20 Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said, “God blesses you who are poor,
for the Kingdom of God is yours.
21 God blesses you who are hungry now,
for you will be satisfied.
God blesses you who weep now,
for in due time you will laugh.
22 What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man. 23 When that happens, be happy! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, their ancestors treated the ancient prophets that same way.
Homosexuality. Abortion. So-called same-sex marriage.
As the songwriter penned, "the times, they are a-changin.'" If you dare to speak out on these issues from a Biblical worldview, be ready for opposition. And be ready for that opposition to grow in the months and years ahead. Which means its time to encourage each other to stand courageously as disciples of Jesus Christ.
Kevin DeYoung has written a winsome but bold article recently to that very end. His words are fuel to stoke the fires of bravery for the cause of our King:
...at present, one of the worst heresies is to be in the same zip code with someone who takes a firm stance on homosexuality. From the Giglio Imbroglio to the Tebow Tantrum, or even the Chick-Fil-A controversy before that, we see the new way our world works. “If you espouse views we deem intolerant,” the logic goes, “or collaborate with someone who does, we will not tolerate you or anything you stand for.” It’s the Ivan Drago approach to cultural persuasion: I must break you.
So someone needs to refuse to be broken. Maybe some famous Christian athlete or actor needs to do it. Maybe a famous academic. Maybe a well known musician or humanitarian. Maybe you will be called upon this week to give account for your faith. Give it time and most of us will need to say something. What we must not do is allow the world to dictate what is and what is not a socially acceptable view on sexuality. The world may do that anyway, but we can at least play a little defense by refusing to play the game on their terms.
He then makes a plea for followers of Jesus who will stand fast.
The next time—and there will be a next time—some famous Christian is pilloried in the press for maybe, possibly, at some point now or in the past holding to the traditional view of marriage, I hope he (or she) will come up to the microphone and say something like this.....
How would you finish that sentence? What would you say to stand bold, but do so with words gracious and seasoned with salt? A portion of DeYoung's suggested public statement:
Yes I do still believe God designed sex for marriage between a man and a woman. And yes, I’m still accepting the invitation to speak. I don’t fault you for you doing your job. And I don’t deny your right to disagree with me in the strongest terms. But I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m not going to let you dictate the terms of this conversation. I’m not going to be intimidated by bad press. And I’m not going to live my whole life trying to prove that I’m something I’m not. It ain’t gonna happen.
I’m a Bible-believing Christian. There, I said it. I’m out of the closet. I’m not bitter. I’m not on a crusade. I just think it’s time to stand up and say enough is enough. I don’t like making people angry. But I can’t live my life to make you happy.
Friends, it's time to take one for the team. Our King couldn't have been more clear, "blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man. When that happens, be happy! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven." He stood fast for righteousness and truth, and in him, we may stand fast too.
I commend the entirety of DeYoung's article to you, as a wonderful example of living out the commands of our King.