Fight the Good Fight
Us Festival ~ 1983
(and I was there!)
TAKE UP YOUR SWORD AND FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT
May 30th, 2009
Dr. Paul L. Williams
“For this people’s heart has grown dull, and their ears are heavy of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should perceive with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and turn for me to heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. Truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”
Matthew 13: 15-17.
Based on the passage above, St. Augustine argued that complacency (obsequium) in the face of evil is the greatest evil. It’s difficult to disagree with him. Since evil represents nothingness in traditional Christian theology, failure to do or say anything when faced with sin, injustice, or acts of inhumanity represents the most contemptible act of any believer.
Why then are Christian congregations not up in arms over the pronouncements of Barrack Hussein Obama and other elected officials that America is no longer a Christian nation; that Christians and Jews worship the same god as Muslims; that same sex marriage must be condoned; that gays are not perverts; that licentious conduct and speech must be tolerated; that speaking of sin represents a hate crime; and that the murder of millions of unborn babies is an essential element of American liberty?
The reason offered by namby-pamby mainline denominations, including purpose driven Baptists, is always the same. St. Paul, they maintain, instructs all believers to submit to worldly authority, even the authority of evil or unjust rulers (Romans 13: 1-5).
But scripture remains clear that Christians must reject authority and take decisive action in circumstances relating to matters of faith. Shortly after Jesus ascended to heaven, Peter and John where arrested for preaching the name of Jesus and taken before the religious rulers. They were commanded to stop preaching in the name of Jesus and to stop trying to convert people to him. But Peter and John replied, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard” Acts 4:19 & 20.
The decision was between obeying God or obeying man. Peter and John had received a clear and specific command from Jesus, “Go and preach the Gospel to all the world”. The religious leaders gave them a clear and specific command to not preach the gospel. The choice was clear, they had to obey God rather than man. So they continued to preach. The result was that they were persecuted, tossed into dungeons, and put to death.
This teaching is supported by the full weight of scriptural authority. Did Moses violate God’s principle of submission to authority when he killed the Egyptian taskmaster in defense of his fellow Hebrew? Did Elijah violate God’s principle of submission to authority when he openly challenged Ahab and Jezebel? Did David violate God’s principle of submission to authority when he refused to surrender to Saul’s troops? Did Daniel violate God’s principle of submission to authority when he disobeyed the king’s law to not pray audibly to God? Did the three Hebrew children violate God’s principle of submission to authority when they refused to bow to the image of the state? Did John the Baptist violate God’s principle of submission to authority when he publicly scolded King Herod for his infidelity? Did Simon Peter and the other Apostles violate God’s principle of submission to authority when they refused to stop preaching on the streets of Jerusalem? Did Paul violate God’s principle of submission to authority when he refused to obey those authorities who demanded that he abandon his missionary work? In fact, Paul spent almost as much time in jail as he did out of jail.
When those in authority attempt to require us to violate God’s commandments (yes, even the teachings concerning homosexuality), our only choice is to rebel and to stand firm for truth and righteousness. But we must not forget that refusing to obey the human authority and to adher to the Word of God does not come with a guarantee that we will not suffer for our stance and rebellion. Daniel was thrown to the lions and God saved him, but thousands of early Christians were not saved from the lions. They suffered martyrdom for insisting on preaching the name of Jesus.
We make a grave mistake when we think that obeying God rather than men should result in things being wonderful for us. Often this is not the case. By decrying evil, you more likely than not will be criticized, condemned, sued (even in Canada), or tossed in a paddy wagon for taking part in a public demonstration. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. 1 Peter 2:20.
If you want to change the world and take part in the last crusade, please join me and my fellow crusaders at a gathering that will take place at Puritan Congregation Church in Scranton, Pennsylvania, on August 8 and 9. For more information, click HERE~Dr. Paul Williams
I encourage all my readers that can go to go.
It's gonna be a blast.
There's a bad moon on the rise!