I not talking about merely missing an opportunity to acknowledge God, but more specifically repeated refusal to acknowledge God to professing atheists in a public, group conversation setting. Also, perhaps refusing to say," I am a Christian, and that is against my religion to do that." Matthew 10:32-33, Matthew 15:8
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Well first off, silence and denial are different. Jesus was silent before Pilate. I think the answer is going to be unique to each and every situation. There are times in which the Holy Spirit may prompt us to speak up in public, and not doing so would certainly be disobedience, but it's not denial. Then there may be times in which the Holy Spirit prompts our silence or doesn't prompt a need to say something. It's all going to depend on the situation. As Christians, we should never be ashamed of our faith, for the saving power of Christ is really the only thing that truly matters at this point. But being silent because of a lack of faith or of fear is not the same as denying Christ. Now, what Peter did when Jesus was arrested was certainly denying Christ.
Jesus said if anyone is ashamed of Me and my Words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them, when He comes in His Fathers glory with the holy angels. Mark 8:38
Col.4:6- Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one. This "each one" Paul refers to are the outsiders, naysayers if you will who actively opposed the church and their belief in Jesus. I would that it be as simple as that, however, not everyone is able to go toe to toe with the opposition that is out there. My thought is that if you can't season food, maybe you shouldn't try to cook. Silence doesn't always mean shame or denial, it could be the person you might notice steering clear of belief system conversations recognize their own talent levels. You can't lose a game that you don't participate in. Before I became a believer I challenged many who knew what they believed, but couldn't go toe to toe with me and defend it. The ones who didn't weren't denying their faith, they didn't see the point. Matt.5:16- Let your light so shine BEFORE MEN, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Simply put; ACTIONS speak louder than words. That's what I took notice to; there was something different about some of those people, nothing THEY could put into words but I saw it and stopped to take a closer look. Many times it is our glory we seek and not the Father's and we imagine His Word NEEDS defending. Peter wasn't afraid when he denied Jesus, he was ashamed.In the garden he put up a fight because he thought he had a chance to win it. He had the Savior with him. In the "courtroom" he had an accused criminal with him and he was ashamed.
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