Stand Up and Be Counted

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I had reason to go hunting through the church archives yesterday. As I was sorting through the record books, photos and other memorabilia that have been collected over the last 90 years of our history, I ran across a little item that fits with the encounter described for us in John 9.

A long time ago, our church belonged to a denomination that began to stray from its historic Biblical roots. Our church was one of the first to protest this drift, and was expelled from the denomination a year before other churches were expelled. It costs something to stand up for truth.

In John 9, we are told how Jesus healed a blind man. The religious leaders of the day were not happy with the situation because Jesus had broken their rules. They interrogated the parents of the man. And for fear of being thrown out of the synagogue, the parents referred the authorities back to their son who was old enough to speak for himself.

The now healed ex-blind man wasn’t entirely sure just Who had healed him, but he was sure enough to know that the One who had restored his sight had to have been sent from God.

The man answered, ‘Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will. Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing’” (John 9:30-33).

That wasn’t the answer the authorities wanted to hear or the proper attitude of submission they expected so they threw the man out of the synagogue.

It’s not always easy to stand up for the truth. It’s easier to avoid the issue altogether, as the parents did, or to backpedal which the ex-blind man could have done. There are consequences. Our church got thrown out of a denomination. The ex-blind man got thrown out of his place of worship. You and I might get ridiculed, lose some friends, or be made uncomfortable.

Jesus was crucified.

Our church never looked back. That now healed blind man didn’t either. There is a price to pay for standing for truth but the rewards of doing so are much greater.

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