The Secular Left Demands All Christians Get Out of Public View
How can we lift high moral standards when, as Christians, we also miss the mark?
It seems everywhere you turn these days a Christian is being attacked and marginalized because he failed the divine standard he believed to be reliable and important. I’m not talking about the King Sauls, where the leader has committed a great evil, is caught and confronted, and makes excuses and blames others. I’m talking about an attack on a Christian who is sincerely seeking to be more godly, but who — surprise! — has sins in his past (as we all do: see number six of The Stream’s ten foundational principles). The enemies of traditional morality delight in such moments and try to use them to humiliate and silence forever that Christian’s influence.
Just consider the Duggar family and the wrongdoings of their son that recently came to light. In the church we understand the process of consequences, grace, restoration and reconciliation. But those eager to attack and marginalize Christians have no tolerance for believers who fail. Smelling blood, they attack like sharks.
Christians are called to be salt and light in a dark world, to be champions of godly morality and truth, and yet we all sin and fall short of the glory of God. The opponents of religion and morality would have us believe that there are really only two options: Option 1: Play the hypocrite by upholding and defending moral principles that they themselves at times violate. Option 2: Just shut up about moral absolutes altogether since, after all, none of us are living up to those standards perfectly.
Conservative Christians and other defenders of biblical morality — those who defend life, marriage and integrity — are, in a sense, at a disadvantage, since we want to defend principles that we ourselves may not always perfectly uphold. The moral relativist doesn’t have this problem. He isn’t a hypocrite, since he doesn’t profess any moral standards to be hypocritical about. We do have such standards, and the opponents of Christianity happily use our moral imperfections to cry, “Shut up you hypocrite! You are not qualified to lead or run for office!”
It is this double-standard that allows, for instance, the biased liberal media to give some a pass for political corruption, cover-ups, harassment, philandering and highly questionable financial practices — even celebrating them in their run for some of the highest offices in the land; and then this same liberal media attacking and attempting to cow Josh Duggar into disappearing in shame for something he did when he was a boy!
One might ask, “How can we lift up high moral standards when, as Christians, we also miss the mark?” Must those who fail morally ignore the standard rather than repenting and again championing them? Must the addict who has been set free never speak of the danger and damage caused by such bondage? The world is groping in darkness, desperate for the light that God’s people have been called to lift high. There is an accuser, Satan, who demands silence, but not our Redeemer. He offers another way. That way involves His grace, purchased by Him for us on the Cross. Our failure requires repentance and humility so that we learn from the past and become stronger through the healing process. I believe the Duggar family did this, were still the victims of a vicious all-out assault, and yet their humility and courage will carry them through.
I have been told by many that I am often too transparent about my own failures and shortcomings. Yet my testimony has proven to be a source of inspiration and encouragement to many. The Bible and history confirm the effective leadership role fulfilled by many who missed the mark and were corrected by the standard they faithfully lift high.
If the Duggar family’s problem seems far removed from your lives, understand, the enemy of life, truth and freedom isn’t satisfied to destroy only the witness of the Duggar family. He wants to silence each of us who profess faith in Christ and who seek to love God and our neighbors according to His principles. Don’t imagine that a stance of silence in the face of evil is the place God calls us to. We can be — and are called to be — humble, honest and bold in the face of the world’s evil, without being hypercritical and unforgiving.
“Be sober and alert,” the apostle Peter urges us. “Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, is on the prowl looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Satan is crafty and he patiently waits to scheme and orchestrate situations to disqualify any of us from being effective witnesses. He wants to destroy our confidence and make us question, “Who are we to witness to anybody?”
We can all find ways to disqualify ourselves. Father Abraham failed, Moses missed the mark and King David sinned miserably but afterward wrote many of his most powerful psalms. Elijah doubted and pouted. Simon Peter denied Jesus three times, but shortly afterward, in the power of the Holy Spirit, was the keynote speaker at Pentecost. God’s grace covers a multitude of sins, which a godless, critical, skeptical world diligently seeks to uncover. The Body of Christ, His church, must carry on, holding high God’s standards and proclaiming the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ. Some who have learned great life lessons from their failures are the most qualified people to lead and serve.
Galatians 5:1 declares, “It is for freedom Christ made us free!” Please do not allow the deceitful scheming and craftiness of Satan to silence the voice of freedom provided through God’s transforming truth.