Today, the Lord would have me build an important bridge from the January 13, 2019 post, The Courage Of Conviction, under the category, Instruction, to a social issue and His preachers. The social issue is the wicked practice and tragedy of abortion solemnly held up, prayed about and protested by still not enough professed Christians and churches on this very day set apart each year as Sanctity Of Life Sunday. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is a preacher who with God imbued courage, led many to stand up to nonviolently protest America’s oppressive and unjust treatment of its black citizens a generation ago before being assassinated. We celebrate his holiday tomorrow.
Surveying internet articles on abortion as a social justice issue, I was amazed not by the divergence of opinion, but by how the phrase “social justice” was defined, claimed and used by basically two different sides. And since social justice as a contemporary concept draws its most important personification by way of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., each side also claimed him as a likely endorser. In this post, it matters not where Dr. King may or may not have stood on abortion since he made no quoted direct and specific declaration one way or the other. What matters to the God of the Bible is where all of the truly called preachers of His Word should courageously stand!
Because definitions are an integral part of the intensifying spiritual warfare of these latter days, I cannot in good conscience go any further in this post until I first give proper definition to the terms “social” and “justice.” In its first layer of definition for social, Microsoft Encarta relates it “to human society and how it is organized.” Encarta goes on to associate social with how “people in groups behave and interact” as well as how they live or prefer to live as part of a community. Justice is defined first as “fairness or reasonableness, especially in the way people are treated or decisions are made.” It also refers to the legal system and how laws are applied according to this dictionary.
So, then, it would seem that by combining the words social and justice one would come away generally understanding the phrase to mean the ways in which a human society has established standards of fairness and behavior that are upheld and enforced within it. However, the world governed by Satan cannot endure such simplicity and must complicate things with this definition of the phrase: “the way in which human rights are manifested in the everyday lives of people at every level of society.”1 And there it is, “human rights.” Differing views of legitimate human rights and the source of morality is the reason our society is divided on the social justice issue of abortion.
Faithful Christians--every aspiring strong man and great woman of God in the image of Jesus Christ--start with God and His Word rather than fallen, sinful human assertion no matter how scholarly or brilliant in understanding anything about societal function and concepts such as justice that originate with Him!2 Indeed, God as our Creator has made us in the divine image and likeness to function in community as God from eternity (Genesis 1:1-3, 26-28, 2:7, 18-24; Luke 3:21-22; John 15:17, 17:11, 20-26). Referring to God, Scripture proclaims: “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne,” (Psalm 89:14, NKJV). God is the source of righteousness and justice!
God introduced His righteous and just nature into the human experience when He gave a command and the consequence of disobedience to the first man (Genesis 2:15-17). The man sinned and God brought His just consequence (Genesis 3:1-6, 17-19).3 For generations thereafter, Adam’s progeny were without righteous and just laws and nearly all destroyed as lawless in the global flood of Noah’s day (Genesis 4:1-24, 6:5-13). God, not man; God later gave to Israel and the world His righteous and just laws introduced through Moses (Deuteronomy 4:5-8; Romans 5:12-14). In His Law, Israel and any other human societies had a perfect standard of justice (Psalm 19:7-8; Romans 7:12).
Our nation’s Declaration Of Independence declares we derive certain rights from God. While individual rights were recognized in God’s laws, they never overstepped the eternal morality issuing forth from the righteousness and justice those laws embodied (Psalm 111:7-8, 119:142; Proverbs 14:12)! Thus, no human individual or society on earth apart from government punitively has the right to take another human life which begins by God’s design at the moment of conception (Genesis 9:5-7; Exodus 20:13; Psalm 139:13-16; Luke 18:18-20; Romans 13:1-4).4 It is here that every God called preacher is to take his stand to uphold the righteousness and justice of God’s Word and speak up to call out societies engaged in the unjust, wanton murder of its weakest citizens (Jeremiah 7:28-31).
Truly, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. courageously stood up when called upon by the Lord to cry out for and demand social justice for oppressed, segregated, disenfranchised, poorly educated and impoverished black Americans from a nation claiming “In God We Trust” a generation ago (Psalm 103:6). But now, a folk more helpless and voiceless than my slave forefathers cries out to God for social justice; even the unborn whose right to live by divine sanction is taken away in their mother’s wombs. Why are the many preachers who know God’s Word silent? Why do they not courageously stand up like Dr. King for black Americans and cry out with one voice on behalf of the unborn? Is it not because they do not all know the Lord or have His heart (Matthew 7:21-23; Mark 10:13-16)?
Is it not also because the racial group in this society with the highest number of abortions today are black Americans whose post-Civil Rights era leadership that includes many preachers sold them out long ago like Esau for some stew (Genesis 25:29-34)?5 Therefore, unless they seek it now, they will not find a place of repentance in the judgment (Isaiah 1:10-20; Hebrews 12:12-17)! And to the nation that has made law the unjust right of women to murder their unborn as Israel once sacrificed its children to demons (Psalm 106:37-38): the Lord will stand for the unborn and vindicate their blood as their Avenger in His holy wrath (Psalm 9; Jeremiah 7:32-34; Nahum 1:2-6; Zephaniah 1:14-18)! The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 Goggle “define social justice” and see the definition offered by Wikipedia.
2 Learn more about the aspiring strong man and great woman of God in the image of Jesus Christ from my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics and com-
panion instructional resource, The Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study. They are available in the Strong Man Store.
