Take a Stand or the Others Will Win!

Take a Stand or the Others Will Win! January 13, 2014

Glenn Packiam offers an exceptionally insightful piece on what it means to take a stand for Jesus:

Nobody’s talking about Duck Dynasty star, Phil Robertson’s comments in GQ anymore.

Which is why I thought this might finally be a good time to talk about a question that I kept thinking about during the uproar…. But the question that kept nagging me as Facebook and Twitter exploded with opinion, was this:

What does it mean to take a stand for Jesus?

It became clear to me that many Christians believe that speaking out against gay marriage in particular or homosexuality in general is the equivalent of taking a stand for Jesus. The logic goes something like this, “If Christians are silent about the truth, then the lie will win. Therefore we must be bold and call sin, sin.”

Can we talk about this? Let’s consider a few things:

1. Jesus didn’t take a stand for himself….

2. When Peter tried to take a stand for Jesus, Jesus told him to put his sword away….

3. Jesus knows that death and darkness don’t win….

It may seem like weakness, but it is really strength. It may sound like foolishness, but it is true wisdom. It may seem like we’re letting the enemy win and have his way, but God will have the Day.

We don’t have to live or act from a place of panic. We are not the Kingdom-bringers; Jesus is. And Jesus brough the Kingdom by laying down his life. The cross redefined power and wisdom at last. Now we know what Love looks like.

How would you live and speak and love if you knew that the Light wins?

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  • Amanda B.

    I’ve been wondering about this lately, especially coupled with Paul’s take on not judging those who are “outside” (1 Corinthians 5:8-13). How do you have a clear and consistent witness of God’s righteousness, without getting dorky about the fact that non-Christians, unsurprisingly, do things that the Bible forbids?

    And do the rules of engagement change for sin that directly harms other people (e.g. confronting racism, abuse, etc.), versus sins that are more limited to that person’s conscience and God (e.g. non-abusive sexual immorality)?

    It seems like blanket silence can’t be the answer, but neither is always bellowing your beliefs, regardless of context or audience.

  • Darach Conneely

    Jesus did deal with sexual issues, but gently, in one to one conversations: the woman at the well, the woman caught in adultery. But what he stood up and condemned publicly was mistreatment of the poor and vulnerable. Mark 12:38-40 And in his teaching he said, “Beware of the scribes… who devour widows’ houses. Or we have the example of the OT prophets and how they dealt with nations outside the Old Covenant. They did not speak about sexual morality, diet or even idolatry. But they spoke out against mistreatment of the poor and cruelty in war.

  • This is a helpful challenge. The more defensive we are, the more likely our view of the Kingdom is too limited and too small.

  • mshipman

    The Light wins. That’s good but so what? Why and how does Light win? How about this, when does the Light win? Who is the Light? That’s right, Jesus is the Light. I guess I don’t need to go any farther than that. No defense needed. Right? Wrong.

    It’s how Peter stood up for Jesus to which Jesus objected. The sword isn’t needed doesn’t mean a defense isn’t needed or welcomed. If we stand with Jesus which is exactly what he wants his followers to do, can’t that be understood as alliance and even defense. Jesus put His stake in the sand against the darkness and I defend His right to do it by doing good works, speaking and acting on the part of the poor, neglected, widowed, orphaned, etc. We defend Him and his legitimate right as Messiah and King by doing what He tells us.

    The Duck Dynasty guy mounted no defense for Jesus. If that is what you think is a defense of Jesus no wonder you say he doesn’t need a defense. It wasn’t one. He took the bait and mouthed off. That’s not a defense. Calling sin, sin, is not a defense either.

    Jesus’ disciples are the light of the world. He said so and as such we are kingdom builders and we build a kingdom because he chose us to do it and because he has a legitimate right to have it built.

    Serve who Jesus served in the way he served. That is defense the way he wants it.

  • David Wegener

    How does this fit with the Baptist’s rebuke of Herod that he must not take his brother’s wife as his own? Why didn’t John calmly wait for Jesus to bring the kingdom? Why didn’t he just be quiet instead of trying to cram his religion down the ruler’s throat?

  • Bev Mitchell

    Defensiveness is not good. Preaching to those who haven’t volunteered to be preached to is not much better. Different is good. We have to be different to make a difference. It’s easiest to witness when someone asks why are you different? or what makes you so happy? or why didn’t you jump all over that guy for saying that? or ….. Most of all it’s the people who see us most often and who have to live and work with us who are the best informed re our witness. I certainly need to work on that more. I’ve learned much of this from my wife.

  • scotmcknight

    David, you’re grouchy today again. If you read Glenn’s piece he does not argue for total withdrawal.

  • I know it in my head… but living it out in my life is a whole different ballgame. If I could truly live it out… I love more deeply those who need it more desperately.

  • The question seems to be one of em FAS is. Consider:

    “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. (1 Cor 10:23-24)

    Sometimes you have to tear down instead of build up, but you still need to actually build up. If all you ever do—or if most of what you do—is tear down, then I think you’re missing out on what being a disciple of Jesus is. We must not forget that the man in 1 Cor 5 was engaged in morality considered evil even by those in a two-port town! Oedipus Rex, anyone? :-p

  • Jean

    I think Paul had the correct advice in 1 Cor 5:12-13: “For what do I have to do with judging those outside? Are we not to judge those inside? But God will judge those outside. Remove the evil person from among you.” Pronouncing moral judgments to non-Christians in the secular press is not effective or wise IMO.

  • Mike Winkler

    So, I like the gist of the question. But I balked a bit at #1: Jesus took a stand for himself ALL the time. I don’t think even a cursory reading of the Gospels can evade notice of that. Of course, everyone to whom Jesus was speaking shared a common context and common religious concerns, being that they were almost all Jews living in the Land. I just though it was worth pointing out.

  • Tom F.

    Never mind that in “taking a stand for Jesus” conservative Christians appeared to mean taking a stand for a racially-ignorant person. I mean, how much discernment does it take to just go read a guy’s comments in context before jumping to his defense. Surely even conservative Christians would be embarrassed by the denial of racism in the South? Given the extremely problematic nature of the interview, why was it even a thought to jump to his defense? Why would you want to be accused of being homophobic AND racially ignorant?

  • David Wegener

    Sorry, Scot. I must have missed that.

  • First off, thanks Scot for posting this…Secondly, it is an edited excerpt of the full blog, which also includes an addendum to respond to many of the same comments/questions/pushbacks that some of you are listing (John the Baptist v. Herod, etc). I hope you find the full post helpful: http://glennpackiam.typepad.com/my_weblog/2014/01/what-does-it-mean-to-take-a-stand-for-jesus.html