A Time of Risk?
“‘We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.’ But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than men.’” (Acts 5:28-29; NASB95)
We are living in a world in which it is increasingly forbidden to share an open testimony of Christian faith with a desire to win converts. In our country, there has been an almost 180 degree turn in the expression of faith, from the early days when expression of Christian faith was expected, then came the days when we didn’t talk about “politics or religion,” followed by these days in which talk of Christian faith is looked down upon and in some places forbidden. Make no mistake that, without a Spiritual Awakening, we will come to the point where the Christian message is forbidden everywhere except behind the church walls.
Much of the world is already here. Our missionaries in China, where the 2008 Olympics proclaimed world peace and harmony, cannot openly share the Gospel or disciple new believers. Christians traveling and working in the Middle East would soon lose their visa’s (or more) if they were to publicly evangelize.
I question (silently until now) whether our strategy of “go along to get along,” hoping to be able to share a life-witness in persecuted areas in order to win some, is a flawed strategy. I wonder if we would not be better to “obey God rather then men” and work openly to “make disciples of all nations.” Doing this would, no doubt, bring a period of persecution. Perhaps followed by a period of revival?
While I admittedly do not feel ready to be the first to volunteer for this daring act of civil disobedience, I wonder if we need to join the Apostles in their consistent prayer for boldness.
In His Grace,
Dr. Randy White
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