educate equip enable
It's the middle of the third century. Cyprian of Carthage stood boldly in the market place calling out to everyone (paraphrased), "I am a Christian! No need to torture me. I confess it. Your gods? I destroy them. Not in secret, but openly, publicly, in the market-places where your rulers can hear. If your gods are really gods and have divine power, let them take vengeance on me. But that won't happen. Instead, when your gods hear us speak, they howl and groan as we cast them out by the power of God."
In India, early Salvationists were told they were not allowed to conduct open-air meetings or street processions, even though they were completely legal. Major Frederick Tucker was determined they would exercise their rights and he and his party of Salvationists marched down the streets of Bombay, singing and playing enthusiastically, they were met by a phalanx of police. Deputy Commissioner John Godfrey Smith dismounted and called, "In the name of Her Majesty, Queen of England and Queen Empress of India, I order you to disperse." Tucker was undeterred, stepped forwards with his hand raised for silence, and commanded, "In the name of His Majesty, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, I command you to stand aside." They were promptly arrested and cautioned. They eventually won the day, but not before imprisonment, threats and confiscation of their goods.
A lion is bold. But he's smart too; he's wise. When the lion and his pride are camped out next to an important water-hole, and a herd of elephants come to get a drink, he looks the other way. He doesn't go picking fights with elephants.
When my daughter was around 13 years old, she was talking to some of her friends and referred to her mother as "Mummy". One of the young guys in his twenties said incredulously, "Mummy?" She looked up at him and said, "Yeah, you got a problem with that?" He immediately backed down mumbling, "Er, no."
I have a question for you that's very profound: Are you a lion or a snail's eyeball? Let me explain. When you're a kid, you can't help yourself. You pick up a snail, and notice some things. Snails are slimy, they have a shell, and they have those pokey-out things that all you want to do is touch them to see what happens. Those pokey-out things are the snail's eyes. What happens when you touch a snail's eye? It shrivels. But what happens when you confront a lion? A lion isn't like that - a lion is bold. The Bible says that "the righteous are as bold as a lion." (Prov 28:1) So let me ask you that question again: Are you a lion or a snail's eyeball?
Think about what happened with the disciples. They were a bunch of chicken-hearts. They all deserted Jesus in His hour of need. Then they got filled with the Holy Spirit and suddenly they're as bold as.
Picture this: Philistine army on one side, Israel's army on the other side. King Saul has heard about David's bravery with the lion and the bear. So he calls for him. "Son, we've got ourselves a situation. We need a champion to fight for us. And I think you're the man." He takes David to a spot overlooking the valley. "See our problem?" he asks. And down in the valley is a 6-year-old girl challenging the army of Israel. Do you need boldness to fight a 6-year-old girl? Of course not! You only need boldness when there's a real risk.
When the church ceases to defend something, the community begins to believe that it can't be defended. C. S. Lewis
A great deal more failure is the result of an excess of caution than of bold experimentation with new ideas. The frontiers of the Kingdom of God were never advanced by men and women of caution. J. Oswald Sanders