not silent

We Will Not Remain Silent At This Time: The Church’s Responsibility in 2023

17 February 2023

3.5 MINS

We cannot remain silent in the face of evil and sin. God calls us to stand up for the truth that brings healing and eternal life to His beloved children. We must help those who have gone astray.

Years ago, my wife, children and I attended an event in Brisbane called ‘Fearless: Cultivating Courage’, organised by Lyle Shelton and the Australian Christian Lobby.

Fearless - not silent

It was April 2016.

The Trojan horse of gay ‘marriage’ was at the nation’s gate and hundreds of Christians had eagerly gathered to hear American author and conservative radio host Eric Metaxas speak about courage and the cost of standing for truth.

There was a weightiness about the gathering.

Those who had made the effort to be at the meeting knew the stakes were high, and that those awake to the threat — even among Christians — were relatively small in number.

Prescient

Shelton opened the meeting by speaking about the fight to preserve the sanctity of marriage. His gentle warning, about the demonising of Christians in the media and planned protests at upcoming ACL events, brought to my mind Martin Luther King Jr.’s warning to civil rights marchers in 1968 of “difficult days ahead”.

Today in 2023 — just eight years later — Christians are in the fight of their lives.

There was a reason a sense of sobriety came over me during that meeting. The ‘city gates’ have long been flung open now to the Trojan horse of gay ‘marriage’ and, true to the mythological account, hordes of our enemies have flooded the city under the cover of darkness.

The Procession of the Trojan Horse in Troy by Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo

As Christians, it seems we have our backs to the wall.

Sacrifice

In that cool evening of 2016, Metaxas spoke much about laying down one’s life. “Faith without works is dead,” he reminded us, quoting from the second chapter of James.

For most Western Christians, Metaxas suggested, our struggle against sin has not really been unto bloodshed. But, he concluded, the times they are a-changing and there are difficult days ahead.

Metaxas shared insights from the momentous life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

This was a man who stood up against no less than the might of the Nazi regime. As a Christian pastor, he walked a lonely road of resistance against Hitler and his evil regime, while the church in Germany slumbered.

For Bonhoeffer, the time came when even the Lutheran Church disowned him. Just weeks before Hitler’s defeat and the end of World War II, Bonhoeffer would pay the ultimate price.

After spending two years in prison, the 39-year-old pastor was sent to the gallows, where he departed his earthly tent and stepped into glory to receive his crown.

“When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die.” 
— Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship (1937)

God’s Will

In his 1968 ‘Mountaintop’ speech, Martin Luther King Jr. spoke about “difficult days ahead” for the non-violent, civil rights movement he was leading.

He shared that he did not fear man and that he did not fear death — his only desire was “to do God’s will.” Like anyone, he wanted to live a long life, but he was prepared to lay that desire down.

Luther King Jr.’s words proved prophetic and the Mountaintop speech would be his last public address.

The following evening, he was gunned down and killed as he stepped onto the balcony of his Memphis motel. He too was 39 years old.

“When I took up the cross, I recognised its meaning…
The cross is something that you bear, and ultimately that you die on.”
— Martin Luther King Jr. (22 May, 1967)
Penn Community Center, Frogmore, South Carolina

“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it:
and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it.”
— Jesus, the Christ. Matthew 16:25

Today we are living in a hostile environment for Christians and witnessing a flood of depravity.

Love for Christ compels us to speak.

Love for the hurting and oppressed means we cannot remain silent.

As a church, we must speak and be counted among the remnant who will not bow the knee to evil, God-dishonouring laws. Our reputations and earthly gains — perhaps even our lives — will be required of us.

Take Courage

On Sunday 12 February, on the one-year anniversary of the March on National Parliament and the biggest peaceful protest in Australia’s history, I was asked to preach in my home church.

Glory to God, we experienced revival as believers caught a Heavenly vision of the church and answered the call to speak boldly, even in the face of death.

What do we have that we have not been given? Our influence and prosperity and privileged position as Western Christians must be offered back to our Lord in selfless sacrifice.

The words of Mordecai to Esther, during their time of testing, are a prophetic message to the church today:

Do not imagine that you in the king’s palace can escape any more than all the Jews.

For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, and you and your father’s house will perish.

And who knows but that you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this.
~ Esther 4:13-14

___

Photo by Soul Winners For Christ.

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8 Comments

  1. Jim Twelves 17 February 2023 at 7:02 am - Reply

    Dylan, thank you! Most beautifully put. I cant think of a more important position for the church today than the challenge to not remain silent. The critical point is ‘how and where do we raise our voice?

    • Ruth 20 February 2023 at 1:31 pm - Reply

      It starts with the church allowing members of the church and pastors to be able to speak out. Sadly in recent years many have been told to be silent, particularly those in leadership.

  2. Leonie Robson 17 February 2023 at 10:06 am - Reply

    Brilliant.
    We stand and hold the line or we fail.
    Thanks for sharing your experience.

  3. Stan Beattie 17 February 2023 at 11:10 am - Reply

    Jim, In the church would be a good place to START, but we can declare defeat to the powers everywhere, b y the blood of the LAMB and the word of our testimony

    Thank you Dylan, Bless. You

  4. Craig Mischewski 17 February 2023 at 2:30 pm - Reply

    Fancy hijacking Bonhoeffer and King to support your narrow theology of oppression. I encourage you to do some serious biblical research around this and read wider than those who support your bias.

  5. John 17 February 2023 at 6:24 pm - Reply

    – Identity Theft –
    ‘Satan you bloody liar’

    It’s been stolen
    My ID is gone
    I didn’t notice,
    I’m not my own.

    I don’t know,
    My ID is taken,
    Am I a woman,
    Or a man mistaken?

    How can I get,
    My ID back.
    I’m trying hard
    To be on track.

    That’s so difficult,
    Without my ID.
    I’m not sure,
    Who I’d like to be.

    A him or a her,
    Or are they the same.
    Who can help,
    Who do I blame?

    “I can help you”,
    I hear someone say.
    “Come to me,
    I’m not queer or gay”.

    “I know who I am,
    I’m Son of Man.
    My ID comes straight,
    From God to Man.”

    “Come to me,
    I’ll take you there.
    ID giving is,
    His speciality care.”

    John Kammermann
    17/02/2023.

    • Kaylene Emery 18 February 2023 at 9:35 pm - Reply

      A lovely poem John. In such issues Our Lord Jesus alone can guide and soothe.
      Thank you.

  6. Peter Beasley 17 February 2023 at 6:39 pm - Reply

    Excellent !

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