One of the consequences of putting one’s head above the parapet is one then becomes a target to be shot at. This prospect causes many to refrain from doing so for unpopular causes. Instead they might opt to go with the flow or not say or do anything that matters. Sadly, this may then accelerate the trend to societal brainwashing and a dumbing down of humanity, evidence of which we are now seeing.
One reason why the advice above from the good book is so apt, and specifically to do with a time to keep silence, and a time to speak, concerning which I am reminded I have too often spoken or acted when it might have been safer and wiser to not speak or act, and instead confine one’s activity to thinking and waiting for the right moment to speak or act, is that untimely saying or acting can have an untoward affect. While over the years I might have partly wised up on these matters and reigned in my natural impetuous instincts, I have not fully arrived and keep finding out that an untimely word can result in collateral damage. Also, being retired and having less to lose than my younger friends, I am more inclined to speak. But when I speak and act (or not) timing is all important and it needs to be the right words and actions. The converse is true if we do not speak or act. One example I often give concerns the rise of Nazism in 1930’s. A few saw the danger and chose to speak out, often paying a high price. Many saw no danger and a few who saw the danger chose to remain silent. One can imagine what might have happened if more people spoke and acted aright! We can criticize but there are many dangerous things happening today that reap havoc when unchecked. Most choose the path of least resistance, accept the status quo, doing little to ensure right prevails.
In the last few days, there has been significant debate about the whys and wherefores of speaking out against not taking sufficient action to prevent climate change through civil disobedience. I have gone on record to say while I accept looking after the environment is important I am less convinced about the catastrophic consequences awaiting us in the next few years if climate change is not “adequately” tackled and am concerned that the protests are playing into an insidious globalist agenda to enslave humanity. If I were to pick an issue that I would protest over it is the one of abortion. One of my big beefs is the culture war that I perceive is raging around me, and which has huge consequences for our society such as imposing political correctness and curtailing freedom of conscience, and as it is presently favouring the forces of darkness than of the light, it is something also high on my list of priorities.
It would be easy to go through issues that might be spoken on and rate these according to importance etc. I suspect while some of my liberal, leftie detractors will disagree with me on a lot, I would like to think we can find common ground on issues like social injustice. Two “hot potato” issues of recent years that have ruffled proverbial feathers and caused division, which significantly, sadly includes my own constituency – evangelical leaning Christians, are Brexit and Donald Trump. I get it when some take me to task for expressing my views (leave the EU with no deal and Trump is on balance good for the world) as this can and does lead to misunderstanding, distraction and a failure to deal with what matters most. I feel compelled to speak because it is all part of the danger I feel we are facing and the least I can do is wake people up. But I agree it isn’t good when it causes people to fall out or we miss doing what is best.
The commands of Jesus such as this are most important and if are about prioritizing our speech and actions these must come at the top of our list. Which brings me back to Ecclesiastes and …