We Will Not Be Silent

By James Brown

“For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.” –Isaiah 62:1

Secularists are increasingly demanding Christians retreat from the public square and remain in silence.  This has been a trend since the 1960's Cultural Revolution.  Of course, secularists are not demanding anything that the Church has not taught and demanded of itself for several decades.

CBN News recently broadcasted a report concerning the oppression of free speech in Britain.  While the climate in Britain against Christians is very hostile, we must remember it is not much better here in the United States.

The last few years we have attempted to raise awareness and unite Christians to stand against the rising tide.  Now we are back in the same general south-central region of Indiana preparing to go on the offensive again.  This time it is an even more hostile climate and Christian apathy has not decreased but steadily increased over the last decade.

Regardless of why or how we got to this point, it is the duty of Christians to repent of our past apathy and fulfill Christ's commission for His saints to be light-bearers and truth-tellers.  This is our duty whether others support us or not.

Watchmen are not commissioned to discern public opinion in order to speak that which is politically correct.  In this sense we are to speak prophetically.  Our duty is to preach the Word of God regardless of effect or consequences.

This ministry will soon begin an offensive assault.  While we have attempted to faithfully preach the Word, the last few years have been more reorganizing than actual warfare.  Yes, there are times when one must evade the enemy in order to fight at a more advantageous time.  We are thankful God is opening up opportunities to engage in this philosophical battle once again.

While we are always preparing and learning the art of spiritual warfare, the time has come to engage the enemy here in central Indiana.  It is our hope you will unite with us for this important task.  Regardless, we are committed to rise up and stand in the gap left by the multitudes fleeing from the battle.

Even in the late 1990's and early 21st Century there was a lot of hostility against Christians.  During this time I pastored a church in conservative and rural southern Indiana.  Although our desire was to be on the offensive, we actually spent most of our time defending ourselves from secularists and so-called Christians attempting to silence us.

We are instructed with four truths from Isaiah 62:1 that is incumbent upon the servants of God to fight the good fight of faith.

Boldness for the Word

Isaiah would not hold his peace and neither should we.  We are the servants of God, His instruments to proclaim His message, and God has instructed us to “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins” (Isaiah 58:1).

This is a holy war against the forces of Satan, sin and hell and we are to fight courageously.

The example set forth from the prophets to the apostles is one of boldness.  In Acts 9 we see that boldness is the true test of authenticity.

Saul, who was to become Paul, had been regenerated by the Holy Spirit but the Church was scared of Paul because of his past history.  However, it was the demonstration of boldness in preaching the Word of God in the midst of persecution that convinced the apostles that Paul was truly one of them.

“And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him.” –Acts 9:29

A true believer in any cause is revealed by his commitment.  This display of commitment to the cause is demonstrated in different ways at different times, but one thing is for certain, when Christians are the oppressed their commitment is revealed in boldness.

“The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.” –Proverbs 28:1

This passage is not declaring that the wicked are always cowards but that those who are truly righteous shall be bold for Jehovah.  Boldness in God's army is the revelation of true believers whereas cowardice is the sign of an imposter.

Burden for our People

Second, we should have a burden for our people.  We do not reprove, rebuke and exhort just to be abrasive or controversial.  Our intent should stem from a burden for our people.  This is demonstrated in in four areas.

Burden for the Church

Our desire to preach the Word is because we have a burden for the Church.  The Church is the body of Christ and therefore our purpose should be that of Christ's.

Christ prayed that the Church would be sanctified by the Word of God.  The word sanctify simply means "set apart."  The Church is to be set apart by the Word in holiness, set apart by the Word resulting in unity and set apart by the Word for conquest.

“For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.” –1 Thessalonians 4:7

“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” –Ephesians 4:11-16

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.” –2 Corinthians 10:3-6

Burden for our Families

“And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” –Deuteronomy 6:6-7

One of the most overlooked duties of the Christian in the last Century has been our spiritual responsibilities to our families.  This burden has been watered down to mean getting your children to pray the sinner's prayer.  While we have been universally successful over the last several decades in doing this, it has done nothing to protect our children.

What we should have learned is that man-made rituals do not bring salvation.  Instead of powerless rituals we must rely upon the power of God.


“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” –Hebrews 4:12 

God does not change the means of grace for the family but He works the same way in justification and sanctification.  This means is the Word of God being made effectual by the Holy Spirit.  Although the effectual work is not part of our commission, the discipleship of the Word is.

Just as Paul revealed it is our duty to plant and to water but it is God who gives the increase, we must sow the seed of the Word of God if we are to have a harvest.  This is the same means God uses to save sinners, even the sinners in our families.  For some reason American Christians have thought this does not apply to our families as if our children were privileged.  However, if we are going to see a decline in the apostasy of Christian families in America, we must return to sowing the Word of God and stop trusting in the power of our flesh.

Burden for our Neighbors

Most churches are engaged in many community activities but absent is the proclamation of the Word of God.  We are failing to speak truth because we are withholding the whole counsel of God.  Our communities hear about how to have a better sex life but never hear about God's standards of sexual purity.  They hear about how to have their best life now but never hear why that is impossible without regeneration.  They hear about the mercy of God but never hear about His justice.  They hear about heaven but never about hell.  The effect is a water-down and worthless gospel.  Truly it has been said, “We are so heavenly minded we are of no earthly good.”

The truth is we do not have a burden for our neighbors.  Our communities are falling into hell, both in the temporal and eternal context, yet there is no real concern from the Church.  Just as in Jesus' parable, we walk to the right and the left of the bleeding and dying victims of sin.  To rescue the oppressed would require us getting dirty, bloody and exhausted and this is just too earthy for the pampered American Christian.

