What a tragedy if we should ever lose the freedom to speak freely! One of the great things about America and some other Western cultures is the “market place of ideas.” No matter how weird or wonderful, if you have some concept, some idea, some philosophy…you can talk about it freely. And, you can freely pursue your philosophy provided it does not intrude upon or injure your fellow-citizen. It seems that no matter how strange, one can persuade a few others to join in one’s weirdness.
Of course, the results of such freedom are not always comfortable or pretty. It provides forums for televangelist money-grubbers, cultists, communists, socialists, atheists, republicans, tea-party persons, liberals and anyone else with something to say, advocate, enjoin, advise, recommend or decry, expose, denigrate, criticize, denounce…whatever.
The Tragedy of Silence
But the real tragedy is when Christians fail to take advantage of these freedoms and remain silent. What if we were as determined to proclaim Christ as Julian Assange is to spill the state beans? Not even jail could bar us from speaking about Christ. Gag orders would not gag us. No magistrate could muzzle us. We would not be reticent in the face of ridicule. To all this, we must give the ancient answer: “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:19,20).
We have, after all, been saved to save others. We have been liberated to liberate. We believe, therefor we speak (2 Corinthians 4:13). We have been made complete in Christ to see every person complete in Him (Colossians 1:28). We have been chosen to proclaim (1 Peter 2:9). Silence is not an option.
Find Your Marketplace
It is time for Christians to find their marketplaces and forums and speak of Christ and The Way. What is your forum brother? Where is your marketplace sister? Maybe it is the dinner table, coffee klatch, sewing circle, barbershop, pulpit, blog, letter to the editor, call-in talk show, golf course, coffee shop, ad infinitum. Maybe it is a neighborhood Bible study. You say, “No one will listen”? Then follow Jesus and, while you proclaim, heal, comfort, ease, assist, support, aid, encourage, give and befriend. Then they will listen. They listened to Jesus.