When James K. Polk was president of the United States, his wife Sarah took a very visible role in the nation’s capital. She was outspoken, bold, and well-informed. As a result, she became a controversial First Lady, and some people even tried to use the Bible to denounce her influence. One day at a White House reception, a Southern visitor approached and said, “Madame, I have long wished to look upon a lady upon which the Bible pronounces a woe!”
Conversation stopped as everyone waited to see how Mrs. Polk, a devout Presbyterian, would respond. Looking at her critic, she replied, “Does not the Bible say, ‘Woe to you when all men speak well of you?’”
That’s a good verse to bear in mind because taking a stand for Christ is increasingly unpopular in our pagan and pluralistic society. If you believe that God created the world, that He is a God of both love and holiness, that Jesus died and rose again for our sins and is the only way to Heaven, and that we have a responsibility to take that message to a needy world–those beliefs will vilify you in many segments of our society. Our world is determined to intimidate, marginalize, and silence Christians.
But our goal isn’t popularity; it’s to know Him and make Him known. We shouldn’t be needlessly offensive, but we shouldn’t be afraid of the “offense of the cross.” These are exciting days in which to bear a witness for our Savior!