By Dr. Mark H. Creech
I think it was Milton Berle who told the story about a priest that played golf one day with several laymen. On the eighteenth hole, the priest was just two feet from the cup. A tap with his putter would make him the winner for the day. He stepped to the ball, studied it, and easily patted it toward the hole. The ball ringed round and round the rim of the cup, only to jump out. The priest stared for a full minute, his face red and lips ready to form some four-letter words. One of the laymen was overheard saying, “That was the dirtiest silence I’ve ever heard.”
In his commentary, “Exploring Genesis,” John Phillips writes:
“Have you noticed the difference between the villains in the parables of Jesus and the villains in all other literature? In the typical novel the villain is the man who does not do what he ought to do. He murders someone, he robs a bank, he lies or cheats or steals; but in the parables of Jesus the villain is the man who simply leaves undone the thing that he ought to have done. It is the priest, the Levite passing by on the other side, leaving the robbed and beaten traveler to his fate; it is the rich man allowing Lazarus to die at his gate, full of sores; it is the servant hiding his talent in a napkin. Those are the villains about whom Jesus told.”
When I consider the ways our nation is going to hell in a hand basket and the way the liberals, the atheists, the secularist, the humanist are driving us at break-neck speeds toward the precipice; it is not even they that cause me so much consternation. I suggest their villainy is not nearly as treacherous as that of our nation’s pastors who have remained cravenly silent during this nation’s greatest moral free-fall.
Their silence is truly a dirty silence – worse than profanity – worse than blasphemy – worse than the most grievous forms of unacceptable speech.
I think when God’s judgment is rendered on the last day, it will be those of us who were silent in the face of evil, those of us who passed by on the other side, those of us who did nothing when there was a great need, those of us who hid our talent when we could have made a difference. These, I believe, God will deem to be the real villains of our time.
We dare not be counted among them.