Controversy for the Sake of Truth

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(photo: Martin Luther King Jr. being booked at the Montgomery Jail in 1958)

“Obviously I am not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.”

(Galatians 1:10)


We live in a day when the righteous are continually being called upon to apologise – or worse still, are losing their jobs or being reprimanded by their employers simply for standing up for what they believe. Many cases have been reported in the press in recent times where Christians have come under fire for sticking to their beliefs.

Now more than ever, the people of God need to take a firm stand for the truth. Walter Martin said, “Controversy for the sake of truth is a divine command.” The Gospel message is always offensive to those opposed to God’s grace – that is what makes it controversial. But rather than siding with the politically correct who insist, “You can’t say that…” – for the sake of the Gospel our posture should be, “We can’t NOT say that!”

The fact that we deliver a message that, to some, is extremely uncomfortable, cannot dictate our degree of faithfulness. Our example is the Lord Jesus: forsaken, betrayed, ridiculed and in agony on the cross. His message was life and liberty to many, but to many it was also offensive in the extreme. He was hardly flavour of the month.

We too are commanded to speak the truth – for the sake of love, for the sake of Calvary. The muzzle must be removed from the crowd-pleasing Church. As the apostle Paul exhorts, “If God is for us, who dare be against us.” Preach! Our obedience in proclaiming the undiluted Gospel – offensively good and offensively terrifying – both in the Church and in public, is honouring what Jesus endured for our sakes.

According to society it is both socially and politically unacceptable to say that Jesus is the only way to God – that we have found God for certain through Him alone, offering no concession to other “faiths”. People will say we are being too narrow. But Jesus is very clear that “broad” spirituality “leads to destruction” and “narrow is the way that leads to life.”

The truth is, we cannot have God and friendship with the world. Jesus made it clear that with the choice of His life would come hardship and persecution alongside joy and blessing. We are to rejoice in either scenario, because this is what produces spiritual fruit in our lives. 

Let’s stand for truth. Let’s speak the truth in love. God is looking for people who won't sacrifice their anointing for mere respectability.

This article is an extract from 

God Hunger: Meditations from a life of longing

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