There have been moments throughout history where certain people refused to back down and, as a result, changed history. Two examples that come to mind are Martin Luther and William Tyndale.
At a time where society and heads of state were leaning one way, both men refused to compromise. In fact, both met untimely ends: Tyndale was burnt at the stake and Luther died at the age of 62 after a lifetime of being pursued. Tyndale was the first to translate the New Testament into English and Luther, in a way, began the reformation movement. We as believers can take note of the incredible sacrifice and determination of these two men. Men who stood tall against a society that would see them perish. We as a church have an obligation to those who sacrificed everything to stand firm.
Of late, society has come to the conclusion that the biblical foundations that have stood for centuries must be torn up and replaced. Two such examples of this are the current attempts to redefine marriage and re-define what it is to be a man or woman. I must stress that I have nothing against these people who are different. They are in need of love, compassion and prayer. However, we cannot compromise or bend to the shift in society. If we glance back at history we see similar things that have happened. Jesus stood against the Pharisees and Roman empire, as did all his disciples. The majority of them met a horrific end. This raises the question: if they stood their ground and did not compromise, then why shouldn’t we?
The world is rapidly changing, but God’s word and the foundations inspired by Him should remain the same. There was a reason why Israel prospered; they adhered to and upheld Gods commandments. The nation flourished with the foundations set forth by those He chose. A shift occurred, a change of king and of principal, resulting in the nation of Israel falling apart. History is filled with proof of what occurs when the world turns its back on God.
If anything is evident, it is that in those times when nations leant one way, God raised up those to oppose what was happening and to hold firm to His word and way. Rapid change in the world, in society and in the global church is a calling, if ever there was one. It’s a calling for God’s chosen people to love and embrace the broken, but also to stand and say no.
A Result of Love & Commitment
The more I see the world falling apart, and those who are in pain, the more God reveals to my heart that the world is in dire need of the church to stand firm against all that oppose the Kingdom of God. However, it is imperative that this is done from a place, not of arrogance or stubbornness, but of wisdom, discernment, humility and a desire to see the Kingdom of God shine in, and through us.
Standing firm against the things that seek to draw nations and people away from God, must be a result of unconditional love and unwavering commitment. It cannot be the product of hate, desperation or misunderstanding. It should be an act of a breaking heart, a heart that breaks for what breaks His. There is a song that I heard in church as a small child and I cannot remember the name of it, but I remember this one line that constantly comes to mind: “Break my heart for what breaks yours.” I wholeheartedly believe this must be from the place in which we stand; out of our hearts breaking for what breaks His and a consuming desire to see His Kingdom reign on earth through us.
We are the difference
William Tyndale, Martin Luther - these men were the difference. The disciples of Jesus were the difference. As a result of their sacrifice and inspirations, we too must be the difference we seek to see in the world. We must adhere to their example and stand against all that seek to erase biblical foundations.
We as the church, as members of God’s Kingdom, must be the ones that stand firm. We must shine the way and we must do this together and lay aside our minute differences, for the glory and Kingdom of God. I will finish with this verse. One that sums all things up, from Matthew chapter 5 verse 14 (New International Version) “You are the light of the world. A town on a hill cannot be hidden.”
Ashley lives in Brisbane, Australia. He is currently, studying teaching at Christian Heritage College and newly married. During his free time Ashley can be found, reading an old book or collecting new ones.
Ashley Menelaw’s previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/ashley-menelaws.html