I Am Not Ashamed
I Am Not Ashamed
Being Salt and Light Isn’t Optional
We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God
does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth
and the spirit of error (I John 4:6, NAS).
The only thing necessary for Evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing
At the core of a Christian’s soul is the belief that real freedom comes from living in harmony with God’s truth. We stand on Jesus’ promise. "You shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32, NAS).
This principle is one to be taken seriously and at face value, as God intended. It is a core life principle for Christ's followers. Banking on the trustworthiness of this promise is as comforting as it is often challenging.
Its power and authority have become foundational to who we are and all that we believe. Without this Scriptural guarantee and many others, there would be no reason to believe any of God’s Word. Instead, we would be adrift—tossed about by a conflicted value system. Sadly, we would be just like many of our fellow American citizens.
In addition to Scriptural promises like the one above, other truths are also self-apparent, including one from a noted eighteenth-century Irish Parliamentarian, Edmund Burke. He stated, "The only thing necessary for Evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."
Although Burke's truism is certainly not a biblical text, which means it lacks Scriptural authority, it is true nonetheless. History has proven the accuracy of Burke's admonition, which is why we accept its message to be correct.
These two truths have propelled us to action. They are foundational. Their accuracy has governed our thinking and motivated our actions. I Am Not Ashamed is a work that has evolved from these convictions, as well as other powerful life principles that we will consider later.
We purposely have written I Am Not Ashamed with an emphasis on Bible truths. For each of us to fulfill our purpose in life, we must come to know the truth—God's truth. The Gospel of John verse 8:32 powerfully states, “and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” But often the first part of Jesus’ statement is omitted. “ So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, 'If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine . . .'”
Our first step is to read and meditate on His Word. Then, the Holy Spirit will reveal its meaning to us, which we must accept as true. Our next step is to apply it. After accomplishing this, which is frequently an arduous and time-consuming process, we must ensure that our convictions become our personal reality. Once we have accomplished this, we can live in a way consistent with, and in accord with, our convictions. This is the process of surrender that produces the fruit and the power of the Spirit of God to work through us.
These are the steps in our journey to become Christ-like—to live in harmony with our loving Heavenly Father. Instead of being conflicted, like most Americans, including many Christians, our lives will become congruent, and we will experience love, peace, joy, patience, and much more. This is not an idealistic, unattainable, and sentimental goal. It is an achievable life plan. It can happen, and it will happen.
This is the heart of God for every Christian, but reaching it involves a myriad of experiences and an abundance of different life journeys. Some reach their goals sooner than others. Sadly, millions never even understand that these goals exist. Instead, these unfortunate people live out their days in disillusionment and defeat, experiencing half-lives that are devoid of worthwhile meaning or discernable purpose.
We all have experienced seasons without passion or purpose, but we can attest that this is not what God desires for any of His precious children. He wants much more for them than this. Teaching this truth to as many as possible is the heart of I Am Not Ashamed. What we have to say is targeted for Christians, not non-believers. To non-Christians, these concepts will seem foolish, but to those who are born again by the Holy Spirit, the principles that are revealed in this book, when applied, will dramatically transform their lives. This is certainly our purpose for writing I Am Not Ashamed—our only purpose. Our prayer is to help you, and many other special people like you, to become the best you possibly can be and to accomplish everything God desires for you to do.
What is most concerning about the spiritual condition of American Christians is that there are not many who understand what constitutes spiritual reality for a child of God. Our reality is far different than that of a non-believer, or at least it should be. For the majority in America, having no knowledge of the one true God, they mock us for what we believe. They also consider our worldview to be uneducated and foolish.
It's easy to understand how they have come to this conclusion. Because they have not been born of God's Spirit, they cannot know God's truth. Instead, their lives are ruled by thinking that does not take God's will into consideration. At one level or another, since they repudiate God's truth, their perception of reality is false. When you think of it like this, the following verse becomes crystal clear.
"A natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised" (I Corinthians 2:14, NAS).
Not having God's Spirit, the non-believing world conceptualizes reality differently than those of us who are being led by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
By not viewing reality from the Divine perspective, the worldview of non-believers is flawed. Looking at it from God's perspective, since their viewpoint is erroneous, they are living in deception. In this sense, any worldview that repudiates God's truth, or fails to take it into account, is deception. It's a false worldview.
By living in deception, millions refuse to accept God's truth, which sadly means they may never experience His full and complete blessing. In the twenty-first century, falsehood is rampant. In America, being deceived in one way or another has reached epidemic proportions. This is damaging to everybody, but it is particularly destructive when Christians are as deceived as non-believers.
When a believer accepts deception as truth, internal conflict is inevitable. This means life can never be peaceful or fulfilling. It's impossible for it to be gratifying—not in a spiritual sense anyway. Embracing falsehood as being valid is detrimental personally, and it adversely impacts every relationship in a deceived believer's life.