This burden for the lost is more than giving a few dollars to send missionaries into the uttermost parts of the earth.  This burden also includes our neighbors.  We are to have a burden for our community.  It is a disgrace that so many churches send missionaries and resources to other continents but are doing nothing to reach their community with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


“You must go into the fire if you are to pull others out of it, and you will have to dive into the floods if you are to draw others out of the water. You cannot work a fire-escape without feeling the scorch of the conflagration, nor man a lifeboat without being covered with the waves. If Joseph is to preserve his brethren alive, he must himself go down into Egypt; if Moses is to lead the people through the wilderness, he must first himself spend forty years there with his flock. Payson truly said, ‘If anyone asks to be made a successful minister, he knows not what he asks; and it becomes him to consider whether he can drink deeply of Christ's bitter cup and be baptized with His baptism.’" –Charles Spurgeon, The Cost of Being a Soul-Winner

Burden for the World

Too many Christians believe that a burden for the world consists in sending food and water to depressed countries.  At best, this humanitarian burden may include some religious literature but there is no real concern for the solution of sin.  This burden begins with the salvation of sinners through Jesus Christ.  However, it does not stop there but continues in the sanctification of believers in the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Yet, this burden includes the Church, our families, our neighbors and the whole world.  Although it should be obvious, this burden is actually for the dominion of Christ in all nations.  The Kingdom of Christ begins in our hearts but it is to be manifested in all things.

Until we understand this global dominion mandate to preach the gospel to every creature, baptize believers and teach them to obey all things we are commanded in the Scriptures we will never have a proper burden.

This is the reason we are weak, inept and anemic.  For far too long we have had a strategy of defeat because we do not understand the gospel.

Brightness of Righteousness

Inherent in every true child of God is the desire for righteousness.  We are called, commanded and commissioned to be a holy people.  It is in this holiness that the light of Christ goes forth as a witness to a lost world.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” –Matthew 5:16

Legalism has largely been advanced in our society through the Fundamentalist Movement.  This movement is mainly attributed to Baptists but its influence is to be found in most conservative churches.  This includes both Calvinistic and Arminian churches.

Legalism is inherent in Arminianism but the influence of legalism has even penetrated Calvinistic and Reformed churches.  This not only shows the dire circumstances of our culture but also the power of the flesh’s self-delusion.  Even though legalism is contrary to Reformed Theology many have accepted the contradictions.  Righteousness has been lost in the modern American Church because of the heresies of legalism and antinomianism.

But if there is any hope for righteousness in our society let us hear the words of Christ.


“He [Jesus Christ] answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.  Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.  For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.  And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.” –Mark 7:6-9

Legalism has muddled the freedom we have in Christ.  This freedom liberates us from sin and the oppression of man’s sinful authoritarian humanism.  Our calling is to declare the law of liberty that is made effectual in the atoning power of Christ’s death, burial, resurrection and ascension.

On the flip side, antinomianism has been just as destructive.  Antinomian means “anti-law.”  Historically, the Church has upheld the three uses of the law both doctrinally and in practice.  Yet, today the law is looked upon in contempt.

American culture went through the antinomian revolution in the 1960’s and today the Church is experiencing its own 60’s Revolution.

The seeds were sown back in the late 1800’s as denominations began discarding their creeds and confessions for man-made doctrines.  The arguments for such ranged from the pious “No creed but the Bible” of Fundamentalism to the Modernists cry for evolutionary Christianity.

As a result the Church was crippled as grace was separated from the God’s law.  Just as legalism establishes hypocrisy so too does antinomianism makes hypocrites in the Church and society.

Without the law there is no revelation of sin for sin is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4).  If man’s sin is not established then there is no need for Christ’s atonement for sin.  Man then sees himself as righteous as he is able to judge himself according to his own standards.

Society also suffers because sin is not restrained.  Every man becomes a law unto himself and does what is right in his own eyes.

Without the law the Church is unable to instruct believers in what is pleasing to God.  Neither is the Church able to discern works of righteousness.

Without the light of God’s law we stumble around in darkness because the law is a light unto our path (Psalm 119:105).  It is no wonder we live in dark days when we are ruled by man’s understanding which the Bible describes as darkened (Ephesians 4:18).

May God awaken us to righteousness so that once again liberty, both spiritually and physically, may flourish in our land.


“But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” –Proverbs 4:18 

Burning of Salvation

The prophetic message of the Church is the message of salvation described through Isaiah as a “lamp that burneth.”  It is a message that derives from the passion of the messenger.

When was the last time the American Church was described as having a passion for salvation?  Since Hal Lindsey’s Late Great Planet Earth published in 1970 there has been a passion for eschatology of hopelessness.  But what ever happened to the eschatology of hope and victory?

Those who have hope of salvation should be passionate for it.  However, most American Christians are defeated and discouraged.  This is largely due to the disappointment of false hope based upon doctrines of men.  Truly Solomon wrote, “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick” (Proverbs 13:12).

American Christianity largely has lost the hope and power of the gospel.  We have traded the gospel for gratification, expectation for evacuation and salvation for safety.  Our mission is one of flight rather than fight.  All of this despair and destruction has come upon us because we lost our passion.

Conclusion

For the sake of the Kingdom of Christ, the Church, our families, our communities, our nation and the world, we will not be silent.  We will daily rekindle our commission, our commitment to righteousness and our passion for the salvation of the world.  We will catechize our children; we will call for the Church to awaken; we will warn our fellow man.

Now is the time to for all regenerated men to come to the aid of the Church, their families and their nation.  Will you commit yourself to the cause of truth?  Choose you this day whom you will serve!