Season: 10 Episode: 150
Listen to episode 146 in Spanish:
What happens when ONE person takes a stand when no one else will? There aren’t a lot of brave ONEs out there who defy the popular narrative and become a target because they stand up and speak the truth. Our culture nurtures acceptance and authenticity as a way to show love and respect, but do you have to accept the popular narrative in order to prove you’re loving? Humans crave acceptance. We want to belong. That’s one reason it’s so difficult to break away from the crowd. It’s easy to go with the flow. Shanda talks about the crowd and the dangers of blending in. When you read the New Testament, the crowd is a character itself because no one is known in the crowd. Everyone in the crowd moves at the same pace, shouts the same words, and doesn’t take a stand on anything. She shares real life stories of those in recent days who have taken a stand and gives examples of those in the Bible who did too. And though no one knows the results of the stance they take at the time, they always have one thing in common. Can you be the ONE?
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Episode 167: Be the ONE!
Hey there! Welcome back to another episode of Her Faith Inspires podcast where we take cultural issues and tackle them with biblical truth. I have an episode for you today that is burning inside my heart and I am eager and excited to share it. I believe this episode is going to be one of my favorites and maybe even one of your favorites because you are gong to hopefully be as fired up as I am when it’s all said and done.
Before I talk to you about being the ONE, I have a few announcements for you: LGR begins this Monday, Feb 6th. If you want your child in, sign them up now. I have one of my favorite long-sleeved tees in the shop and the brand is Comfort Colors, if you’re watching on Youtube, you can see a picture of it here, and it says Be Salty, Stay Lit.
The verse is on the sleeve and it’s white with black embroidered letters.
Also, the emotionalism junkie survey is launching the first weekend in March and I will be making it available online and at the women’s conference I’ll be speaking at in Charlotte, NC. So keep an ear out for when that drops because it will be available on the website.
For those who love the podcast, please leave a 5 star rating and/or review. It really helps get the podcast into the earbuds of others.
And for those of you who want behind the scenes content and VIP membership, find me on Patreon @ShandaFulbright. For $5 a month, you get lots of perks, book clubs, and free devotionals, discounts, and I believe the membership is worth it.
Alright, now that the announcements are out of the way, here is the order of our episode today:
- What is the difference between the crowd and the one who chooses to break away from the crowd? Let’s look at examples from Scripture.
- Let’s evaluate when ONE person decides to stand up for truth in this culture. Does it make a difference? Let’s look at real life examples of that now.
- What is the call to action so when this episode is over, you are confident to take a stand no matter what?
So there is a real life story that just happened that made me want to talk about this. Ivan Provorov is a hockey player that refused to wear a pride-themed jersey. He was ridiculed for it and bashed by the media. He didn’t back down. People in the media have said some terrible things about him. In the NHL, each team has a minimum of 20 players or a maximum of 23 players at one time on the roster. There are more than 31 teams and that means there are about 620 to 713 hockey players in the NHL.
Ivan Provorov is the only one I know who plays hockey for the NHL because he is the only one who stood up. I don’t watch hockey, it’s not my sport, so I don’t care who plays hockey.
But because Ivan broke away from the status quo and didn’t blend in with the other teammates, I know his name. And so do most people in America who are paying attention to the culture war happening right now.
We’re going to get into other real life examples soon, but before we do that I want to talk to you about the first point and that means we are going to go to Scripture to see what the word of God says about the ONE.
What is the difference between the crowd and the one who breaks away from the crowd?
The best way for me to explain this is by equating it to a Where’s Waldo painting. Why is it so difficult to spot Waldo? If you don’t know, Waldo is a character in the painting and he wears a red and white striped shirt. It’s supposed to make it easier to spot him in a crowd, but either way, he’s in a painting with a lot of other people in it and he’s not easy to spot because he blends in with the crowd.
A crowd is a large number of people gathered together in a disorganized or unruly way. Now, not everyone who blends in with a crowd is with a disorganized group, but when we see this concept of crowd, we see a group of people that blends together. No one stands out. Think about it. This is not a foreign concept, In fact, we see many in the Bible who decided to break away from the crowd.
But what I really want you to keep in mind here as we move forward is that the crowd in the NT is a character itself.
