Christian convictions are being challenged by the prevailing cultural narrative. We might say nothing or even go along with the dominant cultural ideas. Pastor Lutzer defines the courage it takes to speak carefully, according to our conscience, in a day when freedom of speech is being uniquely censored. To go against conscience is neither right nor safe.
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Transcript: Welcome to “5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer.” I’m so glad that you joined us again today as we discuss the culture and our biblical response to it. I’ve written a new book entitled “No Reason to Hide: Standing for Christ in a Collapsing Culture.” We’re living at a time when oftentimes our convictions are challenged. Because we are invited, indeed oftentimes almost forced, to go along with the culture and all that is involved in that. Surprisingly we’re living in a day of censorship. You would think that those days are over but they aren’t.
One of the things that happens in the midst of our culture is that you have a blending of big tech, which we could talk about, as well as cultural ideas and oftentimes what we find is that there is censorship against conservative Christian viewpoints. I won’t go into detail because we all have our examples of how that is happening. And yet at the same time we as Christians need to understand that we must stand against the culture. You know, during the days of Nazi Germany oftentimes the swastika was in churches and those swastikas were there, oftentimes on the door of the church, because what the church was saying is this: “When you come for the Christians, don’t come for us, because we are on your side.” In the very same way, today people oftentimes wear symbols; they want people to understand that they are fully in line with whatever the culture wants.
Well we as churches cannot give the culture what it wants. We will either be complicit, which means we’ll go along with the culture and give it what it wants, or we will be complacent, that is we may be against the culture but say nothing about it. But thank God for those who are courageous, who understand what the issues are and speak truth no matter the cost. I’ve emphasized the fact that freedom of speech has always been the bedrock of America but that is being challenged in so many different ways. I’m sure that you’ve heard of Frederick Douglas. He was a runaway slave who became a great statesman and we honor him today and we honor him rightly. But he said that tyrants hate freedom of speech. As a matter of fact, he said, the first right that they want to take away from people is freedom of speech because they know that freedom of speech is a threat to their leadership, a threat to their agenda. I want to encourage you today to speak—to speak carefully, but to speak well. As I’ve emphasized, oftentimes today in our culture, we use so many words to devalue others. For example, even the phrase “white supremacy” can oftentimes be attached to certain agendas, maybe honoring the flag, maybe believing in strong borders. What we must do is to define our terms and then what we must do is to have the conviction to stand, no matter the cost.
The great reformer Martin Luther lived at a time when there was no freedom of speech. When he was there at the Diet of Worms, he knew that if he were to state his convictions he might be put to death. In fact, he should have been put to death. Now he wasn’t because of a very interesting story. But when he stood there he knew that he was putting his life on the line. I believe that every Christian parent should teach his or her children what Luther said. Standing before the emperor, all of the German princes, standing before all those who had the power to put him to death, Luther said this: “My conscience is taken captive by the word of God. To go against conscience is neither right nor safe. I cannot and I will not recant, so help me God. Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise.” And then he left the meeting. Later on the emperor said that Luther could return home but he could be killed by anyone. Now there’s a very interesting story connected with that. He is actually taken to the Wartburg Castle and he is hid there. But here’s my point—and I don’t want you to miss it—we need a generation of Christians who say “Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise” and take the consequences and consider those consequences a badge of honor. I hope that you are that Christian. I trust that I am that Christian. And let the chips fall where they may.
Well, all of these ideas are derived from my new book entitled “No Reason to Hide: Standing for Christ in a Collapsing Culture” and if you notice carefully in the description of this program, embedded in it, is a link by which this book can be yours. Thanks for joining us. Next time, I’m going to talk to you about the greatest lie which is America’s most cherished delusion. I want you to join us. Call your friends. But as for today, well, you already know it—you just go with God.