Crossroads: Why You Can’t Stay Silent, Part I

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“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil; God will not hold us guiltless.”  (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

“You are the Salt of the earth and the Light of the world.  Let your light so shine before men that they may see your works and glorify your Father who is in Heaven.”  (Jesus, Sermon on the Mount)

We are called to “pull down strong holds, demolish arguments, cast down everything that exalts itself against God, and bring every thought into obedience to God.”  (II Corinthians 10:3-4)

“The church must be a public voice for the eternal truths of God.”  (Pastor Neil Laybourne)

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Tom Minnery on “Why You Can’t Stay Silent”

When Tom Minnery was an aspiring journalist assigned to cover Capitol Hill, he was asked to report on research that the Reagan Administration was doing on the pornography industry in America.

As a part of that research, he attended a public hearing that included the first-hand account of a girl who had been molested as a child – in part due to the influence of pornography on her abuser.  Highly paid lawyers for the porn industry openly snickered at her and her testimony.

That experience informed and infuriated Mr. Minnery.  It was just one more item on a growing list of other concerns he was having about the coarsening of our culture and the destructive impact it was having on families across America.  Someone had to do something!  Someone had to speak out!

As a result, he left a promising career in journalism, joined Focus on the Family headed at that time by Dr. James Dobson, and soon became its Vice President for Public Policy.

From that vantage point, and to help others who shared these concerns and wanted to fight back, Minnery wrote a book entitled Why You Can’t Stay Silent:  A Biblical Mandate to Shape Our Culture.

Speaking Out – and Why It Matters

At about the same time that Minnery wrote his book, Valley residents were also becoming increasingly concerned about many of the same issues, including attacks on the Sanctity of Life and of Marriage, on our Religious Liberties, and yes, about the destructive impact of pornography on our communities.

But what could they do to confront, rebuke, and defeat these strongholds of evil while at the same time working to support and advance the Biblical principles of virtue on which American was founded?  Don’t they interfere with our call to proclaim the Gospel and to “evangelize”?

For answers, they relied heavily on Minnery’s book for guidance and for inspiration during a series of Forum-sponsored seminars called “Capstone:  The Christian’s Role in Culture and Public Policy”.

For example, what could they do to ban or at least regulate the three SOB’s (sexually oriented businesses) in Harrisonburg and also to remove porn from the shelves of “family-friendly” local businesses?  What could they do …

— To help save the lives of unborn babies, even when our own government actively defended and supported the evil of abortion that has claimed the lives of more than 58 million babies since 1973?

— To fight for marriage as the permanent union of only one man and one woman, even when our own government was working to undermine and even redefine it to include same-sex partners?

— To defend our religious liberties as a gift from God even when our own government was forcing us to accept its dictates even when they violate God’s laws?

WWJD?  Salt and Light

These are not new challenges.  They are as old as Creation itself.  However, like many others who came before us, we have too often been silent when we should have been speaking up.  Sadly, the moral decline we are seeing today is a consequence of that silence.

So, we often wonder, “What would Jesus have done?”  What did He mean when He called us to be Salt and Light to the world?

What does Minnery refer to as the “godly principle” that drove a Vermont farmer and three Indiana mothers to stand up for moral virtue in their communities?  What “divine impulse” and “twin truths” have made the church throughout history to be a “community of compassion” in times of great need?

Finally, what role are we called to play today, both individually and as the Body of Christ, to take a stand for the full Gospel in this great Civil War of Values in America?

Crossroads:  Where You Can’t Stay Silent

That’s the background for what Rita Dunaway and I will discuss this weekend and for several weeks to come on Crossroads:  Where Faith and Culture Meet.  We hope you can join us for Part I of this series on one of the following Valley stations:

—  WBTX (1470) at 4:00 p.m. Saturday and again on Sunday at 7:30 a.m., followed by WSVA (550) and WSVA/FM (92.1) at 8:30; and WNLR (1150) at 11:30. You can also listen online HERE anytime.

Crossroads is entirely listener supported.  If you would like to help, please send your check to Crossroads at PO Box 881, Harrisonburg, 22803.  All donations are tax-deductible.

Thank you, for God and Country,

Dean