Too many times today Christians are talking about important issues from “my point of view” or “what I think”. Another viewpoint is “what makes the most sense” or “what works in this case”. This assumes that I as a person will evaluate things by how it strikes me in the moment (existentialism) or what works for me (pragmatism). Biblical Truth is not to be put through the screening of either of those mindsets. Truth is to inform and even correct how I feel about something. Truth is upheld whether it is practical or works out for me at the moment.
Daniel had served the Secular Babylonian government with a clear conscience. His Rivals carefully crafted a test Daniel COULD NOT pass. They knew his integrity to his God would supersede his loyalty to the earthly king. The Government changed the rules while Daniel was serving faithfully at his post. His loyalty to the King was not called into question; in fact, the King expends all means possible to “save” Daniel from the consequence of his clear conscience before God. Daniel did not resign. Daniel did not hold a rally- He went home and prayed with the windows opened as he had always done. The Government had Changed; Daniel had not and would not!
When Peter and John are ordered to no longer preach in the Name of Jesus, they do not hesitate to inform the Council: That’s not going to happen! They did not take their preaching “underground”. They did not find a substitute name for Jesus so as not to be offensive. They went right back to the Temple Court (town square of our day) and preach publicly the Name of Jesus.
Nebuchadnezzar makes an idol and orders all to fall down in worship or die. The Government enacted Laws once again that had nothing to do with the competence of its subjects or the work ethic of its workers. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did not resign. Their convictions were the same as Daniel’s. The Government’s demands had changed; they would not change. The King offers them multiple chances to Comply. They basically tell him the multiple chances are a waste of time because every chance to bend over will be another demonstration that they will stand in the integrity of their only devotion to God.
American Evangelicalism is so used to asking the wrong questions that we often are unaware of how skewed our reasoning has become. God does not ask us if we think He makes sense to us; He calls us to Obedience even when it does not make sense or will cost us. My integrity and conscience are not determined by whether “it works for me” or not; my trust is in a sovereign God who knows I will often pay earthly consequences because I serve the Heavenly King.
It is time for Believers to “Bible up” in our thinking. We must gladly embarrass ourselves to remain loyal to our Higher Calling!
Pastor Stephen Willoughby
Pastor Steve grew up in Columbia,South America, where his parents served as missionaries for 25 years. After graduating from Capital Bible Seminary, he was invited to serve as Assistant Pastor at FBCP. He has served in that capacity for twenty years before taking on the position of Senior Pastor.