Don’t you wish we lived in a world where there was never a discouraging word? I’m afraid such a place exists only in musical lyrics somewhere near a “home on the range.” Frankly, there are times when we must stand tall and speak straight. When straight talk does occur, it is often seen as negative and discouraging.
Have you ever said, “People know what Baptists are against. I just wish they knew what we are for.” To a certain degree, I suppose that statement is true. A myriad of good works go unnoticed and unrecognized, while one moral stance taken against the politically correct posture of culture is heralded from the housetop.
This happened recently when our convention passed a resolution regarding the offering of family benefits to homosexuals by major corporations in our country. The leading newspaper in our state had a front-page, above-the-fold article filled with the reaction of homosexual groups and liberal religionists. We were excoriated for our lack of understanding. After all, do we not realize the plurality of our culture? Are we so narrow as to believe that homosexuals should not have the same rights as traditional families? The article even suggested that we had no right to take such a stand. Indeed, the implication was that “its just those ‘againers’ at it again.”
I don’t know about you, but I don’t wake every morning with a view to finding something that I can be against. But at the same time I do not believe those of us who hold to a biblical worldview can ignore and whitewash those things that are destructive to our culture and the well-being of people. We cannot turn our backs when faced with damaging issues that destroy and hurt.
In a real sense, we stand in the tradition of the great prophets of old. Like Martin Luther, when faced with biblically aberrant approaches to life, we find ourselves forced to declare, “Here I stand. I can do no other.” Our stand may be viewed as negative, but Christianity has always been countercultural. The reason is simple. Men left to their own devices usually move downward, rarely upward. Morals without biblical foundation, like water, run to the lowest level.
We have a right-no, a responsibility-in a free society like America to speak the truth, even when it appears to be negative. As Christians, we must speak our perspective into the public arena. It has as much right to be heard as any other. We are not intolerant when we stand against the dark on moral issues. We are simply being salt and light.
So, even if we are perceived as “againers,” we cannot back off from taking a stand for righteousness. We must persuade men of the hurt that inevitably comes when one violates the principles of God. We cannot be silent. When it comes to gambling, abortion, hate, violence, racial discrimination and countless other moral and ethical issues, Baptists must, and will, speak. When we do, our goal will always be to stand on the truth of Scripture-not just our own wisdom.
In the meantime, we ought to be telling the Good News of our Savior and the good works of His followers as we seek to serve people who need His love. Our daily walk should reveal a love for all people-sinners and saints. Truth always goes down best when seasoned with demonstrated grace.