“Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent.” (Acts 18:9b NIV)
As you are forming your worldview and searching Scripture for God’s truth on all kinds of matters, it’s important to understand God’s stance on the three most controversial parts of a Christian worldview today. I mention these three because they are the ones you need the most courage to speak up about. Why? Because not only will most people disagree with you about these topics; they will passionately argue with you.
It takes an uncommon courage to stand up against that kind of pressure.
There are a lot of parts of the Bible that people don’t have a problem with, like “You must help the poor.” Nobody disagrees with that. But there are three aspects of a Christian worldview that are hated by the world, and about which most Christians clam up. They are the areas of sanctity:
1. The sanctity of life: God has a purpose for every unborn child. God planned your life before you were born, before your parents were born, even before he created the universe! Psalm 139:16 says, “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed” (NLT). We are to speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves: the unborn, the 70 million Americans who would be here if they hadn’t been aborted. If I claim to be a Christian, then I must believe that every life is sacred.
2. The sanctity of sex: Sex is only for marriage. Sex was God’s idea. It isn’t dirty or wrong; sex is holy. “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral” (Hebrews 13:4 NIV). God’s instructions never change: Premarital sex is unacceptable to God. Living together without being married is unacceptable to God. Adultery is unacceptable to God. Pornography and the objectification of women are unacceptable to God.
3. The sanctity of marriage: One man and one woman for life. That is God’s intended, original design. A lot of people ask, “Well, what about all the polygamy in the Bible?” Not everything the Bible reports the Bible approves. It’s hard to think of a book that has more violence, greed, incest, and murder in it than the Bible. So why do we call it a “holy” Bible? Because it tells the truth. The humans in the Bible blew it as much as we do. The Bible is just reporting the brokenness of humanity. But God is very clear on the issue of marriage: “At the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh . . . So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate”” (Matthew 19:4-6 NIV).
There are many issues of life where people of good will can disagree. For example, there’s no economic recovery plan in the Bible, and Christians can disagree on that. But if you call yourself a Christian, you need to line yourself up with what God says about the sanctity of these three things. And you need to have the courage to stand up for them, even and especially when it’s not the popular or politically correct thing to do.
Talk About It
When was the last time you spoke up for Jesus in a conversation about one of these three topics? What keeps you from speaking up more often?
How do you think a Christian’s worldview should affect how he or she looks at political candidates?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional ©2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.