We must obey God rather than men. – Acts 5:29
1 “I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.”
2 “Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God.”
3 “So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.”
The late spring and early summer 2020 were marked by justified outrage regarding the egregious, sadistic murder of an American citizen by a Minneapolis policeman. Peaceful demonstrators were joined by violent mobs. The outrage and demonstrations turned violent, destructive, horrendous, and anarchistic. Demands for social and racial justice were overshadowed by the demand for ideological conformity. The “woke” had taken the underlying flames of “cancel culture” and stoked it into a blazing inferno.
On July 07, 2020, Harper’s Magazine published a joint open letter from 153 prominent signatories expressing their concern that “the free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted.” Freedom of thought and expression granted under the Constitution of the United States has been assaulted by intolerance. It is being aggressively and violently coerced into silence.
In its place, is emerging an oppressive environment of compulsory conformity: “an intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty.” Presumed violations were met with harsh chastisement.
“More troubling still, institutional leaders, in a spirit of panicked damage control, are delivering hasty and disproportionate punishments instead of considered reforms. Editors are fired for running controversial pieces; books are withdrawn for alleged inauthenticity; journalists are barred from writing on certain topics; professors are investigated for quoting works of literature in class; a researcher is fired for circulating a peer-reviewed academic study; and the heads of organizations are ousted for what are sometimes just clumsy mistakes. Whatever the arguments around each particular incident, the result has been to steadily narrow the boundaries of what can be said without the threat of reprisal.”
The letter contends that injustice cannot be reversed by even greater injustice and mob rule. “The restriction of debate . . . invariably hurts those who lack power and makes everyone less capable of democratic participation. The way to defeat bad ideas is by exposure, argument, and persuasion, not by trying to silence or wish them away. We refuse any false choice between justice and freedom, which cannot exist without each other.”
How do we respond as children of the King? It is all too easy to condemn and find fault with those we disagree. Instead we are to examine ourselves and search deep within regarding our own convictions and inconsistencies.
2 Corinthians 13:5 Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves!
Where necessary, we must repent and change our way of thinking. Are we truly living out our faith or are we just going through motions?
Does our love for the Lord Jesus Christ still burn hot within our hearts? Or has our inner fire been quenched? Have we left our first love? (Revelation 2:4)
2 I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars.
3 You have patiently suffered for me without quitting.
4 But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first!
5 Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first.
REFLECT & PRAY
Judges 21:25 Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
Proverbs 21:2 People may be right in their own eyes, but the LORD examines their heart.
Father You know how foolish I am; my sins cannot be hidden from You (Psalms 69:5). Open the eyes of my heart that I might see, recognize my own faults, repent, change my ways, and walk humbly with You.
Each of us must determine where we stand in our beliefs. And then take a stand and stand firm (Ephesians 6:13).
1 Corinthians 16:13 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.
There is something insidious lurking beneath the surface. Protesters and writers had been attacking federal buildings, businesses, and law enforcement officials. But on August 01, 2020, something changed. They began to burn Bibles. Yes Bibles! Ask yourself why.
Jordan Davidson wrote, “As they turn to burning Bibles, Portland rioters show their true colors” (https://thefederalist.com/2020/08/01). Who burns Bibles? What exactly does burning the Bible have to do with protesting for social and racial justice? Is it nothing more than a not so veiled attempt to dismantle centuries of tradition, freedom of religion, and Western civilization itself?
The prophet Daniel faced certain death by not heeding the coercive entrapment of an unrighteous law.
For various and sundry reasons, administrators, and high officials in his day, tried to find fault or a basis by which they could criticize and condemn Daniel. But he proved himself to be a faithful, consistent, responsible, trustworthy administrator in government affairs.
Daniel 6:5 So they concluded, “Our only chance of finding grounds for accusing Daniel will be in connection with the rules of his religion.”
So they tricked Darius the king into signing an unjust law that was designed to ensnare only Daniel. The punishment for his “crime” would be a horrific death by being tossed into the lion’s den.
You know the rest of the story; the Father sent His angel and Daniel was supernaturally protected and preserved alive.
We may have to risk becoming lion food for our faith and convictions. What you do is between you and the Father!
Acts 5:29 We must obey God rather than men.
Dare to be a Daniel!