Word of the Week: Boldness

 

Frederick the Great, the 18th century King of Prussia, is said to have once invited some notable people to his royal table including his top-ranking generals. One of them, Hans von Zieten, declined the invitation because he wanted to partake of communion at his church.

At a later banquet when von Zieten was present, Frederick mocked the general for his religious beliefs, as the other guests joined in joking about the Lord’s supper.

Finally, the general stood up and respectfully addressed the monarch. “My lord, there is a greater King than you, a King to whom I have sworn allegiance even unto death. I am a Christian man, and I cannot sit quietly as the Lord’s name is dishonored and his character belittled.”

The stunned guests silently trembled realizing that von Zieten might be killed. However, Frederick grasped the hand of this courageous man, asked his forgiveness, and requested that he remain. He promised that he would never again allow such a travesty to be made of sacred things.

We live in an age where atheists, infidels, and unbelievers routinely ridicule Christianity. Professors mock God in state university classrooms. The name of Jesus Christ is too often reduced to a blasphemous slur by profane antagonists. And the Bible is belittled by today’s elite as an outdated, unreliable, and error-filled book.

Christians need to stand, as did the apostles of old, and boldly defend their faith against unfounded accusations and contemptuous insults.

When Peter and John were threatened by the authorities and commanded “not to speak or to teach in the name of Jesus,” they courageously refused. Luke records they saw their boldness and took note they had been with Jesus (Ax. 4:13-20).

When they returned to the rest of the disciples they prayed for strength to withstand the pressure. “Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word” (Ac. 4:29).

More than once Paul affirmed to the Corinthians that both his writing and preaching were filled with “great boldness of speech” (2 Cor. 3:12;7:4). The apostle had some tough things to say to them that they needed to hear. And he did not back down. Or sugar-coat his words.

Our faith in Christ and in His promises ought to fuel us with boldness (Eph 3:12; Phil 1:20; 1 Tim 3:13). Through Him we have confidence. We are provided evidence to give us assurance. And thus, we can know the certainty of the things we have been taught and believe. We have every reason and right to boldly stand for Truth.

In “The Embarrassed Believer,” Hugh Hewitt, contends that many Christians are “bystanders,” embarrassed believers who are too timid to publicly state their beliefs and stand for their values.

Hewitt says many Believers are afraid to have Bibles on the corner of their desks at work and rarely engage others in spiritual conversations. Yet, opponents of Christianity openly voice their rejection of God and repudiation of the Bible. Hewitt calls for Christians to stand up. Be counted. And be heard.

In closing, Hewitt writes, “Christians in America trying to save the lost, comfort the suffering, cure the ill, clothe the naked and bring joy to the despairing will not make a significant and lasting impact unless they do so openly and without apology as Christians. The witness must accompany the work or the work will not endure and the world is hungry for our witness. Bold witness!”

Paul affirmed, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ” (Rom 1:16) Are we?

Jesus’ words ring true today and sound as a warning to all believers. “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” (Mk 8:38).

The advice of Ruth Boorstine would serve us well spiritually. “Be bold in what you stand for and careful what you fall for.”

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

 

14 Comments

Filed under Word of the Week

14 responses to “Word of the Week: Boldness

  1. Wendell Ward

    Thank you Brother Ken!
    A much needed and very timely message. I look forward to your daily lessons.
    Brotherly

  2. Stephen Segrest

    Ken — What’s your primary portal into the World where you arrive at the conclusion: “We live in an age . . . . . . “? My primary and everyday portal is a major U.S. College Campus (University of South Florida of ~50K students). I see and experience none of the things you listed. I see happy and smiling Muslims, Catholics, and Mormons interacting with students — usually trying to help someone (like food pantries, cleaning up and building parks, etc). I also see very angry Christian Evangelicals (with very loud sound systems) preaching of Hell, Abortion, and being Gay — where most of the time there is just disinterest, but at times near riots, where the campus police have to intervene. Is your primary portal certain Media?

    • No. More personal observation, and interaction of the culture and world at large. As well, as those I know who deal with some of the aforementioned challenges. I suppose if my portal was only the churches, where I preach and nothing else, my conclusion would be much different. And I suppose if I was a professor on a state university campus, my conclusions would be shaped by that environment.

  3. Jim Allen

    Ken enjoy your article on boldness. Certainly more is needed. Hope all is well…..

  4. Stephen Segrest

    In the U.S., Gays are being murdered in bigotry: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/08/us/detroit-lgbtq-killing.html

  5. Stephen Segrest

    Bold quote from Pastor: ““They’re weak, they’re spineless, and you know what, if the Bible says it, you need to say it. You need to preach it,” he said as people in the crowd could be heard saying “Amen” and “That’s right.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/06/14/they-are-worthy-death-cop-preached-that-government-should-execute-lgbtq-people/?fbclid=IwAR2JhdSFoBQhlb96NWwp_Dp6mLg-8p4ezQv-w2AndAZNsFzUuZm6jpsKajg&utm_term=.45b45de2a318

    • Stephen, I’m not sure why you’re posting all of these links to hateful deeds and words. Speaking the Word of God boldly has nothing to do with these terrible deeds. The apostles spoke the Truth of God boldly but never advocated hurting others or murdering sinners. I have never advocated the kind of actions described in these links. You’ve read my blog posts for a long time and know that my writing seeks to “speak the truth in love.” Furthermore, “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but spiritual.” There is no place for hate or seeking revenge in any form against anyone in a Christian’s life.

  6. Stephen Segrest

    Dear Ken — My concern is your one-sided perspective and “silence”. In a “Fallen World” everything is under attack: Christians, Muslims, Gays, Jews, ….. (I could go on and on). The mistake you are constantly making (but certainly not in your teaching us individual responsibilities which you must know I think is wonderful) is a one-dimensional perspective — e.g., Christians and their values are under attack. I will point you back to your Africa post on homosexuality which I commented heavily on: https://thepreachersword.com/2013/07/04/is-america-a-god-fearing-nation/

  7. Stephen Segrest

    I stand by my example of Paul and Timothy (which I still feel you did not understand my point). The world is not black and white, binary, either/or. Paul knew this and looked not at “policy” but a bigger picture. For decades, people like me begged the Evangelical movement to support “civil unions of gays”. It was a way to preserve our Biblical Teachings with non-discrimination of Gays. You rejected this. Today, the Morman Chuch IMO has it right — they emphasize two things equally: (1) Holding to their steadfast belief that homosexuality is a sin; (2) Being adamant, vocal, and pro-active that Gays should have equal rights and not targeted to be hurt (e.g., where in 26 States you can lose your job for being gay).

  8. Stephen Segrest

    In your Africa post you praised Kenya and Senegal (and other African countries other times) and criticized Obama — you should Google World Court crimes again humanity on these African countries.

  9. Stephen Segrest

    typo “against humanity on these African countries”

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