The Path of Acquiescence

20180820_194847I am very concerned about where we might find ourselves someday if we drift down the path of acquiescence.  Acquiescence is a term commonly used in legal circles. In layman’s terms, it’s permission given by silence or passiveness, or, acceptance or agreement by keeping quiet or by not making objections.  For example, if my neighbor builds a fence on my property and subsequently uses, keeps, and maintains that ground for an extended period of time, without any objection on my part, under certain conditions, an unofficial, unwritten change in ownership occurs.  The official change in ownership can be made by a judge’s ruling in a court of law.  This is not uncommon in the realm of real estate law.

If I don’t speak out against my neighbor’s encroachment, in the process of time, I may lose my land!  Perhaps I’m afraid to confront my neighbor, so I procrastinate taking a stand for what is rightfully mine?  By doing so, with each day passing day of silence, I increasingly lose my claim to my own land.  After a while, my neighbor might begin to interpret my silence as evidence that I’ve gifted the land to him!   In the end, my passiveness results in a major misunderstanding between me and my neighbor.  The longer this misunderstanding continues, the harder it will be to someday resolve it.

I’ve heard it said, “What one generation fails to speak out against, the next generation tolerates.  What one generation tolerates, the next generation makes their practice.”  This is the progression of digression.  When we refuse to take a stand on doctrinal issues because we don’t want to “speak against” or “condemn” the faith or practices of our neighbors, friends, or family members, we’ve taken the first dangerous step down the path of acquiescence.  Given enough time, our silence on doctrinal issues will be interpreted by our children as tolerance- a lack of conviction.  Our silence gives our children the impression that doctrinal issues really don’t matter.  Given enough time, what will keep our grandchildren from practicing the very things that we once believed were wrong, but we refused to speak out against?  Without proper teaching, the third digressive generation will allow personal feelings and preferences to fill the space where Bible-based conviction ought to reside.  Thus, the path of acquiescence ultimately leads to error.

This should prompt us all to think about the following questions. Are we pointing our children and grandchildren down this pathway?  Are we setting them up for failure?  If we have conviction, true conviction, why be ashamed to voice it and share it with others?

If you love your brother, you’ll attempt to lovingly correct him when he errs from the truth.  Whoever came up with the idea that if you really love your brother, you’ll not dare question his faith or practice; you’ll just sit back and let him perish in error?

Written by: James Luedecke, Siloam Springs, AR


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