Dear Abby

January 9, 2000

The phone rang and the voice on the other end came from a high school student. “Pastor Ray, could I talk to you for a moment?” It was a “Dear Abby” sort of question. She wanted my advice on how to speak up when she is the only Christian in a class of 30. Actually, there may be other Christians but she is the only one who dares to go against the majority. Her particular dilemma is this: She wants to be bold but she doesn’t want to embarrass herself in front of her classmates. In particular, she doesn’t want to say something in the heat of the moment that she might have to apologize for later. My advice was simple. When the moment comes, say a quick prayer and then open your mouth and start talking. Nothing is gained by sitting silently when great moral issues are at stake. It’s true you can avoid ridicule by saying nothing, but you may also allow falsehood to triumph by default. At some point Christians have to speak up for what is right and against what is wrong. For far too long we have abandoned the battlefield and then complained when the other side won the war.

The truth is, most people don’t think seriously or critically about moral and spiritual issues. Like lemmings rushing to the sea, they blindly follow the latest viewpoint, little knowing or caring where it will lead them. I should hasten to say that this is definitely not unique to teenagers. Come to think of it, teenagers as a group may be more open to persuasion than adults because teenagers haven’t yet made up their minds on every issue. After all, one reason you go to high school is to learn things you didn’t know before.

And that’s all the more reason to speak out boldly. It’s entirely likely that the other 29 students have never heard a logical, well-presented case for the pro-life position. And they can’t imagine why anyone would be against Gay Rights and in favor of the traditional family. Or why Christians believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven. In some cases the problem is not with them but with us. We’ve been hiding our light under a bushel, afraid to speak out for fear of what might happen. Our silence wins our safety but it dooms the rest of the class to continued ignorance of the truth.

No, you won’t win everyone but that’s not the point. How can they believe in what they have not heard? How shall they hear unless someone tells them? To paraphrase Romans 10:15, How beautiful are those who bring good news of God’s truth.

Dear Abby, just keep talking and God will tell you what to say.

Do you have any thoughts or questions about this post?