the pulpit of the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida,
Dr. D. James Kennedy proclaims the Word of God through television and radio
to 25,000 cities and towns and foreign countries. From a small gathering
of seventeen, the church has grown under his ministry to a membership of
almost 8,000, with a peak attendance of over 12,000. Dr. Kennedy is the
President and Founder of Evangelism Explosion International which
is now training laymen in evangelism in 132 countries throughout the
world. He has also founded a school, Westminster Academy, and a Christian
radio station, WAFG, which broadcasts 24 hours a day. He is Founder and
Chancellor of Knox Theological Seminary. His vast academic achievements
include the following degrees: A.B., M. Div., M. Th., D.D., D. Sac. Lit.,
Ph D., Litt. D., D. Sac. Theol., and D. Humane Let.
It is our great pleasure to present the following Commentary by Dr. Kennedy, as it appeared in the July 1997 issue of IMPACT, a regular publication of Coral Ridge Ministries Media, Inc.
"The Sin of Silence" is reproduced by permission of Coral Ridge Ministries 1998. All Rights Reserved.
SIN of Silence
Commentary From Dr. Kennedy
What will it take to win the war for America's soul? The life of Esther offers the answer. Faced with the extinction of her people, the Jews, Esther raised her voice and brought about a great deliverance for her people. She placed her life, position, and possessions at risk to speak out against Haman's wicked genocidal scheme. You and I must do likewise today.
What would have happened had she remained silent? Ironically, the price of her silence would have been not the destruction of her people, but of herself. "For if you remain completely silent at this time," her uncle Mordecai warned, "relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish" (Esther 4:14 NKJV).
The good news is that God is sovereign. His sovereign purpose to bring the Messiah into the world through the seed of Abraham was not held hostage to the choice of Queen Esther. But, while "our god is in heaven," and "will do whatever He pleases" (Psalm 115:3 NKJV), the failure to speak carries grave consequences. For Esther, it would have meant her destruction, for us, as we face a post-Christian culture aggressively eroding America's Christian cultural and spiritual heritage, it may mean ours.
Why is it that Christians seem to be losing the so-called culture war over the moral standards that will govern our nation? The reason is our silence. It is because of what they say and do and what we do not say and do. St. Ambrose declared that, "Not only for every idle word but for every idle silence must man render an account." We have been commanded to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every creature. All we have to do to disobey our Lord's command is . . . nothing. The result of that disobedience is the moral darkness that shadows our nation.
I am optimistic that God is going to do something wonderful in the next few decades in our nation. But, that is by no means a certainty. It is very possible that if American Christians awaken and descend from the bleachers onto the playing field of America's moral debate, that we can turn this country around. But I do not know God's secret purposes and it is also possible that in 20 years time, if Christians remain widely apathetic, our nation will descend into an even greater moral squalor that will cry out for God's judgment.
We live, without doubt, in a time of great moral and spiritual crisis. Do you know why you were born? Do you know why you were born again? It may be, as Mordecai challenged Esther, that you are here "for such a time as this."
What have you done in the midst of this great crisis? Have you taken a stand against pornography, against abortion, against the radical homosexual agenda? Have you written one letter? Have you protested in one march? Have you done anything at all?
None of us are able to do everything, but we can do something. And if we will do what we can, we can, by God's grace, change this nation. May God give you the courage and wisdom to fulfill His call on your life for such a time as this.
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