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The Courage to Oppose Empty The Courage to Oppose

Post  Admin on Wed 05 Jan 2011, 4:08 pm

The Courage to Oppose
<http://www.colsoncenter.org/the-center/columns/viewpoint/16122-thecour\age-to-oppose>
[kingdomcourage] By T. M. Moore|Published Date: January 04, 2011
Kingdom Courage (2)
"These men who have turned the world upside down have come here
also, and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the
decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus."
--Acts 17:6, 7
Sometimes even the most fundamental acts of Kingdom obedience can put us
at odds with the prevailing worldview and practices. Paul and his
entourage learned this the hard way in Thessalonica. When they arrived,
proclaiming the Kingdom of God and Jesus as King, and calling people to
turn to God from the false idols of Greco-Roman religion (1 Thess. 1:9),
they created a disturbance throughout the city. It seemed they were
turning the settled world of the Roman Peace upside down by their
teaching and their lives.
Didn't they understand what they were doing? Were they simply
unaware that proclaiming Jesus as King would challenge Caesar's
pretensions? Did they think that calling for the rejection of official
state policy in religious practice was no big deal? Or did they
understand, clearly and courageously, that life in the Kingdom of God
requires its citizens to oppose the spirit of the age in crucial, and
perhaps even dangerous, ways?
Obviously, Paul and his companions knew exactly what they were doing.
They had entered a new realm of experience – the Kingdom of God!
This new reality was so glorious, powerful, and transformational in
every way, that they were resolved to expose and challenge all pretenses
to truth in order to make room in the hearts of lost men and women for
King Jesus to enter. When Paul denied that Caesar was the ultimate king
and authority in life, was he pronouncing judgment? To be sure, but his
was a judgment based in the righteousness of the Kingdom of God, and not
just his own opinion (Jn. 7:24).
When he called for people to give up their false religion, throw away
their idols, and unite themselves with the followers of Jesus Christ,
Paul certainly knew that he was challenging long-standing institutions
and practices – longstanding, but false. The Kingdom of God will not
share space with the false gods of human invention, be their followers
ever so widespread and influential.
False deities – in our day, the gods of wealth, sex, power, and
prestige – must be exposed, denounced, condemned, and set aside. Was
Paul being judgmental in so doing? Very much so. But the reality of the
Kingdom of God and the priorities of King Jesus require that we oppose
every false idea, vain practice, and pretentious institution (2 Cor.
10:3-5). Kingdom courage does not hesitate to oppose the status quo when
the salvation of men's souls is at stake.
But let's make sure to observe how Paul did this – not in brash,
loud, spectacular, or violent manner, but patiently, reasonably,
dialoging and discussing the claims of the Kingdom against the false
views of unbelief, inviting those with whom he spoke to consider the
consistency and congruency of the Christian worldview against the
backdrop of the inadequacy of their own. Paul argued gently and
reverently with those he sought to persuade, and, if his conversation
sounded like judgment, it was at least seasoned with grace and therefore
more likely than not to be heard and pondered (2 Tim. 2:24-26; Col.
4:6).
Advancing the Kingdom of God will find us opposing the standard beliefs
and practices of the day. We will be isolated, vilified, challenged, and
perhaps even threatened, for such is the way of people who feel their
world being turned upside down. But we must stand our ground, graciously
and reasonably insisting on the rightness of our views, and backing up
our arguments with lives that demonstrate the reality of the Kingdom of
truth and love that we proclaim.
<http://www.colsoncenter.org/images/content/wilberforce/ViewPointStudie\
s/VP%20Kingdom% 20Couragepdf>
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