Have you ever been in a conversation that seems to be going really good and then someone just throws a conversation bomb in the middle? Everyone just stops and looks at each other awkwardly for the rest of the time until someone turns around and runs away crying?
Well, maybe not that last part, but you know what I am talking about. You are having a serious conversation and someone expresses a thought that no one has a reply to, so it just kills the conversation.
This kind of situation happens often when talking about missions in closed countries. When talking about being a bold witness for Jesus Christ people will often use the words of Jesus to express how we don’t need to be bold.
What is this conversation bomb you ask?
“Remember, we should be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” BOOM! The bomb has exploded and all further conversation about advancing the gospel in a closed country context has just retreated back to the 80’s.
It is the secret phrase that kills the passion of anyone wanting to do something radical with the gospel. And it is scripture! Anyone with a lack of boldness in their ministry approach is clearly justified by this verse…
..or they misuse and mistranslated the verse to justify their own insecurities.
This phrase is used in scripture by Jesus, so if Jesus said it, then we know it is important. We need to figure out what it really means.
This phrase is instructive to the disciples on how to act as they go on their missions. It isn’t a “cease-fire” upon being persecuted or even the “chance” of being persecution. Ceasing to preach or speak in the face of persecution was never intended.
In this series of post, I am going to attempt to figure out what this phrase means.