Or it should, shouldn’t it? Far too often, we let others speak for us and do more damage to the cause of Christ by our silent acceptance of them than they do. I am thinking of Ricky Rodriguez whose only vision of Christian was the sex cult of his parents. In doing so, he was not confronted with the Gospel of Grace which is wholly different from what Ricky had been subjected too as a child and young adult. We know that the young man had a deep-seated hatred of Christianity and indeed religion. (You can watch the video above) Frankly, I cannot blame him.
Often times, ‘Christians’ have used the bible to justify murder, slavery, Manifest Destiny, subjugation of women, child abuse, and the list is endless. Yet, where are the Christians we have stood up for these things? (The argument is familiar if your place it in today’s context with Muslims and Islamic Extremists).
I am reminded that of all the harshness of the Law of Moses, the Grace of God is extended and takes it away. Under the Law of Moses, we find the maltreatment of sinners, of women, of children in such a way as to make us recoil in terror with our postmodernist sense of justice. In a writing commonly attributed to Solomon, I read,
Again, I observed all the oppression that takes place under the sun. I saw the tears of the oppressed, with no one to comfort them. The oppressors have great power, and their victims are helpless. So I concluded that the dead are better off than the living. But most fortunate of all are those who are not yet born. For they have not seen all the evil that is done under the sun. (Ecc 4:1-3 NLT)
Indeed, their was an oppression in the land, in the whole earth. For those of us who believe in such things, I find that sin has created an oppression beyond words – and yet, even in the author’s words, there is a call for hope.
I preached one time on this passage, about the Old Testament and then about the New, under Christ in which all things were made new. About the Comforter, about the Helper, about the one who breaks the bonds of sin and oppression. But now, more than that would I preach. I would preach about the turning of the table, about how the whole Gospel rested upon the decision of a lowly peasant girl and how in Paul’s writings, we find that both men and women are called to be treated equally, and how now we are called to not treat our children as tools, and to treat the slaves as brothers.
Then, I would have to speak about a Jew who saw that all around him what should have been freedom and liberty was now nothing but oppression. Then the Christian who loudly proclaims ‘Where the Spirit is, there is Liberty!’ but nothing is made to find that liberty. More to the point, those who speak of liberty often times cannot find it to speak up and out against those who deny such things in the name of God. Those who speak of Christian liberty often times deny that liberty to others, for whatever excuse they can find. They impose upon others the chains of inferiority. Granted, it is often times the loudest voices which look to cause the most damage, but in reality, it is those who stop their mouths or only whisper rebuttals.
I found this while pursuing a comment section (guess where?):
MandM wrote this:
Sunday Study: Slavery, John Locke and the Bible
While we find oppression in the Old Testament, we can find that much more Grace in the New and those of us who know such things should speak such things before we find ourselves the oppressed. We must preach Christ and Him alone:
So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense. But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength. Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God. (1Co 1:23-29 NLT)
I wonder, then, what harm could be averted if Christians spoke for their own faith instead of letters others do it?