In about 580 B.C. Jerusalem had fallen to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and her inhabitants, along with those living in surrounding Judah, had been deported as captives to Babylon. Some of the finest young Jewish men had been chosen to be educated in the ways of the Babylonians, and to go into the king’s service. Nebuchadnezzar, in all his pride had erected a 30-metres-high golden statue and commanded all people to fall down and worship it when they heard the sound of music. Anyone failing to do this would be put to death.
Three of the Jewish young men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to obey this command, and were duly brought before the king and commanded to either worship the image, or be thrown into a fiery furnace. As we read in the verse above, even as they faced death, they respectfully, but firmly, refused to worship any god but the true God who they served. The miraculous deliverance of the three young men, when they were indeed thrown into the furnace, can be read in the rest of Daniel, Chapter 3.
About four years ago I felt the Lord say to me that there’s an idol similar to Nebuchadnezzar’s golden statue in the United Kingdom, and many other nations. It has the name – ‘Political Correctness’. At one time this idol was joked about, as it insisted on silly revisions of everyday language, but it’s taken on a more sinister shape, as laws have been passed which openly challenge and discard God’s declared creation order for human relationships, such as marriage and the family.
In the United Kingdom, where there was once the lingering influence of centuries of Christian heritage, we now have the introduction of what are described as ‘British Values’ to the national education syllabus. Within these ‘British Values’ there are demands for the acceptance and tolerance of lifestyles that the Bible declares sinful, and they’re implemented and enforced by official inspectors.
As legislation was passed during 2013 which made radical changes to British law regarding marriage, I was saddened that there seemed so little comment from prominent Christian leaders, and, in the church where I worshipped, no comment at all.
Why was there such silence? Was it the fear of reprisal and persecution? I think that when I fail to speak out about unrighteousness I am, in effect, in silent agreement with it. I’m bowing down to the spirit behind it. I believe that God’s calling His Church to resist the attempts of governments to stop them proclaiming and teaching certain parts of His word.
How shall those trapped in sin find freedom, if we, who know the truth, hold back from telling them there’s freedom in Jesus’ name? I must be prepared to play my part in that, even if there’s a fiery furnace awaiting me, and surely we have the same God who walked in the fire with the three young Jewish men.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You said that we would be hated for Your name’s sake. Help me to speak Your truth in love to those who are held captive by the evil one and by sin, even when I’m afraid. May I know the empowering fear of the Lord that will deliver me from the fear of man. In Your precious name I pray. Amen.
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