3 Death as a consequence of the first man’s sin included separation from fellowship and harmonious community with God (Isaiah 59:1-2) followed by the same among
humanity at every level beginning in the family; working its ruinous end among brothers and spouses (Genesis 4:8; Malachi 2:13-16; Matthew 19:1-8). The Lord Jesus
Christ alone through His death, burial and resurrection has made restoration of life, fellowship and harmonious community with God and among all humanity possible
(John 3:16-17, 11:23-27, 14:6; Romans 5:6-11; Ephesians 2:1-7; 1 Peter 3:8-12).
4 See the August 19, 2018 post, Valuing Human Life, under the category, Biblical Worldview.
5 Read the four-part post beginning February 26, 2017, God Of Restoration And Judgment (and especially part three for which this footnote is specifically made), under
the category, Black History.
One of our readers this past week became the one millionth to read this Blog since its launch on this Web Site back on January 28, 2014. While one million is small potatoes in the blog universe, having been a pastor that considered six people in Sunday service a good day during one of the lowest points in my ministry, I fully appreciate all that turn aside each week to read what the Lord has given me to write. To God be the glory! It is exactly because I have been around churches a long time that I am able as the Lord leads to write about what I have seen and heard as I do in another post this week on character featuring an edited 2011 Commentary.
Originally Published August 2011
Serving the Lord and His churches over the past thirty years I have found a troubling lack of consistent courage among too many leaders in standing for the truth and righteousness of God's Word. Many of these men--pastors and denominational leaders--will stand firm and even get ugly defending or protecting concerns for which they have a personal stake. However, in the face of potential suffering for taking a stand for God's Word, I have seen no small number wimp out as a matter of course.1 While I also have had my instances of failed courage standing for God's Word, spiritual and moral timidity among men appears to be rife and growing in our churches and nation today.
Next month Sherwood Pictures, the Christian film studio operated by Sherwood Baptist Church of Albany, Georgia and producers of the greatly acclaimed Fireproof, will release another excellent picture focusing on men, Courageous. The movie weaves together the lives of four police officers and one Hispanic construction worker. It opens with an incredible display of courage by a black officer. After tragedy strikes the family of one of the white officers, the men begin meeting to challenge themselves to a higher standard of commitment to their families and character. Their commitments are tested requiring each to live up to the courage of his commitment. One of the men does fail.
I highly recommend Courageous be seen by men (especially with their families) most importantly for its attempt to restore the sense of honor that used to attend the display of courage by men on and off battlefields. Important also (in light of my July 2011 Commentary)2 is the film’s intentional effort to show white, black and brown men equally called upon to display the character trait of courage. The film does not sugar coat the reality that acting in the courage of your convictions may cost you as I have painfully experienced in my years of ministry. Even so, when the conviction one has is of the cause, truth and righteousness of Christ in God's Word, I am learning it is worth it.
Courage is defined in Webster's Dictionary as "the ability to face danger without fear." Lack of courage has caused many of the leaders I have known over the years not to stand with or help me in my ministry for fear of exposure as spiritual frauds or hypocrites, the loss of jobs, comfortable lives etc. while knowing my work and message are biblically solid. The Bible is filled with examples of men that stood in the courage of their convictions, suffered for it, but were rewarded by God. Among them are Joseph who would not commit adultery (Genesis 39, 41:38-45), David who slew Goliath (1 Samuel 17:26-51), Daniel who defied a king (Daniel 6) and Christ, death (John 2:18-22).
The aspiring strong man of God will be taught courage by Him as a matter of building into us the character of Christ. Indeed, courage is one of twelve character traits of Christ I write about in The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics that God forms in willing Christian men through the crucible of painful life experiences.3 This is why it has been so troubling to me about the many pastors and leaders I have encountered that have lacked not only the courage of conviction, but other basic character traits of Christ such as humility, obedience, faithfulness, zeal and integrity. The Bible is clear; God does not give any of His true sons a pass on possessing the character of Christ.4
It is God’s express will that we be “conformed to the image of His Son,” (Romans 8:29, NKJV). Christ’s character is also the purposeful mission of His discipline in our lives (Hebrews 12:3-11; 2 Peter 1:1-8). So, either the spiritually timid men I speak of have been outright religious impostors or they are stubbornly resisting God's character building program which the apostle Peter indicates is not at all a good thing (2 Peter 1:9-11). This resistance is no doubt a major reason so many of our leaders fall into sin bringing shame upon themselves, Christ and His Church. It is also why so many of the men under them in the churches rise no higher in the faith than they have.
The courage of conviction and boldness to speak or act accordingly comes from the Lord and is to characterize the lives of His aspiring strong men as we “stand fast” in Him (Acts 4:13-31; 2 Thessalonians 2:15, NKJV).5 Unless professed Christian men do step up in droves aspiring to be strong men of God in the image of Christ that possess among their character traits His courage, American Christianity will continue its slide into irrelevance. Unprepared to stand fast in the severely trying days shortly ahead, many will be destroyed in the cowardice of apostasy (Matthew 10:24-33, 13:20-21; Revelation 14:9-13, 21:7-8). Not so God’s aspiring strong men (Hebrews 10:38-39)! The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 See the August 9, 2015 repost, Silent Endorsers Of Evil under the category, The Faith.
2 This Commentary, Biblical Equality And Equity, was posted July 5, 2015 under the category, Call To Repent.
3 My book and the companion instructional resource, The Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study are both available in the Strong Man Store.
4 Read the January 28, 2018 post, Character Is Required Of Christian Men and Men Of Integrity posted on January 6, 2019 both under the category, Instruction.
5 See the November 25, 2018 post, Standing In The Evil Day, under the category, Encouragement.
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