“Hell’s Hottest Place is Reserved for Whom?”
Without any Jeopardy music in the background, how would you answer the above question? Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave this thought-provoking response during his ministry.
“The hottest place in hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.”
Pastor Martin used the literary device, hyperbole, (from the Greek word meaning “over-casting”) to emphasize a point for a grander effect. In other words, he wanted to jolt people and awaken them to action.
Even though he gave no “chapter and verse” from the Bible to substantiate his opinion, this chilling quotation should arrest all of our attention. After all, in Revelation 21:8, it lists the “cowardly” as the first people who will “have their portion in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone.”
In Deuteronomy chapter 20 God gave His instructions for times of crises and war. He underscored the importance of not being cowardly lest timid soldiers adversely affect others around them.
“The officers are to speak further to the people, and they shall say, ‘What man is there that is fearful and fainthearted? Let him go and return to his house, lest his brother’s heart faint as well as his heart.’ ” (Deut. 20:8).
Billy Graham says, “Courage is contagious.” The opposite is also true.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Christian pastor in Germany who was martyred for speaking up and exposing Hitler’s lies, said the following, “Silence in the face of evil, is evil itself. God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
Recently, Barna Research completed a national survey of conservative Christians in America and their pastors. “God’s People Want to Know” was the title of the report and it should serve to goad pastors across America to greater cultural engagement.
While 80% of the Christians in churches want to be equipped on the hot button moral issues of our day like abortion, the ever-expanding LGBT agenda, transgenderism, gay “marriage”, etc., an extremely small percentage of pastors are willing to provide them with what they need to make decisions from a biblical worldview!
Pastors expressed a reluctance to address these issues for fear of losing members, contributions and their tax exemption. Although there has never been a church in America’s history that lost its tax exemption for speaking on political issues, this is a common misconception among leaders paralyzing them from speaking out.
I was once part of a large church that prohibited leaders from giving out objective voter guides to the people or displaying candidate bumper stickers or yard signs. I appealed for change but was unsuccessful in my attempt.
For over 40 years I have been a board member of Intercessors for America national prayer ministry and unfortunately, at times, have seen the reluctance in some churches to help people understand controversial issues or make available objective voter guides to help their people.
A couple years ago I served in my capacity as a public policy advisor with Liberty Counsel in going to 31 cities to inspire pastoral involvement in Christian activism and the political process. In one location where the involvement was minimal, a pastor confided in me that, “In many churches we’re preaching to the choir but the choir isn’t singing!”
The reason we initiated the 30 day Bullseye Challenge was to provide pastors, youth leaders, educators and parents with a resource to equip them and those they influence become informed influencers in today’s turbulent times. People who invest 15 minutes for 30 days viewing immediately accessible, free videos with an easy-to-read book will learn a scriptural worldview on the 30 hot button issues of today.
With the 2016 presidential election approaching rapidly, there is little time to squander in understanding the issues and candidate’s positions that will influence the future of America for decades to come. I encourage you to avail yourself of this timely tool endorsed by Steve Strang, Dr. Michael Brown, Dr. Jack Hayford, Bill Johnson, James Goll, Mike Bickle, R.T. Kendall, Michael W. Smith and other senior leaders.
Living in Reality Not Fantasy
America is at a tipping point. We are in danger of becoming an America in name only and losing our godly heritage as a nation established on Judeo-Christian foundations.
As I travel and interact with leaders, I must confess it gets discouraging at times but I’m committed to persevere as I trust you are. With Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as candidates, I admit that our choice is less than ideal. Yet we must not be passive with the upcoming election and its implications for our children, grandchildren and future as a nation.
Here’s the deal: Multitudes of Christians, including leaders, need to be awakened so that we might experience another spiritual awakening in our land. May we categorically recognize and reject deceptive, erroneous thinking currently circulating:
- “Don’t be concerned about the upcoming election; God is
He does rule over all but entrusts us with the responsibility of electing righteous leaders in our democratic system. “When the righteous are in authority the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people mourn” (Prv.29:2). May none of us abdicate our sacred duty to “render unto Caesar” by not voting out of super-spirituality or some offense with a candidate’s personality or past immaturity.
- “We don’t need to vote; God puts in whom He wants anyway.”
This is fatalism and contrary to what Scripture teaches about the nature and character of God giving us the ability to freely choose. Do you actually believe God put Hitler and Stalin in authority killing countless millions?
- “Hey, if Hillary wins, pushes through the party platform and even appoints 2 or 3 liberal Supreme Court Justices, we’ll just ride it out like we’ve done these past years!”
Have you honestly assessed the damage and destruction exacerbated or foisted on our imperiled nation by current governing authorities? The following, quick overview is not exhaustive but intended to bring sober reflection regarding elections having consequences for decades – even centuries.
Consider: the SCOTUS ruling on homosexual marriage that obliterated the Western Civilization definition of marriage that had stood for over 4,000 years! Government endorsement and celebration of gay “marriage” legitimizes this lifestyle to “mainstream respectability”, further eroding the morality of our nation and jeopardizing the lives of generations of our children and grandchildren. Think about it.
Consider: the serious, intensifying polarization and acrimony in Congress; our smoldering, decaying inner cities; the failure, violence, drug addiction and dismal performance of more and more schools and cancelling or opposing voucher programs for deserving minority students; our deteriorating and weakened military; rampant corruption and lawlessness in government; unprecedented bias and dishonesty in journalism and today’s media; our diminished global reputation; our uncertain economy, exploding national debt and rapidly approaching “day of reckoning”; collapsing of Obamacare, initially promoted through deceitful promises; our porous borders, immigration debacle and reprehensible sanctuary cities protecting criminal “illegals”; the IRS admitting that illegal immigrants stole over one million Social Security numbers from American taxpayers.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.