“Just Pray & Keep Quiet”

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Many professing Christians have been taught that we shouldn’t talk about certain issues in the church. Particularly issues related to leadership, spiritual abuse, sexual abuse, financial corruption, and other serious spiritual matters.

Some professing Christians have been taught that instead of talking about these issues, we should “just pray and keep quiet.”

We should definitely pray about serious issues in the church. But it is wrong to think that our only response should be to “just pray” and say nothing.

When we look to the example of our Savior Jesus Christ, He didn’t always “just pray and keep quiet.” There were in fact many instances when the Lord spoke openly and publicly about spiritual issues within the nation of Israel and among His disciples.

The prophets and apostles also spoke openly and publicly about spiritual issues within the nation of Israel, within the body of Christ, and in the world at large.

Granted, there may be times when the proper response is to pray and hold our peace. But there will also be times when the proper response is to pray, talk about it, and take other actions. There is a time to keep silent and a time to speak (Ecclesiastes 3:7).

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“Just pray and keep quiet” reminds me of the street slogan “stop snitchin.”

Both phrases enforce a code of silence and suppress the truth.

Both phrases enable damaging and destructive behavior, and perpetuate unhealthy and dangerous environments.

Just like people in the hood think they’re being “true to the streets” by “not snitchin,” many professing Christians think they’re being true to God by “just praying and keeping quiet.”

But there comes a time when silence is betrayal.

Silence is betrayal when people are being deceived, misled, abused, and exploited under the cloak of “Christianity.”

Remaining silent about corruption and claiming that you are “just praying and leaving it up to God” makes you a participant in the act and a guilty party.

By refusing to speak out, lift a finger, and take action — you empower wrong-doing and contribute to the problem through the sin of omission (knowing the right thing to do and not doing it). This makes you partly responsible and God will hold you accountable for doing nothing.

Professing Christians must stop being “librarian Christians” who tell others to “just pray and keep quiet.”  Let’s follow the example of our Savior who prayed and spoke the truth in love.

Cry aloud, spare not; Lift up your voice like a trumpet; Tell My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” (Isaiah 58:1)

“What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops.” (Matthew 10:27)

5 thoughts on ““Just Pray & Keep Quiet”

  1. I attended a church for 20 years where I was repeatedly verbally and often publicly
    abused by the pastor. After leaving there I tried to find another fellowship in town
    and attended another church for a few months. The pastor there was also abusive
    and often referred to “his” church as the best spiritual place in town. After 3 months
    I couldn’t take it anymore. I did try to meet with him to discuss some serious issues.
    I very respectfully asked for a meeting, however I guess I wasn’t “important’ enough
    for him to give me 10 minutes and he blew me off, stating in an email to me
    to “touch not God’s anointed.” No other explanation but that he owes me NO
    explanation!! Two sentences in the whole reply back to me. He not only would not meet
    with me in person, but even in his email would give me no feedback whatsoever.
    I then discovered his wife is the actual pastor and he is the “bishop” of the church.
    I’ve since found out this man and his wife will not even attend their grandchildren’s
    wedding showers, birthday parties, etc..because “church work must come first.”
    I saw many red flags the first few times I was there but because I wanted to find a
    fellowship I was hoping against hope that I was wrong about him and that church.
    Now, I am grateful to God that I was able to leave before I became an actual member
    Everytime I would go to fill out the membership form, something would draw me away
    and I would leave without having done so.I now know it was God keeping me from
    joining that church. I actually feel pity for those still left
    there who don’t have the backbone to leave.

    • What a painful experience. Fortunately, the Lord protected you from joining. It’s just tragic that His flock endures such abuse in places that profess the name of Christ. I hope that you are doing well now.

  2. Pingback: Sacramento, California Church Choir Director [Kareem Mitchell] Arrested For Child Sexual Assault | Exit Churchianity

  3. I was wondering if you have ever addressed the issue of many pastors, church men ect. saying that women should not teach or preach? I am seeking God for myself on this issue but I would love to hear your scripturally supported opinion. I know that as a woman I should not be an elder but didn’t Christ appoint all of his followers to teach the gospel? How can women be soul-winners if they cannot share the gospel? Anyway, this is just my reasoning so far. Thank you so much for what you are doing.

    • Hello Nika,

      There are some false and unbiblical teachings out there that women aren’t allowed to quote Scripture (publicly), talk about God/Jesus (publicly), or share the Gospel (publicly) to a man. However, my understanding is that the word ‘preach’ means to proclaim (the Good News message and the truth of God), and God can use any Believer (male or female) to preach His word. The same goes for teaching/instructing others. The important thing is our attitude (which should be one of humility) and that we are sharing the truth of Jesus Christ.

      Because of the one-man-pastor leadership model (where one man leads a church and does most of the teaching and preaching), the word “preach” has been loaded with authoritarian connotations. So, when I say that God can use any Believer (male or female) to preach, many people will think that I’m saying it’s okay for a woman to rule over an entire church and do most of the preaching and teaching as the dominant leader. But that is not what I am saying. I am not using the word “preach” in the sense of one person being the spiritual boss over an entire church and lording it over others using the Bible, or even being a “street preacher.” I am referring to proclaiming the Good News with humility and grace, which can be done anywhere, by any gender. If a woman is born-again, then she should feel a natural desire to share about Christ with others. Scripture says to let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, and that word would naturally flow out of the abundance of our heart from our lips. We can talk about Jesus with women, children, and men. God does not forbid men from learning from women or being edified by women.

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