Mark this date on your calendar: April 14. Circle it and highlight it, not just this year, but every year. I’ll explain why in a moment, but let me say this first: Together, we can make history. Together, we can send a message. Together, we can help turn the tide. Together, we can overcome cancel culture and push back against the silencing of the lambs. Together, we can – and will – be heard.
But what’s so special about April 14? Right now, there’s nothing of particular significance about that day in America, other than the fact that it’s one day before Tax Day. Or that it’s National Dolphin Day, National Ex-Spouse Day, National Gardening Day, and National Pecan Day. Who knew?
From here on, though, we are proclaiming April 14 to be National Not Ashamed of Jesus Day. On that day, we’re encouraging every one of us to make a public statement of our faith in whatever way we can.
You can wear a gospel-themed t-shirt to school or bring a Bible to work and put it on your desk. You can share the good news with someone new or make a clear proclamation of your faith on social media. Whatever is permitted and whatever is good and right, this will be the day to send a simple message: we are followers of Jesus, and we are not ashamed.
On that day, every single one of us, in whatever way we can, will let the world know that Jesus is our Lord and our Master and our Savior and our Deliverer and our King, and we are not ashamed to be identified with Him. Let the whole world know that we are His!
You might say, “But shouldn’t we do that every day? Shouldn’t we look for opportunities to lift up the Lord every day of the week? Shouldn’t we always be known as believers?”
Absolutely, we should, as the Lord leads and as the doors are open. Being witnesses is our 24/7 calling 365 days a year.
But here’s the thing. Many of us have floated under the radar for years. Our colleagues at work don’t know we are believers. Our friends don’t know about our faith, at least, the depth of our faith. Our neighbors are unaware that we are believers. We may be sincere, but we are stealth.
In some cases, it’s because we have been ashamed of our faith, not wanting to suffer rejection or mockery or reproach. In other cases, it’s because we haven’t found the right setting to share our testimony, or we haven’t been forced to stand for our convictions. And so, despite the large number of real Jesus-followers in America – we could be as many as 90 or 100 million – it feels as if we are an insignificant minority. We almost feel sorry for ourselves.
The fact is that we are not some tiny, hidden group forced to cower the corner in fear for our lives. We are represented in every area of society, from the government to the courts and from the media to the schools. We give tens of billions of dollars every year to Christian and humanitarian causes, we broadcast around the clock on every conceivable media outlet, and our messages flood the internet.
How wrong of us to have a “Woe is me” mentality. How wrong of us to throw a pity party. How wrong to feel that the odds are stacked against us.
The reality is that if God is for us, no one and nothing can be against us. And even if the world literally kills us (as has happened through Church history, to this day), even death does not scare us. We overcome in Him!
Now is our time to arise and shine. Now is the time to come out of our hiding.
And so, on April 14, we will proclaim, “We’re here. We’re not ashamed. We love Jesus. And we love you.”
But why April 14? It’s because of Esther 4:14, which quotes the famous words of Mordechai to Queen Esther when their Jewish people were facing mass attack and even annihilation at the provocation of Haman. Mordechai said to her, “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
If we are alive today, we are alive by God’s will, and that means that He put us here in this generation at this very hour, for such a time as this. We are the lambs who will not remain silent, the believers who will not be cancelled, the followers of Jesus who will not be muzzled.
Now is the time for us to join together and stand and speak and act. Cancel culture will be overcome by the cross. Our Savior died, and we died with Him. But Jesus also rose from the dead, conquering sin and death. We rose with Him too, and now we live by Him.
For many years now, we have watched LGBTQ activists overcome the stigma associated with identifying as gay or lesbian or bisexual or transgender or queer by being out and proud, also launching the Day of Silence in public schools and National Coming Out Day. This, in turn, has emboldened countless thousands of others to come out of the closet, to overcome their sense of rejection, to face their pain, and to be and out and proud themselves.
But that was only the beginning. Today, things have shifted to the point that many of those who fought shame and stigma in the past are seeking to shame and stigmatize those who oppose their ideology. Those who came out of the closet want to put us in the closet.
But as I’ve said before, we are not about to go into the closet. No way, no how. And there is no way under heaven that we will allow gays and lesbians and drag queens and trans activists to march proudly down our streets while we are too ashamed to be who we are. Not a chance!
And so, while we pray for those who identify as LGBTQ, while we reach out to those on the radical left, while we bless those who curse us, we also stand up in the power of the Spirit and proclaim to the world WE ARE NOT ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL. WE ARE NOT ASHAMED OF JESUS. WE ARE NOT ASHAMED OF GOD’S WORD. AND WE WILL NOT BE SILENCED.
So let’s make a statement on April 14, and let’s live by that statement every day of the year. And let’s refuse to be silenced or cancelled.
You’ll find lots of practical ideas, along with a special information for leaders, at NotAshamedofJesus.org.
If this resonates with you, please share the website widely on social media, since this is a grass roots movement, without major funding or a big PR campaign. And then, on April 14, share your experience on your social media platforms so others can be encouraged too, using the hashtag #Jesus414.
Let’s lift His name high!
Dr. Michael Brown
To read more articles by Dr. Michael Brown click here.