Pity the pastor who has to consider what could happen if he speaks the truth.
Time was when the preacher set the tone and the church shaped the community. Now it’s more like the other way around. As Darrow has said, If the church doesn’t disciple the nation, the nation will disciple the church.
So today, the cry from the pew sounds much like that from the public square: Don’t offend. Show tolerance in your speech. Don’t be hateful!
Christians who care about speaking the truth in love—no matter which side of the pulpit they stand on—feel hard pressed to find the way forward. It’s sink or swim in the soup of political correctness. Christ-followers who want to think carefully and well about their witness, who want to earn a hearing among their neighbors and still faithfully confess Christ … well, it’s all so complicated!
Or maybe not. Challenging, yes. But not so complicated.
Many of our readers have no doubt read these words from an earlier time (words usually attributed to Martin Luther but see this):
If I profess, with the loudest voice and the 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 Christianity. Where the battle rages the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battle-field besides is mere flight and disgrace to him if he flinches at that one point.
Our friend, John Stonestreet has elaborated the same thought with a very helpful video commentary, The Walk Plus the Talk: Why Truth and Love are Inseparable. As noted on the video page, John “issues a dire warning to Christians: If you’re eliminating portions of Scripture that offend modern sensibilities, you are making a bargain with the devil.”
- Gary Brumbelow