Monday, May 12, 2014

It is Time to Stand Up

Continuing to study in Malachi I want to focus on verse 10 of chapter 1.

“Who is there even among you who would shut the doors,
 So that you would not kindle fire on My altar in vain?
 I have no pleasure in you,” 
Says the Lord of hosts,
 “Nor will I accept an offering from your hands.

 [The New King James Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), Mal 1:10.]



Do you have a tough time understanding the language of that verse? Eugene Peterson paraphrased it quite well in The Message.

“Why doesn’t one of you just shut the Temple doors and lock them? Then none of you can get in and play at religion with this silly, empty-headed worship. I am not pleased.
[
Eugene H. Peterson, The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2005), Mal 1:10.

]

There was no "Spiritual person" to stand (Malachi 1:10).  Nobody was around who was spiritual enough to stand up and say this is wrong and I will not allow this to continue! I believe we can see this in our western culture Christianity today. It is watered-down and lukewarm. Many give their Sunday mornings to Jesus and nothing more. Our Bibles sit amidst the garbage in the back seat of our cars only to be picked up once a week. When something occurs that is against God and His ways we keep our mouths closed fearing a lash-back of society. We do not want to hurt anybody's feelings. We do not want to make anyone mad. Many are afraid to be known as a Christian and too often we find ourselves in the same position as Peter in the garden after Jesus' arrest.
 


We see this everyday. The ACLJ reported of a recent attack by the Freedom from Religion Foundation toward Clemson University. A brief summary of the report is as following

The New York Daily News reported that the group made famous for their war against nativity scenes and our National Motto (“In God We Trust”), has now picked a fight with Clemson University. The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) has taken the field with a new mission to silence and intimidate a college football coach for sharing his faith with his players. The FFRF is offended that the head football coach for the Clemson Tigers is a Christian that publicly shares his faith with the players of his team. The group argues that Coach Swinney gave a volunteer chaplain access to his players for Bible studies, also gave the chaplain an office at the athletic center, displayed Bible quotes through the football facilities, schedules team devotions, and also leads “sessions on ‘being baptized’” on school grounds. In sum, FFRF argues that “Christian Worship seems interwoven into Clemson’s football program.

You can read more of the article and the ACLJ's plans to help by clicking here.

I want to say at this point "

Praise God there are people like Coach Swinney who are willing to stand amidst persecution". Are you willing to stand-up when necessary? We cannot be a lukewarm undercover Christian. We have to put God on the throne of our lives. When Mussolini was strutting in force across much of the Mediterranean world, he was asked to explain his swift rise to power. He answered, “I found Europe full of empty throne rooms, and simply walked in and took one of them.” As the old saying goes, if you will not stand for something, you will fall for anything.

Church, it is time to take a stand for Christ.  


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