Warning: Do Not Covet Right Standing In the Eyes of the World

David Burchard Christian Ethics, Writings Leave a Comment

“Ye who have been granted right standing before the King of kings, lust not after right standing before the Legions of Lucifer.”

Never alter your proclamation of the Word of God in order to gain or maintain a standing before men. It is a common temptation the servant of the Lord will face during his life in a world opposed to the King.

Iain Murray, of the Banner of Truth, documents the danger of this temptation well in his book, Evangelicalism Divided. Billy Graham desired the support for his crusades from prominent Anglo-Catholics in England. This desire affected his behavior, as desires have a way of doing. And its effect was Graham’s move from a clear call to repentance and faith to a universalist message. J.I. Packer desired partnership with Catholics in fighting against the immoral cultural revolution in the West, and ended up affirming them as brothers in the faith, a lie that makes folks feel good for a time, but that simply ends in the flames of hell. Desire births action. If you desire the acquisition and/or maintenance of respect before the world, that desire will change your proclamation. You will not speak as boldly to the conflict points of your time and place if you want the people of your time and place to think well of you, or grant you favor. This is simply because the Christian’s message is one of repentance. Martin Luther is widely credited with saying well that the loyalty of the soldier is proved where the battle most hotly rages.

This is a word of warning pertinent to all Christian individuals and groups, and maybe particularly to Christian ministries on the college campus. In the increasingly secular West, where once the petri dish of societal thought was the church, it is now the university campus. Organized campus evangelism has long been valued by Christians, but more and more the campus is a hostile place for Biblical Christianity. Leftist thought demands not simply toleration, but agreement. And any disagreement is considered intolerable. Organized evangelistic efforts are logistically helped by groups obtaining charters from universities. This allows groups to meet in university facilities. But getting or keeping a charter is not worth compromising in Biblical fidelity, fidelity not just of personal living, but also in public proclaiming.

Specifically in 2016, Christians must take heart to teach clearly and openly what the Bible says about marriage and manhood and womanhood. Here, those opposed to Christ and his rule have dug their trenches. Will Christians meet them in battle or cede ground? There is but one option. And it cannot in any way result in friendship with the world. That option was abandoned by the Christian soldier upon his conversion.

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