National politics sure do bring out some interesting points of view. Those in Hollywood, in the general news media and among the so-called Washington insiders are very bold to make their views known. More than once I heard Rush Limbaugh say that anyone who worked in or around those groups, and was a Republican, but especially a conservative Republican, had better keep their views quiet or they would be openly attacked. I’m assuming he meant verbally attacked for the most part. Would you be quiet about your political views if they might get you fired?
I chuckled when I read the information from a family placing membership with us several years ago. The couple both really liked college football, but not the same team! I remember thinking, “I bet that makes for some fun Saturdays!” If you went to a football game and had to sit “among” the fans who were clearly NOT for the team you were, would you keep quiet so as not to bring attention to yourself or cheer for your team, even if it brought negative reactions from those around you?
When Paul said he was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ (Rom. 1:16) that needs to be understood in the context of conflict. Paul had proven that his belief in Jesus and his loyalty to the church the Lord came to build were more important to him than anything else in his life. He proved willing to suffer any price or rejection by any group to hold onto the gospel. He was attacked by Romans, Jews and from his letters to Corinth, obviously some Christians attacked him too.
Many who serve in government positions must take an oath to defend the constitution of the United States and the country itself from the attacks of all enemies, whether foreign or domestic. That vow means they will oppose either non-Americans or Americans who want to harm the country or constitution. In order to do that, one must be willing to take a stand for something and take a stand against something else. Usually that’s against people.
Paul gave his loyalty, public and private, to the Lord. He openly held the truth and the church up for all people to see. He opposed every person or influence which moved to harm the church or the truth, even when those persons were in the church! (Gal. 2:11) Don’t be ashamed of the truth of the gospel or of the church which Jesus died to build. There will always be enemies of truth and right. Will there always be those that are not ashamed to stand up for it? May God help it to be so.
- Tim Orbison