Earlier today, I received an email at our AskDrBrown Facebook page from a man we'll call Sandy, and I replied immediately to him. Here's the exchange, which I believe will speak to many of you:
Hello Dr. Brown,
As I write this, it is past one in the morning and I cannot sleep because of such a deep burden from the Lord. I feel profoundly called to speak out publicly (on Facebook, etc.) on the issue of gay activism, and feel equipped by the Lord to do so powerfully, compassionately, and effectively, but (I'm ashamed to admit) am fearful that, as a public school teacher and public figure in my community, such boldness would cost me my job and possibly career in education, and possibly compromise my ability to financially provide for my family (I have a wife and three very young children).
I understand that in light of God's providence and protection, my fear is irrational and that I must trust Him for provision and do His work regardless. I still, however, am questioning the wisdom of putting myself and my family at such risk, considering my role as a public school teacher. I have contemplated speaking out in an anonymous blog so as to publish my concerns about gay activism without public repercussion. Even this, I am ashamed to admit as someone who passionately loves Jesus and have been following Him for 17 years.
So to summarize, I think I know the right answer, but I'm humbly requesting of you, my brother in Christ, some encouragement that will help me as I step past my fears and empower me to boldly endure even devastating persecution for the name of Jesus. I suspect that you once wrestled with similar issues before you decided to reach out with compassion and resist with courage. I feel as though once I speak out, my life will never be the same, and there will be no going back. Thank you for listening, and please pray for me as I wrestle through this enormous step.
Your brother in Christ,
Bless you, Sandy, and I am absolutely standing with you.
First, you have no choice in the matter: You either step out and obey or live your life in shame and retreat. You have too much of Jesus inside of you to do that!
Second, I believe you should operate with real wisdom, as if every comment you make will be read around the world -- in other words, careful and compassionate and clear in your communication -- and then be ready to be used as a test case by the Lord in the event that your school district comes against you. They would have no legal right to do so, and there are Christian attorneys who will stand with you in a heartbeat. Are you willing to take that stand?
Third, remember that one day you will meet common men, women, and children who were tortured and martyred rather than deny Jesus. What will you say to them?
Fourth, listen to this radio program with your wife: "Washing the Feet of a Martyr's Widow" -- then write back to me.
Forward in Jesus' name!