I attended a conference in Oxford, UK recently. That’s probably why I noticed this news story.
King Lawal, a county leader in the UK, posted a Bible verse and commented on it. He was subsequently suspended from his political post, sacked from his job, and canceled from other positions in the community. Lawal responded, “As the only black councillor in the whole of Northamptonshire, I know what it is like to be in the minority, and I would never discriminate against anyone. I have diligently represented all my constituents; however, I must also be free to express my beliefs without fear.”
My interest here is not in the content or appropriateness of Lawal’s post. It’s his courage I notice and commend to you. Whether he anticipated the harsh pushback or not, he had to know the risk of presenting his counter-cultural views on morality. I can’t resist borrowing from A. W. Tozer, “The most fervent devotees of tolerance are invariably intolerant of everyone who speaks about God with certainty.”
To my friends mystified by Lawal’s risk-taking, you need to understand from whence cometh such courage. Faith in the God of the Bible means consent to the moral code revealed by Him. The philosopher Nietzsche put it this way: “Christianity presupposes that man does not know, cannot know, what is good for him, what evil: he believes in God, who alone knows it… it has truth only if God is the truth – it stands and falls with faith in God.” God is the truth, so you can trust that what He has said is for your good.
God’s truth is reason enough to take courage. To repeat what God has revealed is to demonstrate love – to the critic caught up in cancel culture, to the Gen Z zoomer who fears Christianity as “dangerous,” and to the materialist who absolutely believes in no absolutes. We take risks to offer others the hope that “now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 Jn. 3:2-3).
These are strange times when the wolf has the other animals convinced the sheep is dangerous. But it’s the sheep who know the Shepherd who offers safety from the wolf. The sheep are on a hopeful journey along the narrow way to the small gate that leads to life.
As the hymn says, “Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness – all other ground is sinking sand.” Now you know why Christians like Mr. Lawal express truth without fear. It’s because of steadfast hope.