How many are we who are afraid to tell the truth about what we see and know?
It’s hard enough to call sin what it is, fearing the wrath or rebuke of our fellowship for being pharisaical or making a big deal out of nothing or being ungracious. But what to do when you’re convinced the ship is half-underwater, yet you’re petrified of telling the rest of the crew because they’ll call you crazy? And it’s not simply because they can’t see it for themselves–it’s because, on principle, they don’t believe the ship can spring a leak. How to get past that point of belief first, in order to then move on to the point of seeing–it seems an insurmountable obstacle! Your conscience won’t let you alone, won’t let you feel justified with this sort of excuse: ‘well, they’ll only laugh or look askance at me!’ That’s not good enough. You know you need to sound the alarm, but is there anyway to do it without getting thrown in the brig? That’s the fear–fear of punishment for telling a hard truth, and saving the ship. But no one will believe it needs saving–they think the problem is the paint job.
I think of blurting it out, saying, ‘Your church is in trouble.’ But where to begin? With something like, ‘The Devil isn’t gone. He’s active, and he’s powerful. True, he’s only victorious when and where God allows. But he’s also winning battles when Christians encourage him, and when they invite him into their lives and churches.’ But what, but how?? One would ask, ‘How do you know this?’ At first, it might not occur to me that there’s no way this person will believe me, so the more I talk the bigger the fool I seem, and it just goes in one ear and out the other. ‘But God has chosen the foolish things of this world to shame the wise.’ Yet how is it that these are Christians measuring the truth by worldly wisdom? Is this our debt to the Endarkenment, to all this materialism and skepticism? I know how to do research–I know what scientific investigation, and I can define the adjective ’empirical’. But my gut reaction to ‘how do you know all this?’ in that ‘I’ll humor you for five seconds, you loon’ tone, is ‘I JUST KNOW.’ Desperate straits. The present example of which I’m writing just now is one about which I can get more specific–the evil there is generating spirits of confusion, contention, apathy and doubt. CCAD. That’s an easy enough acronym!
So, what to say to someone who has moved to point b and believes you? What do you do? Recognize Satan for what he is, confront him! Know God for who He is, and worship Him. Commit to the truth, clothe yourself in the righteousness and power of Christ, and fight. Get up and fight. Grow a spine and fight! This isn’t complicated. This is basic Christian stuff that’s been left by the wayside or even poo-pooed, and now we’re paying the price of our ignorance and ‘I’m too good for spirituality that sounds like superstition’ attitudes. We can’t even register what we’re up against, because we were willing for generations now to believe the lie that the Devil and his cohorts died a long time ago. And that’s not what the New Testament says.