Saying nothing is saying something.
You may have heard this phrase recently, especially in connection with the desire to see our nation return to its Christian roots. People are crying out for the America of years ago but feel powerless to do anything about it—especially with the increasingly hostile attitude toward Christianity. On a special edition of the Gospel Truth broadcast, Andrew discussed ministry in today’s culture with Bob Yandian and Pastor Duane Sheriff. They addressed controversial topics, tying each issue back to the Word of God.
As these ministers delved into the issue of hate speech, much of the interview hinged on Leviticus 19:17-18—
Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.  Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.
“If you don’t rebuke your neighbor when they’re wrong,” Andrew said in reference to this passage, “you hate them.” Bob Yandian then addressed the response that some have had about the direction this country is headed: “People are putting the brakes on. They don’t like what they see, [but] they don’t know exactly what to do.” He went on to relay that America is on the verge of revival but that it may happen because of the direction our nation is going. Historically, the church has always grown in size and strength during persecution.
Andrew later mentioned Matthew 5:38-46 as a passage people have used against him to defend Christian passivity in the face of growing immorality. The first two verses say, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:  But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also”(Matt. 5:38-39). Andrew commented, “I’ve actually heard these exact words used to justify total passivism, to where there is no such thing as national defense; there is no such thing as standing against abortion, homosexuality, bestiality, polygamy, or anything…. How do you reconcile this?”
“I’d like to jump in on that,” Duane spoke up. “Part of why we’re in the mess we’re in is [because of] confusion over the Word of God.” He brought up how he has taught in the past on the passage in Leviticus. Then he dropped a bombshell: “True hate speech is to not speak up when something is about to destroy [someone]…. Hate speech is silence while they go right off the cliff. It is not hate speech to warn somebody.”
Suffering sin upon your neighbor can take many forms. It could be as simple as disobeying God’s voice. Ways of responding—not suffering sin on your neighbor—could look a lot like becoming a teacher, joining the police force, getting involved in politics, or obeying the call into ministry. Sometimes “speaking up” is what you do rather than what you say.
So, how are you going to respond?
What’s most important in countering ungodliness is following the Spirit of God. Duane mentioned that the problems in this country stem from not understanding the written Word of God. Taking that one step further, people are also confused or fighting against the rhema of God’s Word—what God has spoken to their hearts by the Holy Spirit. Are you ignoring what the Lord has said? How you answer that question can have serious repercussions for not only you but also an entire nation.
Watch Andrew’s full interview here, dig into the Word, and ask God how He wants you to respond. Somebody needs what He put inside of you!
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