Breaking the Deafening Silence
Part 3

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A cursory assessment of America reveals that something is dreadfully wrong. We are a nation at war with God. We’ve embraced a self-destructive lifestyle that celebrates and flaunts the very attitudes and behaviors that incite God’s judgment. Perhaps we may expect such behavior in a nation whose citizenry has openly rejected God, but 70% of Americans self-identify as “Christian.”[1] As such, the silence among God’s people regarding these moral issues is deafening. We should be deeply distressed over the way His people are silently tolerating rebellion to God.

As goes the church, so goes the nation. Founding father and former president John Adams writes, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”[2] God’s people serve as a moral compass guiding the course of the nation. If our nation is wayward, the responsibility rests primarily with us. Likewise, any lasting effort to correct our national course must begin with the church.

We are to function as America’s conscience. In a sermon titled “A Knock at Midnight,” Martin Luther King Jr. exhorts God’s people, saying, “The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.”[3]

In the judgment account of Sodom and Gomorrah, we learn that God is willing to extend incredible patience and mercy to a nation in rebellion as long as there are some righteous individuals who can shine like lights in the darkness, revealing the error of people’s ways and the truth of God’s Word (Matt. 5:14–16; Eph. 5:8–9). Had God found as few as ten righteous individuals to contrast the rampant evil within the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, God would have withheld His judgment (Gen. 18:22–33). Alas, not even ten righteous individuals could be found. Without a conscience to guide these cities back to truth, all hope of national repentance was lost, leaving nothing but judgment (Gen. 19:1–17).

If God’s people remain silent, refusing to expose and challenge evil, then what hope remains for our nation? Who else can guide our nation back to truth? Only God. Therefore, at some point, God Himself will be compelled to intervene with judgment designed to put an end to rebellion and wickedness.

Silence among God’s people in a rebellious nation is unacceptable, and it is a precursor to divine judgment. Privately choosing to be on God’s side regarding cultural matters is not enough; we need to publicly choose God’s side. Becoming God’s cultural change agents begins with a determination to break our silence on moral issues.

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Timothy Zebell

As a former missionary to Asia for twelve years and the author of several books, Timothy is passionate about helping people understand the relevancy of God's Word in today's world. His goals are to help Christians discern truth from error, empower Christians to speak into cultural matters with relevancy, and to help Christians capitalize on the opportunities that these matters provide for sharing the truth about God and His gospel message.
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1. “The 2020 Census of American Religion.” Public Religion Research Institute. Page 7. July 8, 2021. https://www.prri.org/research/2020-census-of-american-religion.

2. Adams, John. “From John Adams to Massachusetts Militia, 11 October 1798.” Letter. National Archives: Founders Online, n.d. Accessed January 6, 2022. https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Adams/99-02-02-3102.

3. King Jr., Martin Luther. “A Knock at Midnight.” Sermon. Mount Zion Baptist Church, 1967. Source: Patterson, Eric. “Martin Luther King, Jr. on Power and Love.” Religious Freedom Institute, January 15, 2021. https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/blog/martin-luther-king-jr-on-power-and-love.

 

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. Biblegateway.com.