Each Wednesday I publish one of my earlier columns that I hope will be instructive, informative, inspiring, and maybe infuriating. The following column was first published in 2008:
Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, “To thine own self be true, for it must follow as dost the night the day, that canst not then be false to any man.” If you can’t be true to self, can you be true to anyone? Of course, in being true, we must be true to the Scripture. That will cost us dearly.
One must be true to himself as well as to the truth. Sabina and Richard Wurmbrand (a Lutheran pastor in Romania) were that kind of people. I met them in the 1980s when they came to Indianapolis three or four times. I heard his story, bought his book, saw the scars on his back where he was tortured by the Communists in a Romanian prison, and became a great admirer of them both. Few people know how he became a Christian activist.
In 1944, the Soviets took control of Romania and began to establish a Communist government and when they tried to control the churches, Richard began to minister illegally to the “underground church.”
He and Sabina were at a meeting where 4,000 priests and ministers of all denominations had gathered. Soviet Dictator Joe Stalin was the honorary president of that group. Many speakers spoke about how Christians and Communists can get along with each other. After a few minutes of antichristian rhetoric, Sabina nudged Richard in the ribs and said, “They are spitting on the face of Jesus. Go wash the shame off His face.” Richard said, “If I speak against the Communists, you will no longer have a husband.” His wife replied, “I do not wish to have a coward for a husband.” She was true to self, the Scripture and the Savior.
Richard slowly arose from his seat, went to the microphone and shocked his friends and co-laborers by advocating only loyalty to Christ. He would not coexist, cooperate, or compromise with Communists. He was arrested in 1948 and again in 1959 and spent about 13 years in prison, three of those years in solitary confinement, and was tortured by his captors. Sabina was also arrested and spent three years in a labor camp. They were both people who lived by the truth.
I don’t profess to have the courage, character, or commitment that the Wurmbrands had but there are some things I will not do. I will not permit the government to run my ministry or control my beliefs.
No person, or entity or authority will ever control my ministry for two reasons: the First Amendment and the Bible. Many Christian leaders in other nations seem to think that they don’t have the obligation to be militant since they have no legal protection; however, Christians are to be responsibly militant wherever they live. They should be wise, discrete, and in the case of Muslim nations, secretive but Christians must be Christians under all circumstances.
When it becomes illegal to preach, teach, talk, or write anything negative about homosexuality, Islam, abortion, etc., I will break that law. It is appalling that there are not a hundred Baptist preachers in jail in Canada at this time. Have they all lost their voice? Here’s what they are saying: “It is unfortunate that we can’t teach the truth about perversion, Islam, etc., but since we can still preach the Gospel, I’ll go along with the new laws. But if they ever tell me not to preach Christ as the only means of salvation, I’ll….” Sure. What kind of nation are they leaving for their children and grandchildren? I will preach against homosexuality, abortion, Islam, etc. if it means a loss of everything including my freedom.
When a judge tells me, as one told a preacher/friend in Canada, that I cannot preach about a particular issue, I will tell that judge that he has no jurisdiction in this matter! And go to jail. The incredible gall of a judge to tell a preacher what he can preach! A non-thinker yells, “You think you are special and above the law.” That’s exactly right!
When I was a member of a Select Committee during the summer of 1978 at the Indiana House of Representatives, we were commissioned to look into the school lunch program; WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) program; and the matter of day care licensure in the state. I listened to the head of the day care state licensure group make his pitch for the safety of children, quality pre-school care, etc. then I told him and the committee that licensure protects no one and provides no guarantee of quality. In fact, I was at that time administrator of a large Christian school in Indianapolis and also ran an unlicensed day care that fed into our pre-kindergarten program. He said, “You church people seem to think that you are special and don’t have to submit to state controls like everyone else.” I leaned into my microphone and said, “You are exactly right and if you don’t like it go change the state and federal constitutions.” We remained unlicensed, unbothered, and uncontrolled.
We must be true to self and the Savior whatever the circumstances, the crowd, or the consequences. Otherwise, we are a tragedy in the making. I decided at age 22 that I would do what I’m convinced is right if I lost everything and spent my last days in prison. I still believe that and am prepared to disobey any law (and take the consequences) without whining about suffering for Christ.
Fact, Fraud or Faith?
by Don Boys, Ph.D.
Only an uninformed fanatic says that evolution or creation can be proved scientifically. Christians believe in creationism because we believe in the veracity of the Bible but we also have scientific evidence to support our position. In every debate I’ve had with evolutionary scientists, the arrogant, asinine accusation is made, “Well, evolution is scientific while creationism is religion.” Evolution is about as scientific as a voodoo rooster plucking ceremony in Haiti. Almost.