We need to stop shooting the messenger:
It happens all the time: those who should know better will take offence at all the wrong things. Primarily, instead of taking offence at the many great evils and dangers that are all around us, some folks – including some rather clueless Christians – will take offence at those who point out these evils, at those who sound the alarm. They are happy to shoot the messenger while ignoring the danger.
The very fact that you are trying to act as a watchman on the wall and warn of impending danger will upset some people. Many are Christians, and they seem to prefer having their heads buried in the sand and not knowing anything about the threats and risks that are all around us.
They just want to live in their own little quiet bubble and not be bothered by a world that is not only going to hell, but is having a very real impact on them and their loved ones, whether they know it or not. Examples of this are many. And I have dealt with them for decades now as I seek to warn and sound the alarm.
For many years the mainstream media would contact me about various issues, including sleazy programs on television (this before the internet had really taken off). Whenever some controversy broke out, I was given a call by the media to give the conservative viewpoint on things. So that I would do.
Yet I even had those who should have been onside making complaints or running with the world’s point of view. ‘If you don’t like what’s on TV, just turn it off’ was a common response I would get from both friend and foe. Hmm, these folks were completely clueless.
I can turn off the TV all I like, or even throw it out the window. But that completely misses the point. My neighbours and their children are still being exposed to all this free-to-air sewage constantly. And as they get contaminated by it, that will have an impact on me and my children. So simply ‘turning it off’ was a rather useless bit of advice. Stopping the rot at the source was the way that we wanted to proceed.
Other examples are easy to come by. How often do we hear both believers and non-believers complain about pictures of aborted babies and the like. They seem to get really offended by this. Well, guess what? They really should be taking offence at abortion! Killing unborn children IS offensive. Warning and trying to raise awareness about it is not.
Indeed, I would suggest that these folks – be they Christians or not – who get more upset and bothered by pictures showing the result of an abortion than the abortion itself have a very skewed moral compass. Their values are wrong – even upside down. Recall that when the Allies won the war they made German citizens go and view the concentration camps. They HAD to be made aware of this gross evil. It should be the same with abortion.
And some Christians will get upset about the least little things, with very little provocation. I recall once when I was working for a pro-family ministry and editing their publications, I ran with an article warning about so-called safe sex and the condom culture. And so we featured a small picture of – you guessed it – a condom.
Yet some person wrote in (snail mail in those days), complaining about the condom pic! Instead of taking offence at our hyper-sexualised culture and how our kids are being sold a bill of goods, thinking they are safe if they just use condoms, this guy was all bent out of shape by a photo of one. Oh dear.
Or worse yet, I once had a Christian go back and forth with me (again by snail mail) over the proper use of a word. The term in question was “bi-monthly”. I used it to refer to our pro-family magazine that came out 6 times a year. Yet this guy got all upset by this.
He insisted that the term only meant twice a month. Yet as any dictionary will tell you, it means this: “done, produced, or occurring twice a month or every two months”. So both are fully proper uses of the phrase. Yet this guy kept on arguing about it. Hmm, the world is going to hell and the culture wars are raging all around us, yet this guy just wanted to argue about semantics!
One more – and much more recent – example: I recently wrote up the story of a rather sad and confused professional footballer who now thinks that he is a woman, just by putting on dresses and growing his hair. That article is found here: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2022/09/20/the-death-of-football-and-common-sense-sanity-and-reality/
On the social media I mentioned this issue and article a number of times. Out of my 87 kazillion friends there, two of them managed to take offence. One guy just did not like these pics of the guy in a frock. And one gal came along and said this: “Why are you promoting this person, Bill? Is it helpful to your followers?”
I replied to her as follows: “It has nothing to do with promotion of course and everything to do with sharing truth, sounding the alarm, and trying to wake up others. If people want to hide their heads in the sand and pretend none of this is happening, then the problems will only get worse. So I will keep acting as a watchman on the wall as I have been called to do, OK?”
So here we have yet another example of folks taking offence – but at the wrong things. They should take offence at a guy pretending he is a girl, and all the damage that this will cause for vulnerable children and young people who are being brainwashed into thinking they can change their sex like they can change their socks. That is the real problem, not some pics which the media featured countless times.
Sure, we must not be salacious nor dwell overly much on some of the seamier and darker aspects of life. But we dare not ignore them or pretend they do not exist. It IS our duty to alert others to the social and moral decay taking place all around us.
So some discernment and balance is needed here. Of course we do not need to show every sleazy picture or repeat every filthy thing being said. We need to take care as we fulfil our prophetic callings. But trying to pretend that we can just get through life and ignore all the terrible stuff that is happening helps no one.
We need to get the balance right while trying to warn others and to sound the alarm. As an example, every now and then someone on the social media will very rightly warn young Christian women in particular about dressing modestly – especially at church.
They know that such immodestly dressed women can cause real problems and temptations for men. Yet sometimes in their warnings they will provide a pictorial example of such immodest dress! So while they mean well in wanting to make this warning, they may contribute to the problem somewhat with the images they share. So real care and wisdom is needed here.
And by the way, the Bible itself can contain some very graphic, adult-only content. While the Scriptures are never salacious, we do find plenty of pretty hardcore descriptions of sin and the like. Simply consider what is found in Ezekiel 16 and 23. As I have written before, because of such explicit content, Ezekiel was among the last books studied by mature Jewish rabbinic students.
So the Bible itself also warns and sometimes describes evil in some amount of detail. But it does so out of love for others. Warning of the many dangers and threats that exist is always the most loving thing to do. So some believers need to stop shooting the messenger. They need to start being offended by the real evil that is out there, and not taking offence with the one who in prophet-like fashion seeks to warn against it.