An Open Door

Whether we agree or not with his “masahol pa sa hayop” (“worse than an animal”) analogy regarding same-sex marriage, there’s no doubt that Congressman Manny Pacquiao brought the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer) issue once again to the public square.

Though sadly there was so much vitriol from either sides, I look at it as an open door for us to share our faith. When he was imprisoned, the apostle Paul wrote in Colossians 4:3-6,
Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains. Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should. Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone. (New Living Translation) 
Now that God has opened the door, we must “make the most of [this] opportunity.” How? We must be wise not only in what we say but how we say it. 
What does it mean to “walk in wisdom”? For one thing, it means that we are careful not to say or do anything that would make it difficult to share the Gospel. It also means we must be alert to use the opportunities God gives us for personal witnessing. [1]
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First, let us pray that we may “proclaim this message as clearly as [we] should” (v. 4). We must remain faithful to what the Bible teaches about marriage. In our desire to calm the storm whipped up by the issue, we should not fall into the trap of compromising our faith. We should not sugarcoat the truth. We must say what we need to say when we need to say it in the way we should say it.
Preach the Good News. Be ready at all times, and tell people what they need to do. Tell them when they are wrong. Encourage them with great patience and careful teaching, because the time will come when people will not listen to the true teaching but will find many more teachers who please them by saying the things they want to hear. (2 Timothy 4:2-3, NCV)
Second, whenever we engage people online or offline, we need to “Let [our] conversation be gracious and attractive so that [we] will have the right response for everyone.” We must be compassionate as we communicate our convictions.

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In the ESV, it says that our talk must be “seasoned with salt” (v. 6). It does not mean that we should tell people to take what we say for granted or “with a grain of salt.” [2] It does not also mean that we “rub salt on their wounds” or say it offensively. Salt at that time was used as a disinfectant for latrines or preservative for meat, having no way to refrigerate it then. So, “seasoned with salt” speech should not be corrupt but constructive. “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29) The Gospel is offensive enough. But we must not present it in an offensive manner.
For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. … For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.  (1 Corinthians 1:19, 22-24)
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As I wrote before, we must be bold but not brash. We can be aggressive without being abrasive.

Brothers and sisters, let us make the most of this open door for God’s Word!

[1] Warren Wiersbe, “Colossians” in The Bible Exposition Commentary (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1989), 148. 

[2] Ibid.


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