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home : religion : religion July 22, 2019

5/16/2019 1:13:00 AM
Standing For The Right Things

Dr. Stanley Spence, Pastor
First Baptist Church, Lincolnton, N.C.

The persecuted church is currently evolving into a story of escalating importance and frequency. We have a sense of well-being that could be sliding from the American landscape if the church does not get busy facing the future head-on in the world unfolding to us. Faster and faster events unfold. We’d like to think, “it will never happen here,” and yet, it is happening here. Churches who stand in the way of immorality face pressure to give in to the culture of go-along to get along. It has become political--not theological. When politically, your side or my side stop considering the theological morality of God’s kingdom, then we are sliding into an abyss from which our world cannot escape. It has fallen to some generations throughout history to pay the heaviest price for the responsibility to act morally. It is the only way to secure a moral freedom to act as we should and not as placators of historic moral failure.

Hitler’s concentration camps were filled with soldiers who were just doing their duty, going along to get along. You may say, “That wouldn’t happen here.” Pressure to keep quiet about moral issues is rising. The cost may become too high to say anything politically for fear of reprisal as we slide towards the political pressure to grant bullies what they want in the desire for peace. Both parties are doing this in America at this time. So what does a future look like for the side who voices their side to victory?  Not very good for the losing side. This has always been.

Jesus was the victim in facing a corrupt religious body who in other generations were icons of integrity--at least right up until God raised Jesus from the dead. Jews were scapegoats in Nazi Germany. Leaders, because of corruption, in the past had delivered the German people out of an economic depression. This marginalized groups who opposed their long-term goal: a dominant Arian race, to remove the Jews from the face of the earth, ‘the final solution.’

So who are we fighting? you might ask. Inhumanity, poverty, evil bent on destroying another, hate and belittling groups of people. So who are we? We are the voices of reason and faith. We are the voices of kindness even to our enemies. We are the voices of hope in a better future because we have sought to be that future; not making others our scapegoats but checking our souls first and getting ourselves morally straightened out. It follows that the heavy price paid by any people begins when one of its best and brightest is martyred for the sake of the cause. Don’t let the troubled win. Love, no matter what. Be kind, no matter what. Be patient, no matter what. You get the idea. Suffering will follow but then our hope will be to stand in the company of saints who stand at the feet of the Master and praise Him upon His throne drawn up out of the tribulation. Be faithful here and we will worship together there.

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