Numbers 20:7 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 8 Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink. 9 And Moses took the rod from before the Lord, as he commanded him. 10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? 11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. 12 And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them. 13 This is the water of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with the Lord, and he was sanctified in them.
In our culture today making moral judgments, saying what is right and wrong is not politically correct. Some so called culture warriors seem to think making moral judgments is always a sin and tolerance is a virtue. Since the Supreme Court’s twisted ruling to create government marriage of same gendered people, Christians have taken up different approaches. I would put them into three categories that I’ve seen being those that are:
SILENT – saying nothing, staying on the sideline, or as Mario Murillo put so well, “… muting their beliefs in order to be accepted by the Gay community.” No reproving the unfruitful works of darkness and no outrage over judicial usurpation and tyranny.
SAGES – taking a philosophical approach, only talking about love (not the truth in love), acceptance, tolerance and that this ruling won’t change anything or affect them. This still hides their belief, allows them to side-step a direct answer, and keeps them in a neutral non-offensive posture making no moral judgments.
STANDING – speaking out and standing for Biblical truth; and as citizens, “we the people,” voicing their dissent for an out of control, usurping court ruling.
I’m sure everyone has their reasons and justifications for their chosen position and we are not privy to it; so in all fairness, our perspective is limited. I do know this, that silence when we should speak up is not something God has always looked kindly upon. I appreciate men at critical times in history who exhorted us about being silent when we should speak. Dietrich Bonhoeffer in the face of the Nazi state said, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” William Wilberforce in the days of slavery in England said, “Christianity has been successfully attacked and marginalized… because those who professed belief were unable to defend the faith from attack, even though its attackers’ arguments were deeply flawed.” Dr. Martin Luther King speaking for the injustice of denial of civil rights said, “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends,” and “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
Do you remember the story in Numbers 20:6 -13 where God told Moses to take the rod and speak to the rock before the people but instead rebelled and smote the rock twice? Moses was punished because he did something God did not tell him to do and was not allowed to enter the Promised Land. The interesting thing is that Aaron too was punished and not allowed to enter the Promised Land but his rebellion was that he kept his mouth shut or didn’t let his voice be heard and WAS HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR HIS SILENCE.
The Apostle Paul certainly wasn’t silent in the face of the idolatry in Athens in his message on Mars Hill where he said in Acts 17:29, “Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. 30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” Christians who refuse to make moral judgments and vocalize them for fear of being labeled intolerant need reminded that one day God will judge the world in righteousness (Acts 17:31), His righteousness, not the world’s version of what is right.