Luke 20:4-7 “The baptism of John–was it from heaven or from men?” And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ “But if we say, ‘From men,’ all the people will stone us, for they are persuaded that John was a prophet.” So they answered that they did not know where it was from.
Jesus asked this question of the Pharisees. It seemed simple enough – what did they believe about the ministry of John the baptism. Was it’s origin heavenly or human? But rather than answer, they reasoned. Either way they answered had consequences that they considered unacceptable. So they answered by not answering…”we don’t know”.
Their mission was accomplished. Conflict was avoided and they didn’t get on “the wrong side of history” by saying something deemed unacceptable by some group or other.
When I read this I was reminded of the Christian minister who apologized recently for a sermon he preached 17 years ago defending Biblical truths concerning marriage and homosexuality. Somebody found that sermon somewhere on the internet and challenged him over its content. I would imagine he had a few moments of weighing the possible responses and considering the issues that would be created with the various groups affected. Instead of standing firmly for the truth of God, he apologized.
For now these things are happening mostly to those who are well known public figures. But don’t think it won’t eventually trickle down to us little people. Should that day come, we must have our face set like flint to stand for Jesus, with reasonings and consideration of popular opinion not even on the table as options.
God doesn’t need us to apologize for His Word or make it more palatable for people. He meant what He said and He wants us to declare it. Some people aren’t going to like it, and that’s okay. And if they don’t like you for declaring it, that also is okay.
Denying the truth is not okay.
Being ashamed of the gospel of Christ is not ok, either. I’ve often asked God to help me not do this.