ALWAYS BE PREPARED TO GIVE AN ANSWER TO EVERYONE WHO ASKS YOU TO GIVE THE REASON FOR THE HOPE THAT YOU HAVE. BUT DO THIS WITH GENTLENESS AND RESPECT, KEEPING A CLEAR CONSCIENCE, SO THAT THOSE WHO SPEAK MALICIOUSLY AGAINST YOUR GOOD BEHAVIOR IN CHRIST MAY BE ASHAMED OF THEIR SLANDER.
Should we, as the Body of Christ, be involved in the moral and ethical questions of our time – such as: bioethics, abortion, same sex marriage, pornography, sex trafficking, substance abuse, transgender issues, and sex changes - to name a few? Indecision or lack of understanding of issues can be manifested in procrastination and apathy.
Do we excuse ourselves from making decisions or for standing up for our Christian teachings because we think it may be someone else’s problem? There is a national moral malaise that is affecting our country. According to Anne White in Living Your Commitment to Jesus Christ, “if we procrastinate in our choices, we may miss a God-given opportunity…chances are great that the enemy will try to persuade us to procrastinate again.”
1 Peter 3:13-15 speaks to those of us who may suffer for righteousness sake. It teaches us that if our righteous living emulates Christ's principals - including the Beatitudes and the 10 Commandments - then we should, almost without thought, stand-up to those who want to do evil. Our ability to care enough to forgive our enemies for wrong-doings, turn our cheek and express love, even to our enemies has to be very frustrating to those who find fault with us because we follow Christ. Who knows, there may be a Saul and a Judas in such groups. People who, because of the love we demonstrate, may question their hate just enough that the Holy Spirit can nudge them or even transform them - as the experience of Saul with Jesus on the way to Damascus. Even Judas-types can be turned around if the love surrounding them is stronger than the thought of material secularism that the Evil One puts before them.
This passage merits our focus: 1 Peter 3:14-15: BUT EVEN IF YOU SHOULD SUFFER FOR WHAT IS RIGHT, YOU ARE BLESSED. DO NOT FEAR THEIR THREATS DO NOT BE FRIGHTENED. BUT IN YOUR HEARTS REVERE CHRIST AS LORD. This should inform and activate our minds and hearts when we confront difficult issues.
In Matthew 28:19-20 it is stated “Christians are charged to share the good news and discipline others in faith”. Matthew 9:35-38 says that “the harvest is great, but the workers are few”. Thus, there seems to be no room in a Christian’s life for procrastination. ALWAYS BE PREPARED TO GIVE AN ANSWER TO EVERYONE WHO ASKS YOU TO GIVE THE REASON FOR THE HOPE THAT YOU HAVE. BUT DO THIS WITH GENTLENESS AND RESPECT,
So, what are we to do? One answer is to educate ourselves and our congregations. Steve Philips in his blog “Educating the church about how to think about bioethics”, states:
Somehow we need to convince the church that learning how to think well about moral and ethical concerns from a distinctly Christian way of thinking is important for the life and health of the church. Methods to accomplish that need to be established.
Some practices that we can develop include:
Use Internet search engines to bring up Christian blogs by simply typing in your question.
Research the writings of some of your favorite Christian authors.
Utilize The RightNow Media link provided to us by our church that has diverse blogs and videos to visit that may answer many questions.
Pay attention to credible television programs that offer both sides of ethical controversies.
Review the useful resources listed below
We owe this study to our future generations. We cannot expect someone else to do what is expected of us. But, as Peter says, do everything with gentleness and respect…the same thing we taught our children when they were young. Aggressive behavior will not accomplish our task – intercessory prayer might be one answer. Check out the Justice House of Prayer organization at http://jhopdc.com/about-us/
And so with the contemporary issues that confront the Church we must be knowledgeable and strong with our conversation and opinions, and most importantly our conversational dialogue must be firm in the Biblical Word as directed by the authors of the Books of the Bible. As Christians our united firm conviction in the Word may not change minds, but will certainly evoke questions to the unbeliever.
1 Peter 3:14-15
BUT EVEN IF YOU SHOULD SUFFER FOR WHAT IS RIGHT, YOU ARE BLESSED. DO NOT FEAR THEIR THREATS, DO NOT BE FRIGHTENED. BUT IN YOUR HEARTS REVERE CHRIST AS LORD.
Some helpful resources:
Casting Light – www.cbchighlands.com “About Us”
Bioethics @ TIU