It might surprise you to fine a Reformed Evangelical praising the actions of a Roman Catholic. Especially in the year that we are remembering Martin Luther's historic action of nailing his 95 Theses on the door of the church in Wittenberg in 1517! But Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Conservative MP, stuck to the courage of his convictions in an admirable way on ITV's Good Morning Britain today (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-41172426).
There are obviously a large number of things that I (and the Bible) would disagree with Mr Rees-Mogg about, such as the place of the sacrements, the nature of the priesthood, the role of the church (even what is the Church!) and most importantly, the nature of salvation. But I'm not primarily congratulating Jacob Rees-Mogg on what he believes. Even though his views on same-sex marriage and abortion are my views and I believe the Bible's views.
What I'm congratulating him on is the courage to state them unashamedly on national television, whatever the effect that has on his political career. He is someone who has been touted as a potential future leader of the Conservative party and, therefore, future Prime Minister. He must have known that saying that he neither thinks same sex-marriage is right, nor abortion is morally defensible in any circumstance, would kill off any chance of holding either of those offices. But because that it what he firmly believes, he said it. With gentleness and grace. But he still said it.
More than that he was willing to challenge the curtailing of free speech in the UK. He is quoted as saying,
"It's all very well to say we live in a multicultural country... until you're a Christian, until you hold the traditional views of the Catholic Church, and that seems to me fundamentally wrong... People are entitled to hold these views."
And fair cop to the BBC, they managed to report all this on their website without ridiculing him or suggesting he should be struck from the face of the planet.
As Christians we need to have the courage to say what we believe. When asked a straight question we must give a straight and gracious answer. The apostle Peter puts it like this:
But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. (1 Peter 3:14-16)
He expects the Christians he's writing to to be afraid. He expects them to be given a hard time for doing what is right. He even expects their gentle, respectful answers to people's questions to be met with maliciously replies. But he still says that they should speak. Because in the end Christ is Lord of our hearts and Christ is Lord of his world. And it is his honour that we should be most concerned with.
And unless we speak how will others be saved?