How do our comments about the election impact missions work? Dr. Danny Akin addressed this question in this excerpt from his sermon at Southeastern Seminary on Matthew 5:13-16.
Here’s a transcript of his comments:
“Listen to me. You can absolutely maintain your commitments and your convictions on one hand and at the same exhibit those commitments and convictions with grace and humility on the other. And when you put grace and humility and conviction and commitment together, people will take notice, and they will be drawn to you. They may be drawn to you, then, with the purpose of repelling you, but they can’t ignore you. They can’t just kick you to the curb and pretend that you’re not there and pretend that there’s not something fundamentally different about your life and your witness.
When you put grace and humility and conviction and commitment together, people will take notice.
“I’ve watched this happen so many times on the mission field. I had two of my sons who, for a time, served overseas. And in both cases, their wives share with me that the way they were treated by their husbands had a gospel impact in their culture because they lived in a culture where women were not valued, where women were demeaned, where women were viewed by men as something they could use.
“Let me tell you something. I’m not surprised when lost people speak in ugly, godless, demeaning terms about women. That does not surprise me. But it embarrasses me to no end when they’re defended by Christians. We compromise our witness — not only here in America.
“Let me just be clear here. You get on the mission field and you understand immediately that the world thinks all Americans are Christians. They think Hillary Clinton is a Christian. They think Donald Trump is a Christian. They see on the one hand someone that does not value innocent life in the womb of its mother, nor does she honor the sanctity of biblical marriage. And then on the other hand, they see a man who talks about women as if they were less than human. And then evangelicals come along and try to defend, or make excuses, or cover over in some way the activity of this one as opposed to the other — and it brings shame to the name of Jesus all around the world.
“Now I’m not surprised, again, when lost people act like lost people. That is to be expected. But when Christians try to justify that, shame on us. Shame on us for not being the salt that God saved us to be in a dark, decaying world. And I’m telling you again: You can hold your convictions and your commitments and at the same exhibiting grace and kindness and love and mercy, all wrapped up together. That’s what Jesus did. Those of us who follow him should walk very carefully in his footsteps.”