Most of the people in the Church are busy trying to live a good life. They go to work, try to raise good kids, save for retirement, and live an honorable life. The uncomfortable truth is that all the things I just mentioned can be accomplished without the presence of Jesus Christ. While those are good commitments to have, for believer and non-believer alike, it does have a negative aspect.
We can become so focused on making a good life our primary goal that we forget, as followers of Christ, we have been called to something more – to confront and defeat the influence of evil in our society. This is only possible if we are willing to look beyond ourselves and our personal goals to see a larger spiritual conflict. The Lord wants to expand our field of vision to see that people are suffering because of evil agendas that work out of sight under the cover of darkness. When our sight expands to see such things, the spirits behind those evil efforts will empower dissenters, even some within our ranks, to shame and marginalize the voices of those who remind us of what is taking place outside our narrow field of view.
The Lord has called some within the Church to function as what I would call outliers to the norm. These are the John the Baptist or Elijah types who speak uncomfortable truth. Their words can shake a slumbering Church awake who have lived like frogs in a kettle under the influence of “the good life” as the single goal of their faith. These good people fail to see that other influences are at work – evil influences that have a goal to boil our faith to death while we remain passive and stationary putting our well-being and social acceptance above all things, even an intervention with the surrounding evil. This can make some believers uncomfortable to the point that the integrity of the outliers, and even their faith, comes into question.
These outliers shine light beyond the border of the status quo reminding us that we are surrounded by nefarious influences so well-masked they go unnoticed until exposed by the Spirit. To be reminded of these encircling evil influences is unsettling to some who would rather not believe such things exist. That is why some followers of Christ might unwittingly join with the voices of darkness who want us to stay in the pot of deception just a bit longer. This is accomplished by defining the message of the outliers as the stuff of an over-active imagination filled with conspiratorial thinking.
Demeaning the prophetic message of the outliers is rising in popularity today, sadly, even from some pulpits. The outliers are like flashlights shining light into the dark corners of our assumptions to reveal what is behind what we assumed to be the truth but was later revealed to be a well-crafted lie. The light of truth is exposing all things, even what we thought was good and right, but in the end, it caused us to become tools in the hand of the enemy affirming his propaganda and rejecting the message of His prophets as innocent people continue to suffer.
“The light makes everything visible. This is why it is said, ‘Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light” (Ephesians 5:14).