. . . They displease God and are hostile to all men in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last. (NIV) 1 Thessalonians 2:15b-16
For the last few weeks, this Devotion has resisted the temptation to speak about Tiger Woods.
That's because we didn't have a whole lot to add to the countless voices that were criticizing and defending the great golfer. Now, however, it may be time to comment. Understand, we're not commenting on Tiger Woods; we're speaking about open-mindedness -- or a lack of it.
You see, when a fellow by the name of Brit Hume made a guest appearance on Fox News Sunday, he said, "Tiger, turn your faith to the Christian faith, and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world."
As a Christian, Hume was offering his personal urgings to Mr. Woods, who is not an avowed Christian, to be given faith and forgiveness that comes only through the sacrifice of the crucified and risen Savior. Hume was doing the kind of thing Christians have been doing for almost 2,000 years now.
It's the kind of comment with which people are free to agree or disagree.
I want to tell you people have disagreed with Mr. Hume. Big time. People who are supposed to be open-minded about things showed their open-mindedness by condemning Hume, by calling him names, by threatening him, by saying all Christians were nothing more than a bunch of (you can fill in the blank here with any nasty name you would like).
So, we must conclude, open-mindedness for many of these people is to be reserved for those who malign the Savior; who laugh at the Savior, who mock the Savior, or who oppose the Savior.
And we can further conclude that closed-mindedness is what we Christians can expect when we say, "Jesus is the Savior of the world."
Hume wasn't surprised he was being criticized. He said, "The Name of Jesus has been intimidating people for ages and that's not going to stop now."
I guess I wasn't surprised either. As Paul wrote, there are those who "are hostile to all men in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved."
So there we have it. The Savior tells us to share His Name; the world tells us to be quiet. What shall we do? Pretty easy choice, isn't it? Peter and John should be speaking for all of us when they said, "For we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard" (Acts 4:20).
And we can't.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, the world still doesn't wish to hear of Jesus who has offered His life for its salvation. Send Your Holy Spirit to break Satan's hold and open minds and hearts to the grace we have been given in Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. In His Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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