When Stones Speak Out

Why are so many Christians dead silent?

Jesus warned us that we will have to give an account for the words that we speak. Specifically, he warned about “careless” or “idle” words, and he also said we will be justified or condemned by what we say. As Matthew 12:35-37 puts it:

“The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

But a case can be made that we might also be judged on what we do NOT say. Consider what we find in Luke 19:39-40: “And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples.’ He answered, ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out’.”

At the very least, Jesus is telling us of the importance of speaking out when it is imperative that we do so. Proclaiming the gospel to one and all is one obvious area where all Christians need to be speaking, and speaking boldly. The closing command of Jesus to the disciples was to preach the gospel to all nations (Mark 16:15 – see also Matthew 24:14).

But one can also argue that there are all sorts of other things we need to be speaking out about, and to remain silent during such times might in fact be sinful. There are sins of omission as well as commission. As the Westminster Shorter Catechism says in question 14: “Q. What is sin? A. Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, the law of God.”

Just as we can sin by the things we say, it seems we can sin by not saying what needs to be said. Too often Christians remain silent when they should be speaking out. So many things are worth discussing, especially in the public arena. We should be speaking out about the war on marriage and family, the destruction of the unborn, the assault on truth, and the ugly cancel culture, to name but a few.

We should be speaking out about injustice and evil in high places, including in government and among our elected officials. When our leaders are doing that which is evil and harmful, believers have an obligation to call this out and to be salt and light in a needy world.

Yet most are completely silent. Why is this? There would be countless reasons. Many are simply cowards. Many do not want to rock the boat. Many just want to get along with everybody. Many are more concerned about pleasing man than they are about pleasing God. Many want to hang on to their jobs, or reputation, or privileges at all costs. Many simply refuse to make Christ Lord of their lives.

And incredibly some will claim it is somehow unloving and unchristian to speak out. They actually think we are somehow undermining our Christian witness by speaking out on the vital issues of the day. Hmm, would they have condemned Wilberforce when he spoke out against slavery, or Bonhoeffer when he spoke out against the Nazis? Good grief.

Whatever the reason, it is scandalous that so many believers are sinning by refusing to take a stand and speak truth when it is needed. Simply offering words of warning when it is necessary to do so is so very vital. Yet how many Christians are willing to do this?

Consider a quite practical example of this. What person in their right mind – whether Christian or non-Christian – would refuse to sound the alarm when they see a toddler playing in the street and a speeding truck is bearing down on the child? Any decent human being would speak out at once – they would shout and scream and do all they could to warn the child if not actually seek to save the child by direct action.

How is that any different from a host of dangers and threats that we face daily? Christians should be at the forefront of speaking out about things like religious freedom – especially as we see so many threats to it today. They should be leading the charge to speak out on the attack on human life. They should be loud and proud in the public square affirming the vital importance of the family unit.

Yet in most cases we hear crickets chirping. Shame on these voiceless Christians. But God never leaves himself voiceless. He never leaves himself without a witness. Thus the verse I began this article with. If God’s people refuse to raise their voices, then God can find others who will.

Consider the secular alternative media. In the US the main such network is Fox News. Here in Australia (and in the UK) we have Sky News. These are for the most part conservative outfits that bring a different take on things from that of the mainstream media.

For the most part the hosts on the main talk shows are secular. Fox would have more Christians on their network over all, while here the Sky News evening lineup is overwhelmingly non-Christian. Consider Bolt and Murray and Panahi and Jones (who just left Sky): all are atheists or agnostics.

Yet so often they are speaking out on the things that matter. So often they are even defending Christian values while the churches are stone cold silent. So often they are doing the job that Christians should be doing. Believers may not have major television networks at their disposal (although such things do exist in the US).

But they do have one major means of reaching millions of people: the pulpit. But how often are our church leaders using the pulpit to speak truth about the issues of the day, and how the Christian gospel has a direct bearing on them? Guess what? The Bible actually does speak a lot about political, economic, social and cultural issues.

Yet in most Western pulpits today you would not know this. You would think the Christian message is only about inner, personal spiritual considerations, and it has nothing to say about the world around us. The damning silence of our pastors and priests and ministers on so many of the things that matter is a blight on our churches.

No wonder then that other voices come to the fore. No wonder that we can have an Andrew Bolt or a Rita Panahi speaking more about the importance of the family or the need to resist the radical trans attack on it than most Christians do.

A witness for truth will always be found. If our churches refuse to speak truth on the many extremely important social and cultural issues of the day, then other voices will be raised up. If Christians refuse to speak, then the very stones will cry out.

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20 Replies to “When Stones Speak Out”

  1. You are absolutely right Bill. I wonder whether when they meet Jesus these weak kneed or nominal Christians will be confronted with those terrifying words: “Depart from me……”

  2. Bill, we’ve been speaking out and signing petitions and emailing politicians. My husband doesn’t know whether he will be stood down in the future as a pastor as we have chosen not to be vaccinated. We are trying to open the churches but so far are unsuccessful as there is one chairmanager who is frightened of getting a big fine from the government if some people are unvaccinated, including his pastor, my husband. We plan on going to the rally this Saturday, which meets at the state library at 12noon at converges on the steps of parliament house.

