“How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.” 1 Kings 18:21.
The decision to remain silent when we should be speaking up is a great transgression against God. It is a moral failure on our part when we refuse to warn those who are in peril. Do we really expect to have God’s approval if we say nothing while His faith is under attack? Will we remain quiet and look the other way while Adventism is in danger? Will we be like the ancient Jewish people who did absolutely nothing during a time of religious crisis?
“Not one in that vast assembly dared utter one word for God and show his loyalty to Jehovah. What astonishing deception and fearful blindness had, like a dark cloud, covered Israel! This blindness and apostasy had not closed about them suddenly; it had come upon them gradually as they had not heeded the word of reproof and warning which the Lord had sent to them because of their pride and their sins. And now, in this fearful crisis, in the presence of the idolatrous priests and the apostate king, they remained neutral. If God abhors one sin above another, of which His people are guilty, it is doing nothing in case of an emergency. Indifference and neutrality in a religious crisis is regarded of God as a grievous crime and equal to the very worst type of hostility against God” (Prophets and Kings, p. 281).
It’s no exaggeration to recognize that this same dilemma is occurring within Adventism. The problem we are seeing today is that while the devil is waging a relentless war against the Remnant people (Revelation 12:17), the church is not saying anything or fighting back. Wicked forces have come in among us and our leaders do nothing.
Instead of confronting error and resisting its advance, those in leadership position just look the other way and act as though nothing is happening. This weak and defenseless attitude on our part only emboldens the enemy’s attack against our faith. As a result, we have embraced the same worldly standards so prevalent in today’s society. The same morally bankrupt culture has made its way inside the church.
The militant homosexual movement and the militant feminists are already in the church demanding complete acceptance and equal treatment. The church has also embraced Rome’s ecumenical and ecological movements which teach us that we are all one with nature and with each other. This is paralyzing our God-ordained mission of sharing the messages of Revelation 14:6-12 to the world.
And what has been the official church response to this cataclysmic assault against the faith? Appalling silence and indifference. Why do so many pastors and leaders continue to tolerate these corrupting influences? And why do Seventh-day Adventists surrender so easily and so quickly in this contest between truth and error?
“God bids us speak, and we will not be silent. If wrongs are apparent among His people, and if the servants of God pass on indifferent to them, they virtually sustain and justify the sinner, and are alike guilty and will just as surely receive the displeasure of God; for they will be made responsible for the sins of the guilty … Those who have excused these wrongs have been thought by the people to be very amiable and lovely in disposition, simply because they shunned to discharge a plain Scriptural duty” (Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 265)
How can we remain apathetically neutral and indifferent while our historic message is wallowing in decadence and deceit? And how can we sit in silence while the glorious faith that we love is fighting for its very existence within our institutions? Can we truly sit by and watch while the principalities of darkness and the wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:21) obliterates our faith without a fight? Can we not see the danger of holding our peace during such a crisis?
“Peace and safety is the cry from men who will never again lift up their voice like a trumpet to show God’s people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins. These dumb dogs that would not bark are the ones who feel the just vengeance of an offended God.” (Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 211).
“While others try to throw a cloak over the existing evil, and excuse the great wickedness everywhere prevalent, those who have a zeal for God’s honor and a love for souls will not hold their peace to obtain favor of any” (Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 210).
Speak up; respectfully and peaceably. Take a stand in this time of emergency. Shake off the spirit of apathy and indifference. God has given us a voice and has called us to be His mouthpiece to proclaim His word. God’s word alone has the moral authority to change the current chaos and confusion. Whenever God tells us to cry aloud, we cannot remain silent with our tongues tied:
“Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” Isaiah 58:1.
Here is the difficult part. Even if the warnings are ignored and rejected we still need to give them more than ever before:
“Therefore thou shalt speak all these words unto them; but they will not hearken to thee: thou shalt also call unto them; but they will not answer thee.” Jeremiah 7:27.
“And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.” Ezekiel 2:7.
God’s warning messages are being scorned and rejected by the ones who need them the most. This can be frustrating and even discouraging. However, even when the admonitions go unheeded, the Lord still commands us to warn His people. God is looking for individuals who will proclaim His word and address legitimate concerns without apology, without hesitation, without reluctance and regardless of the consequence:
“Christ’s ambassadors have nothing to do with consequences. They must perform their duty, and leave results with God” (Great Controversy, p. 609).
“Who are standing in the counsel of God at this time? Is it those who virtually excuse wrongs among the professed people of God and who murmur in their hearts, if not openly, against those who would reprove sin? Is it those who take their stand against them and sympathize with those who commit wrong? No, indeed! Unless they repent, and leave the work of Satan in oppressing those who have the burden of the work and in holding up the hands of sinners in Zion, they will never receive the mark of God’s sealing approval. They will fall in the general destruction of the wicked.” (Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 267).
If we fail to heed these counsels then sin will continue to be celebrated while man’s wisdom is exalted above his Creator. Right will become wrong and wrong will become right. Good will become evil and evil will become good. The abnormal will become normal and error will be transformed into truth. God’s word will continue being interpreted to satisfy the carnal desires of sinful men.
Is this the worldly success that we are seeking for? This enculturation of the church would make us popular with the world. We would be embraced by all the churches, including Rome. But God is not calling us to be popular or prosperous. He has called us to be faithful, and that faithfulness includes preaching a faithful message. As faithful watchmen we must stand on the walls of Zion, blowing the trumpet loud and clear and warning God’s people about the host of evil that is advancing all around us:
“So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.” Ezekiel 33:7, 8.