To be sure, humility is a requirement of the people of God: “God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:5,6). We are warned of the consequences of pride: “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). If we as the people of God, who of all people have the least justification for pride (Eph. 2:8,9), nonetheless entertain it in our lives, we stand under divine sanctions.
“Humility” in the face of evil is not evidence of virtue, but proof of compromise of God’s honor. Proverbs 25:26 says, “A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring.” Humility before God and neighbor requires fierce resistance to the wicked and their tyranny. We cannot exercise humility before God if we refuse to guard His honor.
Would we depict Elijah’s taunting of the prophets of Baal; John the Baptist’s confrontation of Herod; and Paul’s denunciation of the Judaizers – as humble? We should. Like Moses, the meekest man in the earth (Num. 12:3), courageous individuals in Scripture were so concerned to protect the honor of God that their humility toward Him required their vocal confrontation of evil and evildoers. They were so vocal and confrontational precisely because they were truly humble.
The revival of social and political activism among Christians over the last two decades was basically an ad hoc endeavor. We perceived the pervasiveness of unrighteousness and loss of liberty in the United States and, acting instinctively and intuitively, we devoted our time energy to combating these evils. When some Christians discovered that the election of Reagan and Bush to the presidency did not significantly reverse the social depravity; that the war they waged was extensive and laborious; and especially when they saw a defeat with the election of Clinton, they threw in the towel.
They wish to be “humble” before the godless and are uncomfortable around those who wish to be haughty before the godless in order to be humble before God. We wish that they would make up their minds! Either retreat into the haven of “humility” or champion the cause by which we can sustain a long-term and successful activism against Satan’s kingdom!
Andrew Sandlin is the editor of Chalcedon Report. For a sample copy, write: Chalcedon Report, P.O. Box 158, Vallecito, CA 95251