“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”
“An Uncertain Sound”
(Please read 1 Corinthians 14:8)
Veterans and current members of the U.S. Army will never forget the bugle calls and the different tunes announcing such things as reveille, mess call and taps.
In our text, Paul used the military function of trumpets to illustrate an important point regarding the use of unintelligible “tongues” (foreign languages) to teach people about Christ. If the message is not clear, its hearers are like soldiers hearing a garbled bugle call and not knowing whether it means charge or retreat.
Unfortunately, we Christians can still bewilder those who watch and hear us. We can work so hard to make friends with people outside the church that we dilute the glorious gospel of the Lord. If we do that, we’re hurting, not helping His cause.
This point came up a few years ago on a national “talk radio” show when a caller criticized churches for pushing legislation to curtail certain lifestyles she favored. She complained bitterly about Christians “meddling” in such matters, and wondered why churches couldn’t wake up and join the current century.
The host replied that any church should be expected to stand up consistently for what it believed. That was the business of churches, he said. He asked rhetorically what good a church would be if it changed its doctrine to correspond to current public opinion.
He was right. Ambivalence does not inspire confidence. Uncertainty does not convince people. Our message needs to be strong and true, not only in what we say but in how we live. May the Lord bless us all in presenting a consistent and true message of hope in Christ.