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It's Our Turn: Time to put an end to silence

One of my favorite bands, Christian rock band Red, released its first album in 2006, titled End of Silence. I’ve always wondered what that means. End of silence. For a Christian, I think it means speaking up while there’s still time because that freedom-of-speech window is closing. The world today is becoming both tolerant and intolerant: tolerant of new ideas, no matter how wrong they are, and intolerant of those who oppose those ideas, no matter how right they are.

So I’m going to take this time to speak freely while there’s still freedom to speak.

I am a Christian, meaning that I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and savior and accepted his gift of eternal life. And I pray that everyone, from certain family members to strangers on the street, would one day know the truth.

I have broken many of God’s laws and then some, and Jesus said there will be eternal punishment for that. That is why I know that I need his grace and salvation. My works can’t save me, but God’s grace can.

I am not religious. By that I mean I don’t follow rules set by a church or denomination for how to “properly” worship or pray. The Bible is my authority. Because the way I see it, the ritual can sometimes overshadow the reason.

So am I non-denominational? I don’t know. I guess you could call me evangelical, since that’s the type of church I was raised in. However, I usually just say I’m a Christian. That should be enough.

I am a full believer in the Bible’s divine authority and authenticity. It was written in three different languages on three different continents over a period of 1,500 years by 40 different authors. Parts were even written by witnesses of the miracles of Jesus during the lifetimes of other witnesses. So when people say, “Well, yes, the Bible technically says that in writing, but I still don’t believe that part.” Sorry, that’s not going to fly. You can’t pick and choose.

But who am I to try to defend the Bible? As British preacher Charles Spurgeon said, it’s the equivalent to trying to defend a lion. Rest assured, if someone decides to open its pages, it can take care of itself.

Christians, myself included, must learn to stop the silence. Stand up for what you believe, profess the truth, don’t worry about offending anyone or coming across as intolerant. News flash: Jesus was intolerant. Every time one of the Pharisees put himself on a pedestal, Jesus put him right back in his place. I don’t remember Jesus ever saying to sit back and tolerate the wrongs of the world.

I’m not saying go out and wag your finger and shout “Repent!” to every pass-

erby. Close, though. I’m not an expert on evangelism, but to me, we should present the truth, explain God’s law, the reason for needing God’s grace and salvation, and give them more if they crave it.

I’m probably preaching more to myself here. I’m shy. I’m quiet. It’s hard for me to speak up when my beliefs are being discussed. I’m getting better, at least among peers and fellow believers, but I’m not where I want to be yet.

If we Christians all work hard to speak up when the opportunity comes, to not simply go through life just tolerating everything, then maybe one day we can put an end to silence.

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“It’s Our Turn” is a weekly column that rotates among members of the Echo Press editorial staff.

Jessica Sly

Jessica Sly has been working as a content writer at the Echo Press since May 2012, contributing, proofreading and editing content for both the Echo and Osakis Review. A Wadena native, she graduated from Verndale High School in 2009 and worked that summer at the Wadena Pioneer Journal as an intern reporter. She attended Northwestern College in St. Paul (now the University of Northwestern - St. Paul), where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in writing and a minor in Bible. In her spare time, she enjoys playing the piano (and learning the violin), reading, writing novels, going to the movies, and exploring Alexandria.

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