“Every prudent man acts with knowledge, but a fool lays open his folly.”
I once read a bit of homespun wisdom that I have taken to heart when speaking about my faith. This homely bon mot goes like this, “If you throw a rock into a pack of dogs, the one which yelps the loudest is the one you hit”. No one makes more noise than the person working desperately to deny that which they know to be true.
Jesus pronounced as blessed the faith which produces attacks of unfounded reviling. “Rejoice and be exceeding glad,” was His advice when such attacks occur. And why not? It’s just the yelping of wounded dogs that can’t help their instinctive reaction.
I think Christians should live right out in the open without apology for what we believe. Compromise is not Jesus’ way. Read the gospels and see if it is not so. In the same vein, neither do I believe that we should try to persuade or pressure people. We are to be lights in the dark. A lamp offers light while chasing no one.
That said, a lighted lamp must look different from the darkness that surrounds it. I don’t know if there ever was a day where, despite the call for inclusion and diversity, that looking and believing differently was so maligned. The church has gotten the message and labors to conform to the expectations of the society that surrounds it.
This ought not to be. That’s not just my opinion. The scripture clearly states we are not to be conformed to this world, but be transformed by a renewing of our minds. This applies to us as individuals as well as in groups. The scripture also says that not all men have this knowledge. That is simply a statement of fact. It neither recommends nor condemns. That is for individual souls to work out to their own blessing or cursing as free will dictates.
Do not mistake what I am saying here. There is a way that seems right though the ends thereof are death. The prudent person knows this and applies themselves to investigation. The fool assumes he must be correct in “his” truth and plunges ahead to whatsoever he conjures in his heart.
The saint and the sinner are both driven by desire. The object of that desire determines the quality of their life over (and beyond) time. Those who deem themselves worthy of world celebration unashamedly lay open their folly seeking approval. The prudent have found their place in the Creation and have no need of acclamation or earthly approval.