“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile” (Romans 1:16, NIV). “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38, NIV).
In my previous post dealing with The Shame Game I began to discuss the skill of the enemy to use shame as a weapon against the believer. Generally he uses this weapon in two areas: (1) in shaming the believer for past mistakes and sins; and (2) in shaming the believer for daring to believe that they can be, do, and have what the Bible says they can be, do, and have. Today, I want to talk about the shaming of the believer off the Word and the promises of God.
We have all been exposed to the politically correct (PC) movement in this nation that threatens free expression and free speech. As believers, we are confronted with something that has been around much longer than the PC movement – the religiously correct (RC) movement which dates all the way back to the Garden of Eden. Our job as believers is to reject the PC and the RC movements and embrace the value of being biblically correct (BC).
Have you noticed that if a person happens to be on the wrong side of the PC standard or flavor of the month, organizations, schools, universities, workplaces, and the media will all chime in concert to try to shame the individual for being on the wrong side of what they view to be politically correct. The same thing is happening to Word believers all over the nation because they dare to stand on the Word and stand in contrast to the religiously correct position on a variety of doctrines and beliefs. If you find yourself on the wrong side of the RC position, denominations, publishers, broadcasters, self-appointed theological watchdogs, bloggers, and yes, once again, the media will all chime in with their shame and disapproval. “You mean to tell me (with wrinkled nose) you believe it’s God’s will to bless your life spiritually and materially? For shame…” Yes, I do. It’s God’s will to bless us so that we can be a blessing (Genesis 12:2; 2 Corinthians 9:11). The real shame is letting the enemy lie about God and rob the body of Christ blind of power and substance!
Because of the shame game, many believers are folding their faith tent and going back into the company of the powerless (a form of godliness but denying the power of God) because they need to be accepted more than they desire to hold to the integrity of the Word. It’s not religiously correct to believe in supernatural healing, the casting out of devils, the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit like tongues, and biblical prosperity for world evangelization (in fact just say the Word, “prosperity,” and some will go into a religious conniption fit and flurry of convulsive proof texting and vilifying of those they feel are in error).
The result is that, through the shame, the hungry believer that desires to be biblically correct and tap into every command, correction, exhortation, and promise of the Word of God can be manipulated into conforming to the pressure of the religiously correct and let go of the awesome promises of God. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Religion (one definition is “return to bondage”) comes by hearing and hearing the religiously correct doctrines of men which the Scriptures declare, make the Word of none effect (Matthew 15:6).
We are told in Mark 8:38 that we must not be ashamed of Jesus or his words because our future and destiny rides on honoring him and his word. It is vital to remember that Jesus and his Word are one. You cannot be ashamed of the amazing promises of God because some “expert” has said that has passed away or God doesn’t do that anymore without being also ashamed of Jesus. Paul left us a very powerful principle in Romans 1:16. He boldly declared that he was not ashamed of the gospel because it literally is the power of God unto salvation (soundness in every area of life) to those that believe. The power resident in the Word (it has the power to bring itself to pass) is not released unless the individual believes and acts on that Word. It is clear from this Scripture that the portion of our redemption we’re ashamed of (because of the opinions of people) is the portion of our soundness we will never walk in or enjoy.
Let me encourage you to adopt the powerful attitude of Peter when Jesus asked the disciples if they too were going to leave him after he preached the room clearing sermon about his blood and body. Peter simply replied, “Lord, to whom shall we go. You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). Let the exhortation of Paul embolden you to stand on the Word and refuse to be shamed off of it no matter how much pressure comes your way: “What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God’s faithfulness? Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar” (Romans 3:3-4, NIV).