Because there are so many people of faith who have been deceived by our cultural values, especially by those of the Progressive ideology, our nation's Judeo-Christian value system has been under constant assault. Essentially, much of our salt has lost its saltiness and our light to the world has become dim.
It's alarming to consider how many Christians have been seduced and compromised by the prevailing value system of our culture, especially among our Millennial generation. Many young believers are very socially sensitive and accept what their friends believe as being the truth, even when it clearly contradicts God's Word. Tragically, nearly 80 percent of Christians struggle with their Christian faith after completing just a few years in college. Without considering the ramifications of accepting falsehood as truth, they have embraced our culture's version of reality hook, line, and sinker. Although they don't know it, if they continue in this direction, it will cost them dearly.
In America, the Progressive worldview dominates, and millions of Christians have embraced its tenets as being accurate, but they certainly are not. This means they have been badly deceived. Progressivism, which goes back to the Enlightenment, is based on progress that comes from social reform. Government is the change agent; which means for Progressivism to be effective, must be in control of the government. For a Progressive, God has very little relevance.
Unfortunately, many Christians are deeply influence by Progressivism. Accepting Progressivism's deception as truth makes Christians spiritually broken. It's the reason why the lives of so many believers are conflicted and unfulfilled. It's also the specific reason why the spiritual fruit of these Christians is damaged, nonexistent, or even counterproductive.
Being fruitless is not what God wants for any of His children. His desire is for all Christians to be fruitful and free from deception.
Our adversary, the Father of lies, Satan, who was the Angel of Light, has a different agenda. It's his desire to lead Christians astray—to lead them deeper and deeper into the darkness of sin.
Deceived Christians do not realize they have been misled. By self-definition, they believe the exact opposite. Despite having been deluded into embracing numerous erroneous societal values, especially those that contradict the Scriptures, these Christians remain convinced that what they believe is true. Like the non-believing Progressives, many Christians routinely accuse God's Word of being outdated, flawed, and irrelevant.
Unfortunately, these misled Christians are so deep into their denial that they scoff at any suggestion they might actually be deceived. They simply do not believe it is true. Sadly, they have become so entangled by their worldly belief system, despite living lives they know to be unfulfilling, that they have actually become comfortable embracing their deceptions, rather than living in the truth. Not realizing how far from God’s truth they are, many embrace Progressivism's perversion of the truth. They are convinced the tenets of Progressivism are accurate.
Even if they want to change, they do not have any idea about how to divest themselves of their flawed worldview. They fail to appropriate the spiritual tools necessary to extricate themselves from the mess they have created. They need to know the truth, and then the truth will set them free.
While it is easy to blame their plight on sin or a rebellious spirit, this would be a mistake. The problem actually runs much deeper than this, and it is more insidious. In fact, it has very little to do with personal conduct.
What we are facing in Christianity, especially in America, is an epidemic of spiritual deception and spiritual warfare. This is specifically the subject that I Am Not Ashamed addresses. The purpose of this book is to help you, regardless of your walk with the Lord, to identify the areas in your life that may have been compromised. Once this has been accomplished, it will be much easier to live in victory and fulfill God’s purpose for the rest of your life.
The truth is that all of us have been deceived at one level or another. It is only by the mercy and grace of God that our eyes will be opened and the lies exposed.
The good news is that none of us have to continue living in the dark. There is a solution. It's available for each of us, but we must work to obtain it. It's the lesson of I Am Not Ashamed that we had to learn ourselves, and we now want to share with you.
To be the person who Almighty God created you to be, you must learn how to think correctly. There is no alternative to this, and no circumventing it. The issue cannot be skirted. To abide in God's will you must to be able to discern it. If your thinking is flawed, then there is no way to understand the will of God accurately. We must renew our minds to be able to understand both the will and the ways of God.
We have not been abandoned to grope about aimlessly, without a clue, searching for the meaning of life. "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and of sound judgment" (II Timothy 1:7, NAS). Because of who we are in Christ, and because of the Spirit that indwells us, we are tasked with the responsibility of walking in wisdom. We must exercise sound judgment, and this begins with correct thinking.
Unfortunately, there are millions of believers who do not know how to accomplish this task. If they did, they wouldn't be deceived. Each of us knows Christians who “just don’t get it.” For them, I Am Not Ashamed is certain to be helpful—not only in their personal walk with the Lord, but also in how they function in our society.
To be an effective witness, which is measured by how we live our lives and not by the religious rhetoric we proclaim to be true, we must have our personal belief system operating in harmony with the leading of the Holy Spirit. There is no other way to be fruitful or to walk in God’s power.
Simply saying something is true, without living it, creates a meaningless existence. It comes across to others, especially non-believers, as being hypocritical and disingenuous. There's a good reason why it does. It's because it is hypocritical and disingenuous. More than any other reason, this is why so many non-believers find Christianity unattractive.