  3. Most of the Australian church is in the thrall of Marxist ‘social justice’ ideas and parrots the talking points of the NGO-left. As you point out, there is little about real justice, about fair treatment of men in the family courts, in domestic violence campaigns, or the primacy of the family which is degraded at every point, it would seem, for Aboriginal children left in the depraved communities that house their abusers, for children who are housed by NGOs who run a modern socialist agenda, and worse to the point of furthering abuse (personal knowledge from previous employment). It goes on!

    (‘Climate’ policies that take from the poor to subsidise the solar panels of the rich, for example).

    But then, the church manages to ignore the doctrine of creation and bolts its world-view in most cases onto modern metaphysical materialism without batting an eye. What would you expect when slabs of text in the Bible are regarded as nugatory?

  4. Well said Bill. This has been my gripe for a very long time re all this political evil that is going on. And yet, in most churches here in SA, you wouldn’t even know it.
    I’m what you would consider a reformed, word of God alone and faith alone person, and yet I feel compelled to speak and warn people around me of whats going on, but yet, many of my brothers and sisters in the same camp as me would accuse me of political activism or, im looking too much into these things.
    But, just as your article states, I find no contradiction between being a gospel centred Christian, and at the same time, raising the alarm to all this political tyranny that is oppressing daily.
    Anyone reading this, you going to be at the next freedom Australia rally on the 20th of this month?

  5. Dear Bill
    Believe me I am speaking out, emailing politicians and talking to friends and family wherever possible. I think the things coming in Victoria, if Dan gets his way, will be truly appalling. I have never been so stirred and concerned as I am now.
    We are in serious trouble in this state and nation even now, and doubly so if dictator Dan succeeds in what he is trying to do.
    I commented before to one of your articles, stating that the good side of it all is that it is driving me and others to my knees in prayer. Still seeking the Lord in it all but sadly often failing in keeping depression at bay.
    Thanks again for your work!
    Kind regards

  6. Good article Bill. I’ve heard November is going to be a grim month but by Thanksgiving, 25th Nov there will be rejoicing in USA. So just hold on till Christmas as God is bringing these Goliaths down. He has already brought Facebook down on 4th Oct so now the others will keep falling including the American dollar which means the world’s economies are going to fall. I feel its like a death angel going over us at the moment as our govts want to vaccinate our young children but we will be set free again and by April 2022 this tyranny should be over is what I heard. Covid may still be around but all these taskmasters will be gone. The author/actor/producer Gregory Paul Martin wanted to do his bit and has written a book called ‘The Biggest Lie’ out in Jan. He says we have already won this war but we must keep believing. The people causing all this mayhem like Schwab, Gates and Johnson are demonized psychopaths like Dan Andrews and so a second Renaissance or French Revolution is going to occur. We are in WW111 or the Apocalypse, a pivotal moment of history.

  7. Many churches are far too caught up in social justice rather than true justice. Social justice is not ‘true’ justice. What many churches speak of is equality, egalitarianism or fairness. This is common green-left woke socialist activism which is very different to true justice and truth.

  8. Dear Bill,
    Great writing and wonderful responses as usual. I spoke with a young man studding to become a Pastor the other day he told me he was ever so disappointed with all the Churches. He said they should all be publicly saying ‘we were wrong to shut down, cease worshipping together and singing, as God’s Holy Word, The Bible commands us to do these things. We will never allow the state to shut our doors again.’
    I thought- hurry up and finish your study and tell me where your church is. Can you imagine the encouragement that stance would give an unbelieving world?
    God bless your stand against this tyranny, Bill
    Mark Bryant

  9. “Hmm, would they have condemned Wilberforce when he spoke out against slavery, or Bonhoeffer when he spoke out against the Nazis?”

    Oh they’ll insist they too would’ve spoken up. Some even speak of how they wouldn’t have left Christ during his trial like the apostles did. It’s easy to be brave when you are far removed from an event and your bravery thus costs you nothing. It’s easy to say now I would’ve been among the apostles or I would’ve hid the Jews or I would’ve tried to assassinate Hitler or been part of the underground railroad but in the actual time of these things most of these brave people would be with the Pharisees, ratting out who was hiding Jews, trying to save Hitler from assassination and denouncing those helping slaves escape. It reminds me of the weakest kid running up and kicking the bully AFTER someone else has already beat him up.

    Once something has been declared political we can no longer talk about it.

    This appears to be the attitude many take to alleviate themselves of their responsibility. Reminds me of a line from a episode of the Simpson’s “Once the government has declared something legal it is no longer immoral.” Said by their Reverend Lovejoy.

  10. Dear Bill
    Do you know of any good parking places that are reasonably priced, located near the state library?

  11. Dear Lynette Evans
    Have you heard the theory that Trump is coming back?

  12. Thanks Anne. I am not sure, but I know that some folks are driving to the exhibition building, parking there and walking to the freedom march this Saturday.

  13. Dear Anne, Yes, I thought it was Bo Polny who was predicting Trump will be back around 22nd Nov as I had written the date on my calendar but now Bo just says something big is going to happen a few days before 25th Nov, so Thanksgiving will be a time of rejoicing for the Americans. He also says the monetary system we were brought up with is going to crash. The first bit of this video explains it better https://welovetrump.com/2021/10/26/bo-polny-bitcoin-about-to-explode-then-altcoin-season/?utm_source=newsletter_ssp&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ssp
    I have also heard Robin Bullock call President Trump back, whether Trump will come back as before or just rule from his new social media platform truthsocial.com remains to be seen
    as there could be riots like last year. so let’s keep praying. These two weeks are going to be pivotal.

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