduced to euthanize politicians when they outlive their usefulness? Yes, I realise there are some good ones…they could be exempted.
    Seriously, though, C.S.Lewis commented that things are always sharpening and coming to a point. (In “That Hideous Strength” if I remember rightly.) The Bible says the last times will be like Sodom & Gomorrah. God is still in control and has promised to save all who call on His name in true repentance and faith. Satan can go so far and no further.

  • Thank you Bill. Your article is right on the money. There are probably many reasons to serve the cause of right; most of them good. But to serve the cause of right is to serve the cause of God and, in my view, that is all that matters because then God is on our side. I enclose my recent email to the bishop of Bathurst because its content should not be buried under his trivial reply; others may find it instructive.

    Dear Bishop,
    I have been reading with interest your communications on the issue of same-sex marriage.
    Thus far I have been less than impressed or inspired.
    You seem not to have grasped the seriousness of the situation
    and the long term implications of a yes vote.
    You are the custodian of the moral order as far as catholics are concerned; are you not?
    Same-sex marriage is a moral issue; surely you realise that.
    Yet you have never, to my knowledge, addressed the subject.
    What are you afraid of?
    The bible says somewhere:
    “If you aspire to serve the Lord prepare yourself for an ordeal.”
    The late Bishop Cuskelly wrote a book called “There are no cowards in the kingdom”.
    In the event, and quite wrongly it seems, he didn’t include himself,
    but objectively, I believe he would include you.
    If you do not find the courage to speak for Christ on this crucial issue
    then all I can say is:
    Good luck on Judgment Day.
    I would appreciate a reply in clarification
    and confirmation of receipt of this email.
    The clock is already ticking.
    I am experienced in this sort of thing and
    if I can assist in any way I am at your service.

    In the event, and as I expected, the bishop did not take up my offer. Neither did he put forward any explanation as to his silence on the biblical morality of the issue. I am reminded of the encouraging words of Jesus: ‘Do not be afraid’.

  • It is not only in the matter of social and political issues that Christians should speak the truth. On a personal level, so many professing Christians believe something is right as long as it benefits themselves in some way. This, of course, is not the “yardstick” of morality or obedience to the Lord as exemplified in the Bible. For instance, I know of one pastor’s wife who is covering up for a relative who is a Satan worshiper and a criminal. I asked why she is in denial about this individual and has no concern for the innocent victims of this individual. Without missing a beat, she told me, “But it would make our church look bad if people knew we are related to so-and-so.”

    I said to her, “It makes you and your church look bad because you are not taking a stand against evil and because you have no compassion or concern for the victims or for the safety of the public. What business do you, as a professing Christian and a pastor’s wife, have in protecting a Satan worshiper?”

    She answered me by saying, “Because he is family.”

    I pointed out to her the scripture about the professing believer who would not forsake his unbelieving father and mother so that he might take up his cross to follow the Lord Himself. At this she went ballistic and became very hostile, and I have not spoken to her since then.

    When one thinks about it, it really is beyond hideous that any Christian would want to cover up for a Satan worshiper and be in denial about the individual’s capabilities, let alone the loss and suffering this individual has caused. I can imagine that all believers who follow “Culture Watch” are as shocked as I was. What do you have to say about this, Bill?

  • It is always important to speak out on these issues. At the same time I am reminded by Jesus and the Apostle Paul that the love of most will grow cold. I had hoped that it would be the love of few would grow cold but I cannot deviate from Scripture. I am not sure that most of the population will become homosexual in practice, but what I do see is an alarming silence from most which can be counted as, I believe, sinful behaviour.

    Before our election in New Zealand I was conversing with a friend at church. He was talking about our health system and the media’s characterization of the Minister for Heath as being Dr. Death (because of apparent under-funding). I acknowledged this viewpoint but responded that I would not be voting for the opposition (Labour) party because their leader wanted our lax abortion laws to be further liberalized. I said they are the party of death. Well, that was the end of the conversation as he simply walked away.

    I find this all to often from the front of the church as well as in people who attend church. I believe that we need to be helping women towards repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation if they have chosen abortion. There is hope. At the same time, we should be explaining to mothers who are pregnant the full truth and providing a way through that values life and provides ultimate hope. Then a full exposure of what abortion actually involves. To remain silent in the holocaust of our time is simply awful. It is unloving in the extreme.

  • My heart and my mind are moved by this prophetic uncompromising article speaking the truth. There are so many intellectual cowards among us so-called evangelical Christians. We are so wise in our own eyes at home, within our own Churches, our theological colleges or universities, our comfort zone but we are a ”fool” in the marketplace of the world ruthlessly attacking Christianity particularly Australian families. Where are men and women – the prophetic and apologetics voices that know the truth of God, who fear no man but God. The Lord God gives us a sacred mouth and we are so dumb not proclaiming God’s truth and justice. May God raise more anointed, courageous, fearless John Knox of Australia to stand up for God, for truth, and for our nation! The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. Thank you Bill for this great article!

  • Thank you so much Bill, for all your brilliant, Biblical analyses of public affairs for which all thinking Christians are indebted to you.
    It is imperative to expose the lie that homosexuality is innate/genetic as same-sex couples cannot pass their genes on to the next generation, for this is foundational to the debate on SSM. As your extensive research has revealed, men and women who have done what society deems impossible and ‘come out’ of long-term same-sex relationships testify to the psychological or sexual abuse they experienced as children or the emotional neglect which influenced their perception of the natural expression of love, and of their own value as human beings. Their testimony of WHAT led them into same-sex attraction and WHO led them out should be widely publicised, especially in churches for many give glory to God for enabling their journey into Christian marriage. Their courage and commitment to the truth is inspirational, potentially liberating society from the politically-correct, factually inaccurate beliefs which are herding popular opinion onto the apparently compassionate and inclusive Broad Path with all the pitfalls the Bible warns against.
    The ‘Tranzformed’ documentaries from the US provide compelling evidence of the transforming power of God to lead people out of gender dysphoria to freedom in Christ. Every policy-maker should be required to study them, for every child deserves protection from predatory social engineering and the declared political agenda inherent in the ‘Safe Schools’ initiative.

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