When I was a little boy I remember being afraid of the dark. I remember the fear of the monster under the bed, and the bogey man in the closet. Though today I know these monsters to be but an overactive imagination, to a child these were very real fears. Many children go to bed with a night light burning to keep back the imagined monsters. As we get older we realize the creaks we hear in the night are the house settling. There is no gremlin under the bed waiting to “get” us once the lights go out.
As an adult I’m not afraid of the monster under the bed, but I am afraid of the dark. Dr. Vance Havner, an evangelist who is now with the Lord, preached a sermon called Getting Used to the Dark. In it he talked about how he walked into a dark dining room at a famous restaurant. He said he nearly killed himself as he stumbled over a chair. Muttering “I’ll need a flashlight to read the menu”, he ordered his food, and then ate it “by faith and not by sight”. As he sat there his eyes slowly got used to the darkness. As he remarked, “Funny, isn’t it, how we can get used to the dark”?
America has gradually become like that dimly lit restaurant that Vance talked about. Like Las Vegas, we have the technical knowledge to light a desert city at night so brightly that the sun is not needed. Spiritually, however, we live in the deepest of caves. Our nation – once called “Christian” – proudly promotes sexual sin, drugs, alcohol, and every form of degradation imaginable in print, in video, and on the Internet. What we used to do in the dark now seems normal. Just the other day a “conservative” running for office sent me a letter saying that she has changed her mind on Biblical marriage. Well known preachers go on television and endorse everything but Jesus Christ and His Bible. Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are welcome everywhere, but Jesus Christ, His birth, death, and resurrection are mocked and legislated against. Why is this?
1. Christians don’t complain. When you burn a Koran accidentally half of the Muslim population charges your military base and kills people. When you draw a cartoon mocking Mohammed the Muslim leadership puts out a hit on you. When you as an artist urinate in a glass, drop a Crucifix in it and call the “artwork” – I’m not making this up – “Piss Christ” – that artist gets $75,000.00 from the National Endowment for the arts and no one of note in Christianity says a thing. Now I’m not saying that Christians should riot and kill – we don’t do that. But we can speak up. We can write our local papers. We can hand our flyers at stop lights. We can tell our friends we were offended when Saturday Night Live made a sketch called “Jesus Uncrossed” where they mocked Christ. And when our friends say “toughen up, get over it” we could remind them if we were Muslims our complaint would be much harsher. Jesus told us to turn the other cheek, and to expect hatred. But He never said we didn’t have the right to speak up. If I remember correctly, when the early Church was told to sit down and shut up the disciples replied “We had better obey God than man”. Get over it, sissy – I’m speaking up.
2. Christians don’t shine. Rappers and gangsta music thugs wear gold crosses around their necks while dancing in droopy drawers and holding parts of their bodies they ought not to hold. Muslims have a call to prayer, and if it’s time to pray will drop down in the middle of the street, holding up traffic till they are done. Christian ministers are told “You can pray at this event, but don’t mention the name Jesus Christ – that is, unless you’re a comedian and that name is being mocked or used as a curse.” And these ministers comply. Are you kidding me? I pray out loud in restaurants over my food, just as I do at home, and pray the name of Jesus. We’ve got to quit compromising, Christians, or we’re going to lose all of our freedom. You need more than a fish symbol on your the bumper of your car. You need to shine for Jesus. Let others seem Him in you and through you. Do good, and glow for God.
3. Christians only shine in the light. There are believers who don’t mind being in the choir at Church or behind the pulpit on Sunday – but go undercover when they leave the Church. You can tell a Muslim by how he dresses and lives his life. Be true to your faith when you walk outside the door of the Church. Stand up for Jesus! Jesus said:
Matthew 16:24-26 “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
If you are saved by faith in Him, you are called to live for Him. Find a good Church and get active in it. Find a Pastor that will teach you God’s Word. Grow in your faith. If it’s wrong according to God’s Word, believe it and back it with your words. Refuse to go along with the dark ….
or you’ll fall down like the rest of those in it.