DTS Magazine

Courage to Take a Stand

Dresden Statue of Martin Luther

The responsibility that Christians have to stake out a claim for the cause of Christ in today’s culture is critical. We are witnessing a moment in history when Christianity—that was once respected, then tolerated—is now under suspicion and even attacked.

Important biblical issues have split the populace of values of life and love, on one side, and values of justice and compassion, on the other. In his latest book, Impossible People, Oz Guinness describes it like this:

“It is surely undeniable that only rarely in Christian history has the lordship of Jesus in the West been treated as more pliable or has Christian revisionism been more brazen, Christian interpretations of the Bible more self-serving, Christian preaching more soft, Christian behavior more lax, Christian compromise more common, Christian defections from the faith more casual, and Christian rationales for such slippage more spurious and shameless.”

If you’re like me, you’re finding yourself wrestling today—trying to develop biblical conviction and courage while continuing to demonstrate biblical compassion.

[Christ] was courageous to stand convicted, never compromising truth, but incredibly compassionate toward those who just didn’t yet understand.

Our Lord also lived during tumultuous times. He was courageous to stand convicted, never compromising truth, but incredibly compassionate toward those who just didn’t yet understand. His life teaches us to do the same—to have the courage to take a stand with the conviction of Scriptures, and the courage to develop a heart of compassion.

In Acts 17 we find Paul, in Athens, provoked in his spirit as he watches the city and its culture under idols. Like Christ, he remained true to Scripture and ever available to be used by God in whatever way God might choose to use him in that culture.

I consider myself convicted by the testimony of Holy Scriptures, which is my basis; my conscience is captive to the Word of God.

At the Diet, or church council, of Worms, Martin Luther was called to give an account of his faith. Willing to debate and ready to proclaim the truth, he stood before the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire along with representatives of the Pope. Refusing to hear anything, the leaders asked Luther to recant. Luther gave this response:

“Unless I am convicted by Scriptures and plain reason—I do not accept the authority of Popes and Councils, for they have contradicted each other. I consider myself convicted by the testimony of Holy Scriptures, which is my basis; my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot, and I will not, recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen.”

Like Christ and the spiritual giants who came before us, we need biblical courage to stand and hold on to biblical conviction and not bow. We need to stay compassionate and not harden our hearts. Let’s commit ourselves to be a faithful generation of Christians who have the willingness to engage a conflicted culture with the proclamation of God’s grace and biblical truth in spite of the range of responses that we will see.

Mark L. Bailey
Dr. Bailey assumed the Seminary’s presidency after years of service as both a professor in the Bible Exposition department and as the Vice President for Academic Affairs. In addition to his years at Dallas Seminary, he has pastored various churches in Arizona and Texas. He was a seminar instructor for Walk Thru the Bible Ministries for twenty years and is in demand for Bible conferences and other preaching engagements. His overseas ministries have included Venezuela, Argentina, Hungary, and China. He is also a regular tour leader in Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, and Rome. His board service includes Bible Study Fellowship, Insight for Living, Jews for Jesus, and Walk Thru the Bible Ministries.
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Fall 2017

DTS Magazine

Fall 2017 | Vol. 3, No. 3
3 Redeeming Myths of the Reformation
Michael J. Svigel
Courage to Take a Stand
Mark L. Bailey
Q&A with Dr. J. Lanier Burns: The Priesthood of all Believers and Its Impact on the Church
J. Lanier Burns and Raquel P. Wroten
Dispatches from the Land of Luther: Alumni Profiles of Jürgen Schulz, Scott Way, and Steve Henderson
Steve Smith
Coming soon: Why the Five Solas Matter Today
John Adair
Coming soon: 6 Lessons from the Legacy of Martin Luther
John D. Hannah
Coming soon: Anabaptists: "Forgotten Voices of the Reformation"
Glenn R. Kreider
Coming soon: Ask Dr. Swindoll: Are Relationships Important for Reformation and Change?
Charles R. Swindoll
Stories
Oct 16, 2017
Steve SmithSteve Smith
Dispatches from the Land of Luther: Alumni Profiles of Jürgen Schulz, Scott Way, and Steve Henderson If Martin Luther visited Germany today he could buy a pair of Hier stehe ich Converse sneakers, attend a Luther-themed musical oratorio touring the country, or drink a high-malt...
Ministry
Oct 9, 2017
J. Lanier BurnsJ. Lanier BurnsRaquel P. WrotenRaquel P. Wroten
Q&A with Dr. J. Lanier Burns: The Priesthood of all Believers and Its Impact on the Church Sometime between 1517 and 1521, Martin Luther found himself at the center of a growing conflict that led to his excommunication and definitive break with the Church of Rome. During...