Eric Metaxas, who wrote Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, gave a speech on February 2 at the National Prayer Breakfast that really points out the difference between real Christianity and go-with-the-flow Christianity:
As Metaxas points out, the difference between them is the difference between Martin Luther King Jr., Dietrich Bonhoeffer, or William Wilberforce and someone who watched, and maybe tried to stop, them do the things they did.
Authentic Christians don’t stand on the sidelines and watch when it comes to something that their convinced is against the Bible and their beliefs, while “go-with-the-flow”, or “normal”, Christians do. Christians who do something based on their beliefs are, more often than not, going against the flow because their standing up for or against something that’s considered normal.
For instance, Metaxas referenced William Wilberforce in his speech. William Wilberforce, a Christian, was the guy who wrote the bill abolishing the slave trade in England. He wanted to free the slaves because he saw them as who they were–humans.
However, it wasn’t easy. Most members in the English Parliament–and most of England–back then didn’t want the slave trade to end. Back then, it was part of the norm and most of them had slaves. Most importantly, part of their economy was dependent on the transactions of the slaves.
Also, It not only showed who his opposition was, but also who were real Christians and who weren’t. Authentic Christians (who could be called “radicals” for what they did) threw their support behind Wilberforce, while the rest watched or opposed them.
With all the odd that Wilberforce and his supporters faced, they abolished the slave trade. They made slaves free in England and sent a ripple effect across the world.
What made Wilberforce and his supporters famous is that they stood up against something they knew was wrong based on what the Bible said and on their beliefs. They knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but they knew it was the right thing to do.
However, their impact might not start big, like trying to end slavery, to make a significant impact. It could be helping someone out or helping to stand up against giving taxes to abortion clinics.
“Normal” Christians don’t do much outside of church and Bible study in the way of leading real Christian lives. Most of them don’t stand up to what’s going on around them, such as the issue of abortion.
But that doesn’t mean they their silence doesn’t have an impact. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a person who stood up for the rights of Jews and Christians during WWII in Germany, said that “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
BarlowGirl in their song Running Out of Time states this:
We’d rather stay
Stuck in our world under control.
We may not pull, the trigger but we, stand by and watch and pretend not to see.
Silence is worse, then evil done what in the world have we become?
Because they, like anyone else, would like being comfortable more than standing up for what’s right, stay silent on issues that they, and we, need to stand up for. Not acting or speaking up for what’s right is saying that we’re okay with it, but should we be?
We shouldn’t be if we believe something like abortion isn’t right. Standing up for what we believe is necessary because, if we don’t, what this world needs will be destroyed by those who want to destroy it.
By standing up for what’s right, authentic Christians have and do impact the world. Standing up and making things right has made the world a far better place.
Will you do the same?
To God be the Glory,