I’ve kept quiet in the midst of everything going on this past month, mainly due to my personal preference for avoiding politics on social media. But over the weekend, while listening to a mix of old Newsboys albums, I felt a nudge to break my silence.
The lyrics of the song “Going Public” stuck in my mind, encapsulating the problem that has been nagging me recently. The chorus says:
The time is drawing near
This is surely a banner year
To be a public witness
The lines are drawn and clear
There’s no straddling fences here
We’re going public with this
Christians, this is not the time to be straddling fences with the world, and yet I’ve seen just that in response to current events. Social media has been inundated with hashtags, memes, and quotes that reflect the message of the world, but where is our message of truth?
In John 17:16-18 Jesus clearly lays out who we should be and where we find our source of truth:
“They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.”
We are set apart and consecrated by the truth of God’s Word, and we are sent into the world to bring that truth. We are not to be conformed to this world (Romans 12:2), we are meant to be different.
Fellow believers, we cannot let ourselves get caught up in the current of worldly commentary, repeating the same things they say, when we have something infinitely better. The Word of God far exceeds anything the world can ever offer.
Hebrews 4:12 tells us “the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword”. In Isaiah 55:11 we read that God’s word “will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire”. And in 2 Timothy 3:16 we’re told that “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness”.
That is the message we have in our hands. That is what can speak into the current events swirling around us with more power, meaning, and purpose than anything the world says. So why would we ever settle for merely repeating worldly messages?
When we do that we fail to offer the one truth that people really need. And we potentially miss an opportunity to reach someone’s very soul with the gospel of salvation.
Furthermore, we need to be wise and discerning before joining in with the messages of the world, to be sure we’re not showing support for something that is contradictory to our faith or could lead others astray.
Before you add that hashtag to your post, take time to look into the movement associated with it. Before you share that meme, open your Bible and check if it reflects biblical truth or if, instead, it distorts the meaning of God’s Word. Before you comment on how inspirational a quote is, consider the trustworthiness of the person who said it and the context in which it was said.
We are called to accurately handle the word of truth as workers who need not be ashamed (2 Timothy 2:15), so let’s be sure we’re sharing God’s Word in an honest and correct way, while also using God’s Word as the standard to which we compare all other messages.
When I look around at what’s been going on recently it’s easy to feel discouraged, saddened, and angry, but when I remember that the God I serve is in control and has overcome this world (John 16:33) I can take courage.
Let’s all take courage to stand up. No more straddling fences here. We are not of the world, but we were sent into it. May we boldly stand on God’s Word, bringing the message of truth to a world that so desperately needs to hear it.
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For anyone interested in delving more deeply into some specific topics, I highly recommend the following podcast episodes:
- On the Black Lives Matter movement – The Briefing, Thursday, June 18, 2020 with Albert Mohler
- On the 99 Sheep Meme – Relatable Episode 260 with Allie Stuckey
- On believers response to the events surrounding the death of George Floyd – The Just Thinking Podcast Episode 98 – with Darrell Harrison and Virgil Walker