Article
Hide It Under a Bushel

I’m sure it’s no surprise to you that in our day, for the most part, if you are known as someone who believes the Bible is God’s authoritative, infallible and inerrant word, most cultural leaders will regard you as unenlightened at best and in some circles, as a hateful bigot, regardless of how gentle and kind you might seem to be. Pastor Kevin DeYoung says “the world wants to press us into its mold, and that mold is getting very tight very quickly.”

As a result, many of us have concluded that we’ll stand up for Jesus by doing our best to love our neighbor as ourselves. But we’ll keep quiet about exactly what we believe about God and about the Bible. We may not deny Him as directly as Peter did. But we’ll let our good works do the talking. And we’ll keep our biblical convictions to ourselves.

We may not deny Him as directly as Peter did. But we’ll let our good works do the talking. And we’ll keep our biblical convictions to ourselves.

Now there is a time and a place to speak up about what we believe. Jesus tells us to be shrewd in how we work to advance the Kingdom of God. But it seems to me that most of us have concluded that in this current moment, our best strategy as ambassadors for Christ is to say nothing about Jesus unless someone asks, and even then, keep it as vague as possible.

That may sound like a shrewd approach to take in a culture that is growing increasingly antagonistic when it comes to the Bible. But it’s not the approach the first disciples took. In the midst of a culture where being open about your faith could mean a trip to the Colosseum, they continued to love their neighbor and tell him about Jesus.

What can we learn from their example? In a helpful article on the World News Group website (it’s here, but it may be behind a paywall), Kevin DeYoung says that in the face of cultural hostility to our message, we should be cheerful, clear, and confident.

He points his readers to 2 Corinthians 4, where Paul says “Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart.” DeYoung writes “(Here’s) what I mean by cheerful. Not absentminded or oblivious. But joyful, happy, and hopeful. We must never revile when reviled. Nor is there ever a time to return unrelenting cynicism for cynicism. After all, people are supposed to ask us for the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15), not for the abject sense of utter despair.”

Here’s what clarity should look like. 2 Corinthians 4 goes on to say “We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.”

We should be men and women who confidently stand firm on the clear teaching of God’s word, no matter how out of step it is with modern sensibilities.

The Word of God is being tampered with in our day. It’s my observation that there are many in our culture today who have taken Romans 12:2 and flipped it on its head. Instead of seeking to be transformed by renewing their minds with God’s Word, there are many today who are trying to renew and transform God’s word so it conforms to the spirit of the age. We should be men and women who confidently stand firm on the clear teaching of God’s word, no matter how out of step it is with modern sensibilities.

And finally, Deyoung says we should be confident. He points to 2 Corinthians 4:6, reminding us that “God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” We should not be surprised that men and women in our day reject the gospel. It was true in Paul’s day as well. “The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4).

Whatever the consequences of being open about our faith may be, God will be pleased when we point people to Him and the truth of His word.

“Let’s be less anxious and less apoplectic,” DeYoung says. “God still saves. God still changes hearts. God still speaks light into existence where all seems dark… We can pray and plan. We can invest in our church, in our communities, and in our families. We can be involved in politics, media, education, entertainment, or law. We can be good neighbors. We can love. We can worship. There are as many things to do to ‘live not by lies’ as there are ways to be salt and light in the world.”

Have you been busheling your faith? Hiding your light under the lampstand for fear your connection with Jesus will get you canceled, or worse? Let’s be cheerful. Clear. And confident. Like the first Christians were. Because whatever the consequences of being open about our faith may be, God will be pleased when we point people to Him and the truth of His word.






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