Living in silence during critical moments of our national history can become a threat to the effectiveness of the Church, an assault on our credibility, and a sorrow in the heart of God. As long as our voice remains safely cloistered behind the walls of a church building, without having a culture-shifting influence, we will miss what God has assigned for us to accomplish in love for His glory.
Jesus was never silent. Neither were his first followers. Jesus always spoke the right word with the right heart. Just like His original twelve disciples, each of us will blunder forward in our attempt to emulate the Lord. Christ-followers are a diverse group. If you define unity as agreement on politics or social issues, you are missing a deeper understanding of what constitutes our unity and what it is that holds us together. The glue of our unity is love expressed in the person of Jesus Christ. It can be nothing else. Any other binding agent will eventually come apart.
In 1975, Bill Bright (Campus Crusade for Christ) and Loren Cunningham (Youth with a Mission) met in Colorado and defined seven areas of culture where the Church must have a presence and a voice if it is to fulfill the Great Commission. The seven spheres of culture Bright and Cunningham defined 43 years ago are Government, Religion, Education, Economy, Arts and Entertainment, Family and Media. The voices that control these spheres of influence are not absolute or forever. The love of God has the power to transform the sound of these institutions and the message they deliver. To think the Church would not be able to voice an opinion from within any sphere of culture misses the point of our purpose on Earth.
The Great Commission was not limited to altar calls. It was a larger commission that included the salvation of souls who, once born again, would partner with Jesus in the worldwide Kingdom mandate to, “Go and make disciples of all nations.” Jesus loved the individual, but He also saw nations, the ethnic clusters of humanity.
If you are nervous about a believer voicing an opinion on a hot topic in the public square regarding politics or the historic biblical view of marriage, are you equally nervous about that same person having an opinion about media, economics, education or any of the seven areas of cultural influence? Each of us seems to pick and choose our preferred offense.
Paul said that once we have been equipped and matured as a believer, we were to speak the truth in love. That assignment requires three things, sound, truth, and love. Remove truth or love from the conversation and the Church will become just another angry voice in the clamorous crowd. We have been called to make a sound. If the sound we choose to make is not the truth motivated by love, it is wise to remain silent.
Fear can become a muzzle on our faith. Scripture tells us that perfect love will cast out fear. When fear is removed from our thinking, the truth is then free to be spoken in love. That truth has an assignment to be heard first in the hearts of individuals and eventually from the summits of each mountain of cultural influence.