“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven… A time to be quiet and a time to speak.” Ecclesiastes 3:1&7 (NLT)
There are times when silence is good, and in fact, necessary. We are told that silence can help us to avoid sinning and getting in trouble (Proverbs 10:19, 21:23), and that silence is better than venting one’s anger (Proverbs 29:11). Even a fool is considered wise when he is silent (Proverbs 17:27). And Solomon told us that there is a time to keep silent and a time to speak up (Ecclesiastes 3:7). It is important to know the difference, and right now is not the time to be silent!
In his book, How Do You Kill 11 Million People?, Andy Andrews unpacks how Nazi Germany, which consisted of only 10% of the population was able to kill millions of Jews and others with little or no resistance. The bottom line was, the lies and the wicked acts of the Nazi party were ignored and people were simply silent about what was really going on. The German people through their silence were complicit with the murderous plans of the Nazi party.
Here’s what Andy shared how the church dealt with it.
We heard of what was happening to the Jews, but we tried to distance ourselves from it, because we felt, what could anyone do to stop it?
Each Sunday morning, we would hear the train whistle blowing in the distance, then the wheels coming down the tracks. We became disturbed when we heard cries coming from the train that passed by. We realized that it was carrying Jews like cattle in cars!
Week after week the whistle would blow. We dreaded to hear the sounds of those wheels because we knew that we would hear the cries of the Jews en route to a death camp. Their screams tormented us.
We knew the time the train was coming and when we heard the whistle blow we began singing hymns. By the time the train came past our church, we were singing at the top of our voices. If we heard the screams, we sang more loudly and soon we heard them no more.
Years have passed and no one talks about it now, but I still hear the train whistle in my sleep. (pp 41-42)
Our nation is on the brink of disaster and yet so many simply bury their heads in the ground, or make up excuses, or sing their tune just a little bit louder to drown out the cries of the innocent. New bills are being passed that will mean more babies are exterminated, the covenant of marriage eroded, the God given gender attacked and the church’s freedom taken away. Please open your eyes, cry out, stand up for what you see is happening in our nation. Don’t be complicit in the moral decline of America by your silence. Ask God to open your eyes to see what is going on. Ask Him for boldness and wisdom on how to speak up. Cry out to God to give us leaders who stand for righteous causes. Pray for your church to speak up as well. May your church not be like the one in Germany that simply sang louder as the train passed by!