That’s The Kind Of Boldness We Need

John is graciously typing this blog post as I dictate to him from bed. Because I cannot type this entry myself, I will not include Scripture quotes or links to verses — doing so would be difficult to teach John. Please don’t interpret this absence of Scripture as an abandonment of God’s Word.

He was only at Terra Linda High during my Junior Year (if I recall correctly). During that year, the Lord saved him, and he was part of the Christian group that I was in. None of us noticed him very much since he was quiet and unassuming — unlike the rest of us. Due to his withered arm and slight limp, he didn’t impress us as being particularly strong or assertive.

We did notice him that day that we went to witness to the tough kids at school. As he presented the Gospel, one of the kids threatened to burn him with a cigarette stub. To our surprise, he puffed up his chest, took a step toward the kid and quietly said, “God ahead. I’ll take it for Jesus.”

Of course the kid with the cigarette backed down, but my girlfriends and I stared at each other in amazement. Where did he get that boldness? Did he know the kid wouldn’t really burn him? Was he really willing to suffer physical harm for the sake of the Gospel? My girlfriends and I could only gasp at his courage and wonder if we would have the same boldness.

As I think back on that incident, I often wonder how much boldness I have. In light of current events, that’s a question I ask myself with even greater frequency. Our culture no longer tolerates conservatives of any kind — much less those of us who proclaim the Gospel. Ladies, persecution lies at our doorstep, and we had better start praying about our response to it.

My pastor has pointed out that Christians in the United States have enjoyed a unique time of cultural acceptance. Throughout world history, acceptance of true Christianity has been extremely rare. Examining the Reformation alone, we see that the Reformers faced enormous penalties for standing on Biblical teaching, even to the point of martyrdom. And don’t think that women escaped! The time of peace that we have experienced in our country would surprise those 16th Century Reformers.

This past week the House of Representatives passed the Equality Act, which threatens Christian schools and churches that refuse to cooperate with the LGBTQ agenda. If your church faithfully stands for Biblical sexuality, you can expect the government to impose penalties. At first, those penalties may be light; many of us will be banned from social media (including blogging), or we may be forced to send our children to public schools. But as time goes on, I foresee imprisonment for those of us who refuse to renounce our faith in Christ. Unless we compromise with the demands of our culture, we will suffer consequences.

Thinking back to that boy in high school, I have to admit my fear of persecution. I did not offer to take a cigarette burn in my chest. On numerous occasions since then, I have failed to share the Gospel when I felt threatened. I know all too well that I cherish my comfort more than I should.

Praise God that I don’t have to trust in my flesh! I believe that the Lord will enable me to stand for Him when true persecution comes. I will probably whine, complain and throw gigantic pity parties in the process, but I trust the Holy Spirit to keep me from total capitulation when push comes to shove. As feeble and self serving as I am, I know that I believe the truth. Therefore I know that I cannot and will not deny Christ when secular authorities demand that I do so.

I know too much of the Bible.

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