Tuesday, April 03, 2007

No Compromise: Salt and Light

This morning I watched an interview on NBC's "Today" show; Robin Roberts was interviewing Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins about their most recent book, the last in the "Left Behind" series. Now, this post is not about those books--there has been a lot written about them already on the internet, and I haven't read this latest one, so I'm leaving that subject alone for now. Later, when I have read the book, I may (or may not) blog about that. What I would like to discuss is the way these Christian men answered a couple of questions in this interview.

So many times when I see Christian people interviewed on television, I cringe as they back-pedal and then sugar-coat their answers when asked direct questions about the exclusivity of Christ. I was favorably impressed and greatly encouraged to see LaHaye and Jenkins give direct, Biblical answers, refusing to compromise the message of the gospel.

Robin Roberts asked them (and I'm paraphrasing here)"What about people who are offended by the message of these books, after all, for Jews and Muslims it sounds like you are saying that if people don't believe in Jesus they will be left behind, they will not go to heaven."

LaHaye and Jenkins answered that they believe the Bible to be God's Word, and Jesus to be God, and they pointed out that no other person who has ever lived on earth has had a greater impact on history and humanity than Christ. They also pointed out that Jesus Himself said that He is the only way to heaven.

Roberts followed up with some statement to the effect that this seems like an intolerant position and offensive.

LaHaye and Jenkins said that they agree the gospel is offensive to people, but they said, (and this is a direct quote) "You don't see evangelicals crashing planes into buidlings because they disagree with their beliefs." They also said that if people don't believe the gospel, they still love those people, work with them, admire and respect them, but believe them to be wrong in this area. They stated that they are blessed to be living in a country where they are free to believe whatever they want to and not be persecuted for it.

I was thrilled to see these men deliver such straightforward answers in a calm, loving, Godly manner. After seeing so many other Christians, among them Joel Osteen and Rick Warren, give vague answers or simply sidestep the questions, it was refreshing to see someone tell it straight.

What interested me even more was the comment that Robin Roberts made at the end of the interview. As she was thanking them for being there, she said, "You two always light things up when you come in here." WOW!!! Did she even realize she said that? She said on national TV that these two Christians bring LIGHT with them when they come--they are putting Matthew 5:14-16 into practice with their behavior in the NBC studios. PRAISE THE LORD!!! May more and more "famous" Christians give such straight answers, and bring light to national television.

On a personal note, this makes me more determined to be salt and light every day in whatever situation I may find myself. Do I "light things up" for other people, shining God's light through my words and actions? Do I bring out the best in others, love and encourage them, and generally brighten their existence? My very attitude can be a powerful witness in our current circumstances, and I pray that the Lord will give me the strength to be "salt and light" to those around me.

14 comments:

chandra said...

Alice, what a great blog and so true. So many people try to sugar coat and be "politically correct" and use the "whatever makes you happy and feels good" attitude. And just to answer your question, YES, my friend, you most certainly are a "LIGHT" at least to me you are. Even in the past few weeks we have been re-conecting...you have made a big difference in my life once again. I appreciate you and the brightness......along with the "salt" that you bring. I love you!
Chandra

Alice C. said...

Chandra: Thanks my dear friend. I feel the same way about you!

selahV said...

Alice, wonderful post. I'm afraid so many of us back pedal at times. Another person who is very upfront and exactly like his dad when it comes to telling it like it is with Jesus as THE way, is Franklin Graham. So does his daughter Anne Graham Lott. Whenever either of them are interviewed they always give a mini-gospel message. Always. So glad to hear this interview took place with Robin.

May God continue to bring more people to the forefront who are not ashamed to give witness for our Lord. selahV

Alice C. said...

You're right--I should have mentioned Franklin and Anne in my post--they are consistent in their witness for Christ during national-media interviews.

Elder's Wife said...

Alice-
Just followed you over here from Eric's page and appreciate your post on salt & light. Most of us will never have a "national platform" on which to display the Light of Jesus...but we all have a local stage on which we play. And in the long run, I guess that will be the one most-viewed.
Kat

Alice C. said...

Hey Kat, nice to meet you--

You are right--the highest priority for most of us is to display Christ to those around us in our own "sphere of influence" so-to-speak. I don't think I'll ever have a national platform, so I pray each day that God would help me faithfully represent Him in my own small role with my family, friends, and others with whom I interact. God bless--Alice

Tim A. Blankenship said...

Can a man leave a comment here? I will try too anyway.
I appreciatee your comments. I have read all the "Left Behind" books and will be getting the final one soon.
I have never known of Tim LaHaye ever weakening, balking or backing down from the testimony of Jesus Christ. That is one thing that makes these books so much fun and a blessing to read.
God bless you.
Tim A. Blankenship

Alice C. said...

Tim:

Men are welcome to comment here--if you look back through the posts you'll see several guys commenting. Thanks for stopping in and putting in some more thoughts on LaHaye and Jenkins. I've read all of the series as well, and just haven't been able to read "Kingdom Come" yet. I was thrilled to see them in that interview and hear them boldly proclaim the gospel.

Blessings, Alice

Renata said...

Ciao Babe,
What's up?
Just wanted you to know that I've been staying updated even though I have otherwise been very silent.

Tim A. said...

Alice C.,
Thanks. I was about halfway joking about the men part.

I do appreciate your comments on LaHaye and Jenkins though.

hilda quinones said...

Alice, this is Nildi Quinones. I just found you on google (that makes you pretty famous, right?). Please rech me at hquinones@martilaw.com. I've been thinking about you so much this year. Let's reconnect!!

Hilda Quinones said...

BTW, felicidades en tu próximo cumpleaños. Recuerdo que es el 20 de abril ... y este año son 40 para ambas!!

selahV said...

Good afternoon, Alice. Just wanted to say hi and that I'm thinking about ya. selahV

Alice C. said...

Nildi: Acabo de mandarte un e-mail. Espero que lo recibas hoy y me contestes. Y sobre lo otro--tu por lo menos tienes sies meses antes de cumplir los 40....For me it's all too soon.

Selah: Thanks--just keep praying. I've been praying for you, too!