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Bold – I ask, “Why not?”

31 Mar

Today we’re talking about Donna‘s one-little-word, BOLD. My dictionary defines it as “1] having courage, fearless; 2]  showing or requiring courage, daring, a bold plan; 3] presuming unduly, brazen, forward.”

When I think of bold, too often that third definition comes to mind. I don’t want to have a pushy, brazen, putting-myself-forward boldness. But the boldness that is fearless and has the courage of its convictions—oh yes, bring it on!

Relating boldness to my spiritual journey, I am saddened by how opposite to bold I often am. I read in Acts about the disciples getting warned to stop preaching or they’ll be put in prison. They prayed after getting those warnings, not that the resistance would stop but for boldness, so they could keep on doing what they were doing (Acts 4:29). I ask myself, would I pray the same way?

I am reminded of all the people in the world who are now being persecuted and massacred for their faith. Just last weekend there was another slaughter of Christians in Lahore, Pakistan.

In North America, where being a Christian doesn’t hold those kinds of risks, boldness needs another face. I love how Peter describes the boldness that his persecuted readers were to show. It applies just as well to us in countries where Christianity is, shall we say, tolerated, but becoming increasingly politically incorrect:

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear, having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed” – 1 Peter 3:15,16 (emphasis added).

Of course we can’t ignore the miracles that bolstered the New Testament believers’  faith and contributed not a little to their boldness. People were healed and raised from the dead at their hands. (No wonder they couldn’t keep quiet and crowds kept flocking to them!)  Though their refusal to keep silent in the face of persecution sometimes led to martyrdom,  the life of one persecutor, Saul, was miraculously turned around one afternoon and the result was the spread of Christianity throughout Europe and Asia.

I would like a boldness that includes the possibility of the miraculous.  A few years ago when I was reading in  the Quest Study Bible, I came across a statement that puzzled me. I quote it in the epigram to the poem I wrote then, and share below.

Philip_and_the_Ethiopian2_1335-416

Philip explains the scriptures to the Ethiopian – story in Acts 8:28-40

I ask “Why not?”

“Should Christians today imitate what Christians did in the Book of Acts? Not necessarily.” (Commentary on Acts 11:27-30, Quest Study Bible)

I ask, Why not?

We still have the sick, lame and oppressed.
We still have those who don’t understand
.   what they hear, what they read.
We still have rulers and laws that say, “Don’t preach!”
We still have kings who look on themselves as God.
We still have famines, natural disasters,
.   wars, and dispersing persecution.
We still have a religious establishment
.   which is more concerned with pleasing “Caesar”
.   than obeying God.
We still have the champions of the churchy status quo.
In other words, we still have the same foe.
And we still have the same
final words of Christ:
“But you will receive power
when the Holy Spirit comes on you.”*

© 2007 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

*****************

spiritual-journey-framed

Join us each week at Spiritual Journey Thursday

This post is linked to Spiritual Journey Thursday hosted by
Holly Mueller at  Reading, Teaching, Learning.

*Words of Jesus quoted from Acts 1:8.

 

 

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7 responses to “Bold – I ask, “Why not?”

  1. bobbietaylor

    March 31, 2016 at 8:51 am

    Why not, indeed! What a gutsy (dare I say bold)–and totally true–poem about the comparative state of the world. (Kind of frightening lengthy comparison when you lay it all out like that!) Thank you for pointing out the “spiritually correct” meaning of boldness. I know God already heard you; He’s already brought it on, and you have responded in poem after evangelizing poem! “I ask, Why not” needs to be in every newspaper editorial, if it hasn’t already been there. You are a bold witness. God bless you, and thank you! (p.s. In an after-thought, I’m thinking that your poem reminds me of the JFK quote in Linda’s post!)

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Violet Nesdoly

      March 31, 2016 at 9:13 am

      Thanks for your support, Bobbie. I feel like a wimp so often. But the thread of God, weaving through my day, continues despite me. Just this morning, while working on a different piece of writing, I came across an interview that you might find interesting. It’s with David Adams Richards, a Canadian author (and Catholic), who wrote the book God Is (some years ago now). It’s here: http://www.thestar.com/life/2009/09/15/author_finds_god_is_in_the_details.html

      Like

       
      • bobbietaylor

        March 31, 2016 at 1:19 pm

        Thank YOU for taking time to share the link to that interview, which I did, in fact, find very interesting and very moving. …I admit that the title had me a bit perplexed since the only rendition of “the [ x ] is in the details” that I ever heard gave credit to the archenemy. So, I just looked up the idiom that I was aware of and discovered that “God is in the details” is also an idiom, one that actually is thought to be the earlier version between the two. …One way or another, I always learn so much from and through you! Had you known about both idioms? …Thank you for beautiful line: “But the thread of God, weaving through my day, continues despite me.” Indeed comforting. God bless you! p.s. The interview reminded me of a powerful, masterful book that you might want to recommend to anyone suffering from a low self-concept: “Born Only Once: The Miracle of Affirnation,” by Conrad W. Baars, M.D. …Come to think of it, in the context of needing to be more bold/self-assured/assertive, maybe it would behoove me to re-read this amazing little book! http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Born+only+Once%3A+The+Miracle+of+affirmation
        In looking up the Amazon link, I’ve discovered that there’s a 2012 co-authored edition!

        Liked by 1 person

         
      • Violet Nesdoly

        March 31, 2016 at 1:47 pm

        Thank you so much, Bobbie. The book you recommend looks fascinating!

        Like

         
      • bobbietaylor

        March 31, 2016 at 2:00 pm

        A number of years ago, I bought a “bunch” of them to share; thank you for reminding me through the interview you shared. I’ve just ordered the revised ed. of the book. Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

         
  2. hollymueller

    April 1, 2016 at 4:17 am

    It is definitely a time that requires boldness when you realize what is going on in the world. I agree that political correctness can erode boldness. We need to be bold about our faith and beliefs, even in the face of persecution – mild or severe. God has called us to that. He boldly proclaimed his love for us in the form of Jesus Christ. The least we can do is claim Him boldly.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Violet Nesdoly

      April 1, 2016 at 9:11 am

      Thanks so much, Holly! Loved your Bold post on the man who inspired your school project. In many places, to be bold means great sacrifice. I feel very pampered and ‘soft.’

      Like

       

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