Each of us has a role to play. For you to be the person you want to be tomorrow, you must change your thinking today. If you change your thinking—your view of reality—your actions will follow. This certainly has been proven true, and this we promise: When you renew your mind, you will enjoy your life much more than you currently do.
It's not the other way around. By and large, most of what Christians are being taught is backwards. The focus of Christianity is on behavior, not on correct thinking. This is why the long-term fruit of many sermons is actually counterproductive.
For real change in your life to occur, your perception of reality is what must be transformed. If this happens, then your behavior will follow. Our hope is that you are stirred by what you have read so far. Our prayer is that this is liberating for you.
If these truths resonate with you, then I Am Not Ashamed will benefit you greatly. It will be a catalyst in helping you to view reality differently. To discover how you can revolutionize your thinking, the following pages will teach you how to determine God's will much more easily and accurately.
I Am Not Ashamed has a God-given message for you. By incorporating its truths into your thinking, your life will change. Your internal peace will be enhanced exponentially, and you will sleep better at night. Because your internal peace will improve, you will exhibit more Christ-like character qualities. Because you are more Christ-like, your behavior around others—at home, at work, and in your community—will also be transformed. Because your life will be transformed, you will certainly become a more effective citizen in America.
Developing internal character qualities that reveal the fruit and power of God's Holy Spirit is what the Christian life is all about, but for your fruit to have value, it must be shared with others. We do not live in a vacuum. Life flows through us. For your life to have any transformational impact, your Christ-like character qualities must be manifested to the people you touch daily. In this way, your life will have great value. You will be salt and light.
By changing ourselves, our impact will change the dynamics in our families, our churches, our neighborhoods, and ultimately in our nation. When this happens, we become the salt and light to the world that we are supposed to be. Once we become the men and women of God we claim to be, the godly fruit that flows from us will be obvious and effortless.
Being the best you can be will become a very good thing. It's also what you should want for yourself.
This is also how we can change our society in ways that have a lasting impact. We do it by changing who we are, one Christian at a time. This is how our forefathers did it, and we still live in the shadow of their blessing. This can happen again.
As citizens in the public arena, we are mandated to be as "wise as serpents but as gentle as doves." The way to accomplish this isn't to become strident, caustic, or militantly judgmental. That doesn't work. It never works. It's counterproductive.
The way to create real, substantive change is to develop unshakable internal values and convictions—all based on the Word of God. The old fashion word that describes this type of life is "Holy." Nothing else will ever be effective.
Because this is true, the focus of I Am Not Ashamed will be on learning how to become the person that God has called you to be. Once this has been explained, we will turn our attention to how to deal with our culture more effectively. Our focus will be on how to counteract the Progressive worldview that dominates twenty-first-century America.
Our nation is in crisis. Without the intervening hand of Almighty God, there is no hope for us. Since God works through people like you and me, we need to address what is required to become strong, patriotic, Christian citizens. If you are willing to stand up and be counted, which only strong men and women of faith will be able to do, then you will be helping to ensure that Evil does not triumph in the "land of the free and the home of the brave." Saving America is our responsibility, but it should also be a joyful task.
For the nation we bequeath to our children, our grandchildren, and our great-grandchildren to be like the one we inherited from our forefathers, we must become the strong men and women of faith God called us to be. It's our duty to the generations that follow. We have no other option than to assume this mantle of responsibility.
Before we proceed to the first chapter, please join us in the following prayer, which is personalized for you, followed by several powerful affirmations of our shared beliefs.
Our Gracious God and Loving Heavenly Father,
You are light and in You there is no hint of darkness.
We know this and accept this truth in our hearts and souls.
As Your obedient children, we are grateful to serve
A God who wants His children to walk in the light and not in the dark.
Father, to be honest, for most of my journey with You,
For most of the time I have sought your will for my life,
My focus has been primarily on my personal conduct and not
On the clarity of my thinking or the accuracy of my worldview.
Father, I now recognize this has been a significant mistake.
Please open my heart and my mind to Your Holy Spirit.
Allow me to take a good, hard, and honest assessment
Of what I have considered to be true, but could be deep-seated
Deception, leading me away from Your will for my life.
I want to know and follow Your ways and Your precepts.
Search me to see if there are any strongholds of darkness—
False beliefs that prevent me from discerning Your will accurately.
If such areas exist, direct Your Holy Spirit to reveal them to me,
Because I do not want anything to prevent me from being
The person You have created me to be. I ask this in Christ's name,
1. God loves me, and I know that He does.
2. I am a child of God, born of His Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ.
3. I am fully capable of knowing and following God's will.
4. I will not allow any flawed thinking to hinder my walk with God.
5. I will permit the Holy Spirit to search my heart and to teach me truth.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable
and perfect (Romans 12:2, NAS).