17 For it was Herod who had sent and seized John and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because he had married her. 18 For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” 19 And Herodias had a grudge against him and wanted to put him to death.
Well, you know the rest of the story. Herodias gets her wish, a silenced John. What was John’s crime? He dared to speak out against the sinful union of Herod to his brother’s wife Herodias. He would not endorse it, nope. Don’t even ask if he would have photographed it, baked a cake for it, or officiated it. He would be utterly confused if you even asked the question. Over his dead body.
If Piers Morgan interviewed John today, he would blast him for being bigoted and close-minded. John was close-minded alright, on God’s truth. Open-mindedness is no virtue when it fails to grasp anything in particular. As G.K. Chesterton quipped, “Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions.” John would be viscerated today, not just by the likes of a Piers Morgan, but by all the cool-shamed ‘Evangelicals’ who fear offending man more than God.
Herodias was greatly annoyed by John’s ‘bigotry’ and sought to silence him. Does this sound like anything going on today? Imprisonment wouldn’t shut John’s mouth. Like an Energizer bunny, he kept on ticking. Herodias wanted him dead. This dictatorial demeanor to exact punishment upon the voice of truth is nothing short of the spirit of Antichrist. The lusting for power and use of power to coerce is the deadly combination found in history’s worst dictators.
Herod? He was a coward. He was no real leader, much less a man. He was paralyzed between what seemed to be the truth from the eccentric prophet and the Jezebel-like ambition in Herodias. When the rubber hit the road, he veered down the deadly path – he abdicated, albeit through stupidity in the rash vow he later regretted. What a clown.
John the Baptist did not die in vain.
Although we Protestants don’t have patron saints, John would be the patron saint for all those who stand for truth (if we did), no matter the amount of cool-shaming and persecution. He happens to the be the patron saint for converts in the Roman Catholic Church, rightly recognizing how many converts were baptized under his ministry, including many of the undesirables, like prostitutes and soldiers. Just perhaps a man full of God’s truth and right conviction is more attractive to sinners than the ‘pajama boy’ preacher who tries to attract sinners with magical hipness.
© 2014, Rick Hogaboam. All rights reserved.