Are You a Christian Coward? Am I?

A quick scan of Scripture’s calls to boldness in the gospel quickly reveals that the swath of American Christianity just doesn’t measure up:

  • Boldness is one distinguishing mark of righteousness: “The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion,” (Proverbs 28:1).
  • The early church prayed first for boldness following persecution: “And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness,” (Acts 4:29).
  • God answers this prayer immediately by sending His Spirit: “And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness,” (Acts 4:31).
  • Because of the resurrection of Christ, Paul boldly fought with wild beasts at Ephesus: “What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus?” (1 Corinthians 15:32).
  • In Christ, we have bold access to the Father: “in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him,” (Ephesians 3:12).
  • Christians are meant to preach the gospel boldly: “And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear,” (Philippians 1:14).
  • Again: Paul was “proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance,” (Acts 28:31).

Recently, my state had a much-discussed vote on a marriage amendment, and, though I won’t be discussing that amendment directly here, it did shed some light on a particular subject. Many Christians are afraid (read: opposite of bold), sinfully afraid, to speak out against sin.

Jesus was bold. He told sinners they were vipers, children of Satan, lost, rebels, worse than prostitutes, and the like. And many sinners didn’t like that. By their will, that’s why He got killed. He was bold, too, in death and resurrection.

Because He’s risen, we’re called to be bold lions, not cowards. So let us ask ourselves, maybe for the first time, “Am I a Christian coward?”:

  1. Do I take every opportunity to preach the good news, when people lead me to it (in season) and when they don’t (out of season)? If not, why not? We may find that our reasons are couched in fear: fear of losing friends, fear of losing popularity (worship of fame), fear of the government, fear of exalting God’s Word over other words, and the like.
  2. When I do speak the gospel, do I emphasize sin, righteousness, judgment, and hell, before I even get to the cross? If not, it could be that I am too afraid of those “negative” topics and their potential effects on my hearers.
  3. Do I speak boldly when someone is sinning boldly? (Think here of public child abuse, misogyny, abusive speech, stealing, reviling God’s Word, and the like.) The Bible says that the righteous rebuke the wicked. Do you?
  4. Do I speak publicly on moral issues? This doesn’t mean we become Bible-thumping hate-mongers. It means that our country is constantly discussing moral issues, particularly two at this time, marriage and abortion, and we have a social and moral mandate for God’s glory to speak His Word. Do you do it?

To the degree that we do these things, our hearts are trusting in the substitutionary death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In Him, we become bold, gracious, gospel-dependent, and alive.

To the degree that we do not do these things, God says we are cowards, afraid to trust in Christ and valuing our own sinful culture over the riches of the God of heaven.

God forgive us and help us.

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About B Treece
loved by God before I ever loved Him, saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone by the authority of the Bible alone to the glory of God alone, made to enjoy Him forever, happily married with wonder-filled children.

3 Responses to Are You a Christian Coward? Am I?

  1. Pingback: A Hostile World « life of a female bible warrior

  2. Really great post!

  3. Pingback: The Self-Righteous Christian « The Daily Bible Plan

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