Coach Dave Daubenmire
November 18, 2010
“Silence isn’t golden, it’s yellow.” Zell Miller
“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
“So, what does a witness do?” I asked the pudgy man standing before me. I could tell he was uncomfortable by the way he shuffled his feet and dropped his eyes.
But the old coach in me can smell cowardice. Over the years I have witnessed many young men wilt in the face of adversity on the football field. It is impossible to disguise; the dropping of the headgear just before contact, the sudden halt in the movement of the feet, the undeniable silence that accompanies the loss of courage. I can smell it, and this pudgy pastor was stinking.
“Come on, Pastor,” I bore in. “What does a witness do?”
He still did not want to answer. You have seen it a thousand times; the look that a man gets when he knows that to answer the question is to convict oneself.
“Well, Coach,” he nervously answered as he licks his puffy lips. “A witness is usually called on to give testimony about something he has seen, or heard.”
“Right, Pastor. And what does a witness bear witness about? What is the purpose of testimony in a court of law?”
“Well, I guess that his main purpose would be to produce evidence to help determine the guilt or innocence of a particular case.”
“OK. And before the witness testifies in the court room he has to take a vow to do what?” I can sense how much he wishes he had just kept his mouth shut when I had asked the group the question. Even he knew I was boring in for the kill.
“Well, to tell the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth.”
“So help me God? I probed, glancing at the 10 Commandments pin on his label.
“Yes. So help me God.”
“Sounds pretty serious, wouldn’t you agree Pastor?”
He nodded in the affirmative resembling a bass trying to spit out a hook. His discomfort was made worse by the spectators watching the filleting of this spineless fish.
Let me set the scene. I had just finished speaking at a men’s breakfast when one of the men approached me and commented on my bold testimony. In a matter of minutes a large group had surrounded me as I carried on about our need to be “salt and light” to the culture.
I have done this dozens of times in my life, and am always encouraged that real men want to stand up for Jesus. They just don’t know how. As the questioning continued I explained that it was the job of the church to stand up for Truth.
A young man in his thirties, clearly motivated and convicted by my presentation, inquired about how one might go about getting more involved in defending the Faith.
Before I could answer, as is often the case, Pastor Sellout had to hoist his leg and douse any wild-fire that might spark up amongst his flock. From the outside of the circle he tried to swing the gate shut before the sheep ran out into the field.
“Well guys. I believe that often a silent witness is the most effective. Forcing the Gospel on others often turns them off. I find it more effective to let my silent witness speak for itself.”
That is when I lowered the barrel and took aim at this hireling.
“So tell me Pastor, what do you think Jesus meant when He told us in John 18:37 that He came to bear witness to the Truth? Did Jesus use the silent witness scheme? Did He spend the last three years of His ministry preaching in the Synagogue or did he not take His Gospel to the streets? What about Peter…and Paul…or Martin Luther. I am sure there is a time when a silent witness might be effective, even necessary, but to claim that silence is testifying is a bunch of bunk. To permit is to participate. A silent witness is usually the safe haven of cowards.”
It was more effective than if I had punched him. He deserved the undressing. (Where is a TSA screener when you need one?)
Folks silence is not testifying. Can you imagine counting on a witness to defend you in court and he refuses to speak, allowing his “silent witness” to convince the jury? In fact, the US Constitution has given all of us the “right to remain silent,” ensuring that we do not have to be a “witness against yourself.” Witnesses speak. They testify of what they have seen, or experienced, or know. It is the veracity of the witness that determines the strength of the case.
In the courtroom of the culture we are His witnesses. We are the ones He is depending on to bear witness for Him in this lost and dying culture. In fact, the marching orders He gave to His disciples before his departure were clear and active. Go ye…and teach.
Everywhere I go lies rule the day. Everyone wants to complain about the condition of America and all of the evil that is running unopposed. Evil is not supposed to rule the day. Jesus told us to “overcome evil with good.”
How do we do that? By testifying to the Truth. By opening our mouths and speaking what God says about a particular situation. We’re salt…we should flavor everything we come into contact with. We are light…darkness flees at the introduction of light. Darkness is defined as the absence of light. Even “this little light of mine” will push back darkness.
Jesus is not a lighting bug…He is a floodlight. Our job is to reflect Him, His light, into the darkness. Silence is swallowed by darkness. Only speaking Truth brings the light. He identified himself as “the Light of the World.” He later told us that we were the same?
We are His witnesses. Silence is cowardly.
“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.”
Our leadership is cowardly. They hide behind their elder board, their 501c3 exemption, or the skirt of their wife. We need bold, strong, unapologetic, defenders of the Faith. Most Pastors do not qualify for the position. They claim to be called by the Lord but they act like they were called by their Momma.
America is descending into darkness not because the darkness is so overwhelming but because the light is so dim. The silence is deafening as our Savior is being deserted.
What is the fruit of the pulpit’s silent witness; the unrelenting slaughter of the unborn, the desecration of the institution of Holy matrimony, the corruption of our children in a Godless government educational system, and a tyrannical government that has evicted God as the Sovereign over all the earth. A silent witness is no witness at all.
“Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”
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“To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards out of men.” -Abe Lincoln
Now is not the time to be silent, now is the time to speak. Now is not the time to stand still, now is the time to stand strong. Silence is yellow.
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