I was watching Eric Metaxas on the Salem News Network a couple of days ago. His guest was Douglas Giles— a fellow who espouses a bold version of Christianity. He loves hunting and demonstrated behind him a stuffed lion that he had shot at a distance of ten yards in Africa. He talks about the worthiness of manly pursuits such as hunting and war-making in service of a virtuous cause.
Interestingly, he cites the book of Revelation and a couple of verses found therein. The author of Revelation was getting ready to discuss in Chapter 21 that repentant believers would be entering into heaven. But he described the characteristics of those who would NOT be entering heaven, and would instead be thrown into a lake of fire:
7 He who overcomes [a]shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. 8 But the cowardly, [b]unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.
It is very interesting that the cowardly are listed among those who are thrown into the lake. And cowardice is found in epic proportions during current times.
When the Covid pandemic first struck during March, 2020, I commented that the panic and hysteria that ensued was indicative of widespread faithlessness. Those who are truly faithful would exhibit courage in the midst of that storm.
Cowardice afflicts the population, but it also affects key decisionmakers– both in government and in the church.
Courage is the converse of cowardice. There are many facets of courage. It might suggest courage to go to war; to hunt wild game; to fly airplanes; or to place oneself in danger to protect or save others. Courage also may be required to do the right thing, and to stand up for the right thing; or to avow one’s faith and to stand up for God. Standing up for one’s family obligations can require courage.
When we saw pastors nationwide shut down churches for prolonged periods two years ago, that was outright cowardice. It ultimately has to be viewed that way. When we saw congregants demanding the closing of churches, that was ALSO cowardice.
When we see Republican politicians like Thom Tillis and Richard Burr refuse to do the right thing, and jump on the LGBT bandwagon instead, that is a particularly pernicious brand of cowardice that harms citizens and reveals the state of their respective souls. But GOP politicians tend to often exhibit cowardice on a wide host of issues. In fact, their routine, systematic cowardice threatens the Republic.
We don’t need mealy-men in positions of leadership.
Doug Giles is right. Courage is a big deal.