Ron Helle / August 5, 2022

Not Ashamed!

“I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.”

I could feel the blood rush to my face. We have a term for this in the Marine Corps: “Good initiative, bad judgement!” In this case it wasn’t even good initiative. I’m sitting on the end seat of a four-hole outhouse (we had a more endearing term that I won’t use), in the dark, in our artillery battery position along the Marine Expeditionary Airstrip at Chu Lai, Vietnam. I was bemoaning the fact that I had been brought back from serving with a Vietnamese Ranger unit as part of a Forward Observer team. I didn’t have the designation — I was learning it OJT (On the Job Training), as my predecessor had been killed in action. I obviously was not speaking favorably of my commanding officer to the shadowy outline on the other end of the bench. As he finished his business and started out the door, he told me to “come see him” in the morning. With that, my commanding officer exited the outhouse. Embarrassed and ashamed, I reported the next morning to receive my “additional duty” assignment for the next two weeks — burning the barrels from the outhouse! That was a lesson learned the hard way.

Fast-forward 56 years. I’m a Christian living in Houston, Texas, and I am no longer embarrassed or ashamed! I say, along with the Apostle Paul, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16, ESV). Frankly, it’s relatively easy to hold that position in Texas. Unlike many states that shut down churches during the pandemic as “non-essential,” Texas did not pursue that course of action; however, we began to see what our increasingly secular society would do to Christians if they had the authority to do as they please. We read the headlines of bakers, florists, and, yes, even a football coach who experienced persecution for taking their faith into the public square. Those cases that make it to the Supreme Court have all been overturned, but it’s evident that the animus is there. Should the balance of the Court ever shift to the left, I’m not sure these success stories will continue.

The Apostle Paul, who made this brazen statement about not being ashamed of the Gospel, held that conviction through beatings, imprisonment, stoning, and ultimately beheading. Do you think that was then, but things are different now? If so, then you’re not paying attention, my friend. My story about burning the outhouse barrels reminds me of another “fire” story, this one in the Book of Daniel. Daniel’s three friends were called before King Nebuchadnezzar and told to bow before his idol. Failure to do so would result in their being thrown into a “fiery furnace.” I love their response: “If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up” (Daniel 3:17-18). Even if God did not deliver them, they were not going to bow down! That’s faith! If you know the story, God did deliver them in a miraculous fashion. He gave these guys some impressive “street cred” when they walked out of that furnace!

Where does this faith come from? It comes through the intimate fellowship that we have with our Father in Heaven. There are no shortcuts or self-help books for this. Hebrews 11 is the biblical “Hall of Fame,” replete with stories of faith lived out. Not all were delivered, but all had a testimony. The early church grew and was strongest through persecution. At least in this country, the Church today is pathetically weak in comparison to the first- through third-century believers. The Church is growing more in foreign countries where persecution is fierce than here in North America. The evidence that we’re moving in that direction is all around us. How will you prepare? In Daniel’s final vision, the angel Gabriel said to him, “The people who know their God shall stand firm and take action” (Daniel 11:32), followed shortly by this comment: “And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever” (12:3). All wisdom comes from God, and He gives it to all who ask in faith (James 1:5-8).

I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ! What say ye, Man of Valor?

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

★ PUBLIUS ★

“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2022 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.