Isaiah 56:10 For the leaders of my people - the LORD’s watchmen, his shepherds— are blind and ignorant. They are like silent watchdogs that give no warning when danger comes. They love to lie around, sleeping and dreaming.
We all know that history repeats itself, and so do the conditions the scriptures address. Isaiah is addressing the leadership of Israel. He likens them to watchdogs who normally alert their owners of the dangers of an intruder. The dogs are the first warning signals that there is something wrong. At the time, leaders in Israel were silent and not fulfilling the role of warning people of their sinfulness.
For me, this is one of those repeated events that scripture points to that could be ignited once again in our day. Are the leaders silent on issues that need a warning, that need a prophetic insight from God’s word?
Silent dogs are worthless and have little value to the safety of their owners. A sleeping dog whose interests do not go beyond lying around, sleeping, and dreaming is not much good for security. The same is true with leaders.
Leadership in our day must stay informed of the condition of human life being lived out in culture as well as the struggles of the faithful. A leader’s silence on the issues of human depravity is sinful and abandons the call on that leader’s life to be a barking dog.
I have known pastors who have refused to address issues because of the divisive nature of the issue. Leadership is not formed by the easy road of compliance or silence. Leadership is tested and developed by the struggle to inform, warn, and tell the truth on issues that do divide. Silence on government-sanctioned immorality is a dereliction of duty for the person called by God to expose evil, uplift Godliness, and call for repentance.
In our state of Minnesota, our new legislative session is a one-party legislature. This party has sworn to write into law the protection of abortion rights, legalize recreational marijuana, criminalize counseling that tries to change the direction of a child who thinks they are gay, and lastly, stabilize the rights of the transgender community. If just these four get legislative approval and become law, it brings to mind a lot of questions: What part of these laws represent healthy community life? Will abortion bring peace to the soul, will this act make them right before God, and will there ever be a regret? Will recreational marijuana be safe for our highways, and given that alcohol has proven to be a lethal substance to impair driving, are we adding another component to thicken the plot of inebriation? Counseling is about sorting out the confusion and weighing out the options, but now it will be against the law to present a different solution to the confused and vulnerable. What about the confusion of the transgender crowd? What is healthy about making people more confused by telling them they can assign any gender they want regardless of what gender they were at birth? The insanity, yes, the insanity that men can give birth promoted by this confused group of people should be biologically challenged. Where are our science advocates, our ‘trust the science’ crowd? Why isn't the science community pushing back against this nonsense? Where are the barking dogs in science? Where are the psychological leaders and why are they not barking at this insanity? Is the church the only place where we have barking dogs on these issues that endanger our children and society at large? And even the number of churches that are willing to address these issues is getting fewer and fewer.
Seriously … we need more barking dogs from our politicians, scientists, theologians, sociologists, counselors, entertainers, athletes, and corporate financial leaders. We need to start barking from all walks of life to keep the demons of silence from talking over the freedom of speech and freeing all those who have been held captive by unhealthy and unproductive ideas that are being made into law.
If the only place we have barking dogs is the church, so be it. We need to bark away because silence is the alternative. The enemy of our soul, Satan, is the great silencer. He does not want anything he is doing to be brought into the light. His solution? Silence. He does not like barking dogs … they are the greatest threat to him.
Isaiah's warning is so appropriate for our day. Leaders are being courted to tone it down, become less agitated over cultural sins, get along, and be tolerant of everyone because that's what love does. Just to be clear, love needs truth to define the boundaries in which love operates. You cannot love evil, you cannot love lies, you cannot love deception and you cannot love hate.
So, love has boundaries that are defined by God's truth. Love and truth are married, and there is no separating them.
Give this blog more thought. Talk about it with your small groups, raise the issues we need to bark about, and by all means, keep away from being silent.
Challenging the Culture with Truth … Larry Kutzler