Saturday, June 20, 2015
I'm one of those people
I have strong opinions about many things, but I tend to keep a lot of them to myself. I tend to choose my words carefully. And, even though many people consider me talkative and I do sometimes speak up when others will not, there are many more times that I would like to speak but remain silent. I tell myself the reason I stay silent is because I don't want to offend anyone. I want to be a peacemaker, and if I can't prayerfully find a way to do that, I lean toward keeping silent. But just as strong a reason is fear. I fear being rejected or ostracized or condemned. I don't think it makes me a hypocrite, but it does feel dishonest. And now, here's what first brought this phrase -- "I'm one of those people" -- to my mind this week. From Denison Forum on June 16: A growing movement is calling for the acceptance and legalization of polygamy. The number of Americans who accept polyamory ("many loves," whether married or not) has doubled in recent years. According to a recent Gallup study, 63 percent in the U.S. now accept same-sex couples, up from 40 percent in 2001. Sixty-one percent are comfortable with the idea of having children out of wedlock, a 16-point increase from 2001. Sixty-eight percent view premarital sex as morally acceptable, compared to 53 percent in 2001. ... It's not enough to accept the latest moral trends—we must embrace and endorse them, or pay the price. Mark Tooley, President of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, perceptively states: "Our postmodern secular culture, as it becomes more divorced from the constraints and wisdom of religion, is becoming more detached from reality and more angrily intolerant of any dissent from its evolving fantasies. Any skepticism about the secular elite's latest shibboleths is treated with horror and vociferous denunciation, followed sometimes by coercive efforts to silence or drive from public life the dissenters if they refuse to go silent." What are we to do? Tooley: "Public dissent and mockery are important tools against pretentious falsehoods. Silence, especially from fear or indifference, only offers complicity. The Church, if committed to the Gospel and to genuine service to humanity, will be bold in reminding us all, despite the threats and harangues against it, that popular culture, even if armed with political and economic power, doesn't have the power to reinvent reality. Truth flows from the throne of God, Who is Himself Truth." When we are "standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel" (Philippians 1:27), God uses our courage for his glory. G.K. Chesterton: "Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die." Will you be courageous today? I wasn't courageous on Tuesday. I don't agree with cultural promotion of acceptance of homosexuality. I think the Bible speaks clearly on this issue. But I stay silent. Fear keeps me silent. Am I being courageous today? Or foolish? I just know for my integrity, I needed to take this step,carefully and prayerfully.