The Whispering Church
Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.
-Matthew 10:28a, 32-33
There is a virus ravaging our land. It arrived silently, creeping slowly, infecting millions over the course of many decades.
I remember the beginnings; I was in grade school in the middle sixties. Perhaps it arrived much earlier, in such an innocuous form that it was largely ignored. Or perhaps there were those who recognized it and tried their best to stamp it out.
This infection is unique in the virus world. It can’t be seen under even the most powerful of microscopes. It does not cause fever; indeed, the human immune system is powerless against it so it doesn’t even kick in, sending out millions of its tiny soldiers to fight. The white blood cells in my body, unfortunately, don’t even recognize that I’ve been infected. It doesn’t inhabit the physical body.
I can remember my parents talking about the virus. Our dinner table when I was a young teen-ager raged with friendly debate. Dad was insistent that we talk about the virus; he and Mom wanted the four of us to be able to recognize it and defeat it in our lives. Sometimes the conversations were orderly and adult, but sometimes they were a free-for-all. Everyone was allowed to speak their mind as long as it was said respectfully.
Many times, I remember Dad sadly shaking his head at our ignorance and youthful brashness as we tried to do battle with his wisdom.
The virus, as explained earlier, is not like any other germ known to man. Yet, it has not been studied and catalogued by the CDC or any other known medical agency. It is not airborne or blood-borne. There are no specialists who treat people with this virus. There is no known cure; that is, no pill or injection to be had. There are no support groups infected people can attend in order to receive help dealing with it. There are no government funds allocated for the study of it; there are no non-profits to which you can contribute.
There is an anti-dote though; however, one not to be swallowed or injected, but to be infused—not an infusion through a needle in the body, but by the Sword into the human spirit.
This virus attacks one specific area of the body—the mind. It attacks there, but doesn’t stay there. Eventually, after attacking the mind and constructing its ramparts and strongholds there, it lays siege to another part of the body—the vocal chords—effectively blocking the voice from speaking; but not all words, just a specific set of words. It’s very adept; it mutates according to the specific set of circumstances in which the host finds himself/herself.
This virus causes silence.
Silence as God’s holy name becomes a swear word. Silence as millions of innocent people are killed by governments in camps, in villages, in doctor’s offices. Silence as men and women, boys and girls are re-educated, brain-washed into believing God did not create anything; indeed, there is no creator except the media, Hollywood, social engineers—arms of the federal government—working behind the scenes to re-make planet earth in their image. Their voices are loud and insistent. And the source of their income is my paycheck.
Silence as the strongest nation on earth, made strong by her God, now debates over the meaning of gender. Silence as marriage, that most holy, God-created institution devolves into a playground relationship that can be entered into or abandoned on the flimsiest of whims.
So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and He brought her to the man.
“At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman’ because she was taken from ‘man’.”
This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.
So God created human beings in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
-Genesis 2:21-24; 1:27
This passage leaves no wiggle room for those who would throw off all restraint. We declare God to be no more than a flawed, mean-spirited potter, making mistakes with his creations, flinging them against the wall and beginning again, wringing his hands in frustration; or worse, no god at all. This is just one issue with which we have to deal in this world spiraling out of control, headed into an abyss reminiscent of a sci-fi wormhole in space.
And it seems the Church of Jesus Christ goes silently into the abyss, infected with the virus. The root cause of the virus is fear. But, what have we to fear?
Do we remember where we’re going? Do we remember that Jesus Christ has already overcome the world, sent Satan packing, crushed death to death? What is our understanding of hell and what happens to our friends and loved ones who will spend eternity there because we have succumbed to the virus and are silent in their company?
One of the abject fears of the people of this great land is the loss of freedom of speech. But freedom of speech can never be taken away from us; we will always have the right to speak the truth, to disagree with our government, to lead the charge as we battle evil. It’s not that we will lose our freedom of speech, it is that the consequences of speaking out have changed and will continue to change. Truth has become a minority among believers, a thing to be handled delicately, using only government-approved words. Tolerance has supplanted truth. It has been laundered, re-defined, and given a throne upon which to sit. Tolerance shouts; truth whispers.
Believers, we must find our voice again. We must be the Whispering Church no longer!
But don’t be afraid of those who threaten you. For the time is coming when everything that is covered will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all. What I tell you now in the darkness, shout abroad when daybreak comes. What I whisper in your ear, shout from the housetops for all to hear!
The anti-dote to the virus is obedience to God’s Word. A healthy dose of God’s Word will dismantle the strongholds and loosen our tongues to speak the clear, life-giving truth that people around us so desperately need to hear.
We need not fear laughter, persecution, death; we need not fear our employers or our government. If we could but see how small and powerless they are compared to the awesome power and might of Jesus Christ, we would never fear again. Our nation, our people, and the world need us to speak and to speak loudly.