A dear friend of ours, Ted Burham, speaks before the leadership of Dearborn, MI in this reasoned presentation. I do not know many who speak with candor and without hedging before authorities as Ted does. I too have experienced what is evident in Ted’s presentation; that the Holy Spirit gives words at the appointed time, just as Jesus promised in Mark 13:11.
You may be uncomfortable, as I am, by Ted’s boldness. I hope you will join me in a little courage, however, to consider whether Ted may in fact be acting in loving obedience.
First, let’s consider that Jesus himself promised in the paragraph before (specifically, Mark 14:9) that his apostles would stand before authorities for His sake. Let’s not think it too unusual if we observe this happen in our time.
Second, let’s double-check one of these very events in the life of Paul. The entirety of Acts 24 is devoted to an occurrence of Paul standing before an authority on the accusation of inciting riots. Paul addresses his behavior, but he does not avoid speaking openly also about the underlying reason for his arrest; the reports of his conviction in Jesus' resurrection from the dead (and by definition his allegiance to Jesus as the Messiah). It seems that Paul felt it appropriate to slip in more than was purely necessary for his defense, don’t you think?
Fear not, if you take pains a careful analysis will give you opportunity to discredit Ted. But I wonder, if we could let Ted’s actions stand for themselves and quiet the shame in our own hearts for a moment, might we be grateful for Ted’s witness that the Master of the Universe, Jesus of Nazareth, is in fact the Lord even over those who do not recognize His kingship? Might we put ourselves aside for a moment to ask that the Lord deliver Ted’s family from the hands of angry men, thank Him for giving to Ted both courage and humility at the appointed hour, and request with faith the same impartation for our appointed times of testimony?
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- By: Alex Bilson