So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. 2 Thessalonians 2:15 (NIV).
Why should we hold onto teachings of a bunch of old, dead, white guys?
That’s a refrain you hear a lot in our popular culture these days. Mostly it concerns the US Constitution, written over 200 years ago by (now) old, dead, white guys; as if being old or Caucasian alone would either qualify or disqualify someone as reputable. It’s a stupid argument, really, that we should ignore something because the authors aren’t alive anymore or because they were of a certain race. It’s foolish.
Yet that same argument is used to justify ignoring the teachings of the Bible. After all, they’re much older than the Constitution. And the men who wrote them were men (sexism!) and if not white they were at least Mediterranean and Semitic in nature (racists!). The purveyors of foolishness would have people believe that being male, white, Semitic, or aged should disqualify things they say. Perhaps that would qualify much of Hollywood and the leaders of popular culture as well…but I digress.
Instead, here’s a chance to ignore all of what those around us would say and stand up for Jesus. There’s an old hymn that says just that: stand up, stand up for Jesus. Stand up today. Stand up for what you believe instead of being talked down by the vapid arguments of people with other agendas. More importantly than standing up, though, stand firm. Be firm and resolute in saying “I believe.” Every day is a new opportunity to be your own Martin Luther and say “here I stand” by basing your stand in your belief in Christ.
That isn’t easy, especially when the small minds of popular culture have a loud voice. When academia, media, and even corporate culture are standing against you. When it’s easier to give in. When so many evangelicals make standing up for Jesus a difficult, unpopular, and corny thing. Our world is hostile to this faith; 2 Thessalonians spends much of its verbiage talking about how faith will be challenged at the end of all things. Of how the world will do what it’s doing to believers, many of whom overseas are being physically martyred for standing up for Jesus.
Stand firm in knowing that who you’re standing for, what you believe, and the Savior who makes it possible is standing beside you. He is with you in Spirit and inside you. The strength to stand is the strength of God’s Spirit coursing through your veins. You may be basing your faith on the words of old, dead, white guys, yet those words are given from God Almighty Himself: He who has no age, eternal life, no race, and is never foolish.
For further reading: 1 Corinthians 16:13, 2 Thessalonians 2:16.
Lord, I stand for You, for Your love, Your peace, Your strength, Your kingdom.