Darrow Miller and Friends

If Preaching Christ Scandalizes, Shall We Be Quiet?

Fundamentalist atheism will not stop at anything to destroy the natural family and the church. With this ideology marching virtually unimpeded through society today, what is the Christian to do?

As we have written before, atheists in the past affirmed reason. They simply asked for a level playing field to discuss competing truth claims. Today’s atheists have little concern for reason; their focus is power. They want to clear the playing field of other ideas and opinions and establish secularism/atheism as the state religion.

God has ordained three fundamental institutions of a society: the family, the church and the government. Of these, fundamentalist atheists are aligning with the government to crush the family and the church. We have seen this in the radical feminist movement which is anti-feminine, anti-family and anti-natal. Their allies in the LGBT community seek to crush all opposition to their so-called “marriage equality.”

preaching about the cross of Christ scandalizesHow are Christians to respond in the midst of this fast-moving steamroller? Are we to speak the truth at the risk of being accused of hate? Does love mean avoiding confrontation?  Are we to be “nice” and not risk offending by our words or deeds? Or are we in such desparate straits that we should throw a few verbal hand-grenades (like “fire breathers” Ann Coulter on the right and Camille Paglia on the left).

For a year and a half, I have been mulling over these questions. We have had some good and important discussions in the Disciple Nations Alliance office. I have felt the need to write at some length on this subject to achieve some clarity, even if only in my own thinking.

Now I might not need to!

When people see no need for salvation, preaching Christ is an offense

Recently my friend, John Stonestreet, wrote, “It’s What We Say, Not How We Say It: The Scandal of Christianity” at BreakPoint. He began his post by saying, “Making our arguments winsomely is important. But it won’t carry the day. That’s because, in the end, Christianity will remain a scandal in the world’s eyes.”

In a time when people see no need for salvation, the preaching of Christ crucified is an offense. License is championed, the reigning virtue is tolerance. In a world in which even evil is tolerated, the only thing not tolerated is the notion of a moral universe. Those who speak of such give offense to modern man.

The Apostle Paul warns that preaching about the cross of Christ will cause trouble:

For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 1 Corinthians 1:22-24 NAS

He pointed out that preaching salvation through the cross of Christ offends those who are in rebellion against God:

Dear brothers and sisters, if I were still preaching that you must be circumcised–as some say I do–why am I still being persecuted? If I were no longer preaching salvation through the cross of Christ, no one would be offended. Galatians 5:11 NLT

Stonestreet continues:

“… there’s nothing Evangelicals can do to turn [popular opinion] around, short of totally abandoning Christian orthodoxy on same-sex marriage.” It doesn’t matter how reasonable, calm, or winsome we might be. Just ask Ryan Anderson of the Heritage Foundation. He’s all three of these things and that does not keep people from calling him a “bigot.”

So perhaps at this moment in history, we must simply be joyful when we are maligned. Let us remember the word of the Lord to us when he spoke to the masses at the Sermon on the Mount.

Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

  • Darrow Miller

Related posts:

Women Rebelling Against the Masculinization of Women

Jihadists or New Atheists: Which the Bigger Threat to Religious Freedom?

Same-Sex Marriage Demands Christians Celebrate Sin

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Darrow is co-founder of the Disciple Nations Alliance and a featured author and teacher. For over 30 years, Darrow has been a popular conference speaker on topics that include Christianity and culture, apologetics, worldview, poverty, and the dignity of women. From 1981 to 2007 Darrow served with Food for the Hungry International (now FH association), and from 1994 as Vice President. Before joining FH, Darrow spent three years on staff at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland where he was discipled by Francis Schaeffer. He also served as a student pastor at Northern Arizona University and two years as a pastor of Sherman Street Fellowship in urban Denver, CO. In addition to earning his Master’s degree in Adult Education from Arizona State University, Darrow pursued graduate studies in philosophy, theology, Christian apologetics, biblical studies, and missions in the United States, Israel, and Switzerland. Darrow has authored numerous studies, articles, Bible studies and books, including Discipling Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Culture (YWAM Publishing, 1998), Nurturing the Nations: Reclaiming the Dignity of Women for Building Healthy Cultures (InterVarsity Press, 2008), LifeWork: A Biblical Theology for What You Do Every Day (YWAM, 2009), Rethinking Social Justice: Restoring Biblical Compassion (YWAM, 2015), and more. These resources along with links to free e-books, podcasts, online training programs and more can be found at Disciple Nations Alliance (https://disciplenations.org).


  1. Cam Lynn

    July 27, 2015 - 9:05 am

    To those that believe the Bible, the term atheist is a term that expresses something that doesn’t exist. See Paul’s thought process in Romans 1. It is definitely hard work to maintain the facade of atheism. Those that clam to be atheist are not lazy!

    Atheists in the past affirmed reason? With a faulty presupposition, not so much. The current change in their approach is in part due to their weak and non-supportable arguments succumbing tot he truth of scripture. The only approach now is the totalitarian (power only) approach.

    • admin

      July 27, 2015 - 11:16 am

      Hi Cam

      Thanks for your comments. It is clear the simplicity of the choice between truth and power. Judeo-Christian Theism posits that absolute truth exists and it can be discovered. Atheism affirms that truth is relative and thus it is power that reigns in the end.