NEWS

Yelling

Pastor Kevin Pauley

The Jewish Passover was near, so Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple complex He found people selling oxen, sheep, and doves, and He also found the money changers sitting there. After making a whip out of cords, He drove everyone out of the temple complex with their sheep and oxen. He also poured out the money changers' coins and overturned the tables. He told those who were selling doves, "Get these things out of here! Stop turning my Father's house into a marketplace!" And His disciples remembered that it is written: Zeal for Your house will consume Me. - John 2:13-17 HCSB

There’s an old Jewish folk tale about a godly man, a prophet, who arrived in the wicked city of Sodom. He began wandering the streets, telling people that they needed to repent and get right with God. He was completely ignored, but the more the people turned their backs on his message, the more loudly he cried out for their repentance.

Finally, someone asked him, “Why do you keep yelling? Can’t you see it’s not making any difference?”

The tzaddik responded, “At first, I hoped that my yelling would change the people of Sodom. Now I yell so that the people don’t change me!”

This is an important principle. Look at Lot who was in Sodom. At first he was with his godly uncle Abraham. But then he lifted his eyes toward the valley where Sodom was. Then he chose the valley after which he moved his tents as far as Sodom. Later he was actually living in Sodom and sharing its fate. He had to be rescued by his uncle Abraham. In spite of this second chance, he remained in Sodom and finally we find him not speaking out against the sins of the city. In fact, he actually offered two of his virgin daughters to be gang-raped! Finally, he became so drunk that he had incestuous sex and impregnated his two daughters. How did he go so far so fast?

I’m worried about those who claim to be Christians but don’t yell about society’s sins against humanity and God; those who feel that matters like abortion, euthanasia, sexuality, rampant drug addiction, and church leaders falling like flies are subjects that are too ugly or harsh to be dealt with. We look at men like the abortionist in Texas who publicly flaunted the laws of the nation by aborting babies in the third trimester and shrug our shoulders. We look at the systematic rape of the Amazon and we shake our heads in dismay. We discover that there are 25,000,000 orphans on the continent of Africa due to AIDS alone and we sigh. But we do not yell, cry or throw righteous temper-fits because that would not be “dignified”. Our churches would rather be worthy of tax breaks from our government than stand up and yell when the government enters an unjust war. And so, because we won’t yell to change the world, the world is changing us. We are drowning in a cacophony of worldliness. At least we’re a dignified corpse!

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