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Not Ashamedby Duane Mabee on February 24, 2022
Things are weird these days and getting weirder. I never expected to see a time when so many people, organizations and governments would find it acceptable to regulate people’s thoughts and conversations – attempting to criminalize and ostracize people for saying or thinking anything that disagree with the “accepted” norm. But it’s here.
In Finland, Paivi Rasanen, a 27-Year Member of the Finnish Parliament is on trial for quoting the Bible. Her case is being viewed as a test case for whether quoting the Bible could be considered hate speech deserving of a crime. Canada has enacted a law that makes it illegal to privately pray or converse with someone in any way that might be deemed as encouraging them to leave a certain lifestyle – even if that person wants to leave that lifestyle. To do so can land you in prison for up to five years.
My primary concern here is not the lifestyle in question, but the view that it is acceptable, even desirable, to control people’s thinking and speech. It seems like a bad Orwellian novel.
Not surprisingly, Christian beliefs consistently find themselves on the wrong side of these thought control policies. Scripture said it would be this way, and it will get worse.
So, if you were awaiting a trial that might cost you everything, simply because you had the audacity to speak about Jesus in a way the government found offensive, how would you advise other believers you know? That’s not a hypothetical question for a growing number of our brothers and sisters around the world. Given our nation’s trajectory, it may not be out of the question for us in the not-too-distant future.
In the sermon series Not Ashamed, we will look at how to remain engagingly rooted in your faith, even when it’s not popular.
2 Timothy is the Apostle Paul’s last letter. He wrote it from a Roman dungeon while he waited to be tried for saying things the government deemed politically incorrect. Paul already knew the trial wouldn’t go well. He was executed soon after writing this letter. What did he write? What would you write?
What Paul did write is encouraging and strengthening. If you can, read 2 Timothy a few times before March 6 in preparation for our time together. It won’t take long. It’s only 4 chapters.