For example, you will see in the gospels that crowds followed Jesus. The crowd pressed against Him when the woman with the issue of blood touched His clothes and He felt power going out from Him. Jesus wanted to know who touched Him and His disciples think it’s crazy to ask that because the crowd is thronging Him.
The crowd is stirred up by the religious leaders to crucify Him.
We don’t know the difference between who was in the crowd on the day he fed the 5,000 the loaves and fish and who was in the crowd on the day Jesus was betrayed because in the both situations, the character is the crowd – meaning there probably wasn’t much of a difference between the mentality of the people in each crowd, and their intention to follow Him.
So please understand that the crowd is a character in the gospels and it wasn’t until someone broke free from the crowd that they were recognized and their situation or names were mentioned.
Here are just a few examples from the Bible:
There are many in the Bible who took a stand apart from the crowd. And I encourage you to go back and read these in full context so you get the brevity of their commitment and their stance and what it could have cost them – their lives.
Shiphrah and Puah in Exodus – the midwives who saved many babies because they wouldn’t kill them on the birthing stool at the command of Pharoah. Exodus 1:15-17 says, “Then Pharoah, the king, of Egypt, gave this order to the Hebrew midwives, Shiphrah and Push: “When you help the Hebrew women as they give birth, watch as they deliver. If the baby is a boy, kill him; if it is a girl, let her live.” But because the midwives feared God, they refused to obey the king’s orders. They allowed the boys to live too.”
Before we talk about David – I want to talk to you about the crowd full of men in the Israelite army who stood on the sidelines for 40 days while Goliath taunted the armies of Israel and mocked them and God. Not one man would go fight him. 1 Sam 17:24 says, “Whenever the Israelites saw the man (Goliath), they all fled from him in great fear.”
Think about it – these men were trained men who fought in battles and not one out of the thousands of men on the sidelines would go fight Goliath.
It took the courage of a shepherd boy who respected God and had his own relationship with Him to take a stand.
1 Sam 17:45 says, “David said to the Philistine, ‘You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.’”
Again, there’s a lot more context to this but both David and the midwives, Shiphrah and Puah had something in common – they feared God. They didn’t take a stand to make a name of themselves, they did it because they feared God and not man.
Another example is Esther.
She became the queen of Persia and the wife of Artaxerxes. Haman was going to kill all of the Jews and Esther was worried because she couldn’t just go in and talk to the king. She had to be summoned by him. She didn’t want to do it. You can see her inner struggle, especially because she asks her uncle to fast for her. Taking a stand isn’t easy, especially when the stakes are high.
I see a lot of people quote the verse from Esther when her uncle tells her who knows if she didn’t come to the palace, “For such a time as this” and the people who quote this often try to encourage people to take a stand or emphasize our purpose. But that’s not the most notable verse in Esther. It’s her response to Mordecai’s words to her. It’s really the response we should all have when we take a stand for the Lord. She said, “I will go to the king. And if I perish, I perish.”
Those are hard words.
If Esther would have allowed that moment to pass and not stand up for others, we wouldn’t know her name. There wouldn’t be a book in the Bible named after her. But that’s not why she stood up for all of the Jews in her day. She did it because it was the right thing to do, not knowing whether she would live or die. Her response is the same response we should all have when we stand against the status quo and go against the crowd – If we lose our reputation, our jobs, our friends, our contracts, our followers, ________. But we must determine to stand for the truth even if we are the only ones standing.
Another examples is Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego – three Hebrew boys who wouldn’t bow to the statue of Nebechadnezzer in the book of Daniel. There were thousands of others who did. We don’t know their names, their families, or anything about them. But we know Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. And their words were, “Even if God does not deliver us, we will not bow.” Daniel 3:17-18 says this, “If we are thrown into the blazing furance, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
Do you understand?
They didn’t go against the kings decree because they thought they would benefit from it. They went against the kings decree because only God was worthy of their worship and even if He did not save them from the furnace, they knew they would be with Him after their death. These men stood out from the crowd.
There are many examples in the Bible that we can use.
What I want you to understand is that we are not David. We are not Esther. We are not Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. But we should be inspired by their stories of courage and bravery and remember why they took a stand – because they feared God and not man. They knew the truth mattered more than anything they could lose in this life. And we must come to that point of decision making as well.
John the Baptist died for his stance, David didn’t. It might cost us. It might not. But the point is that we stand because we fear God, not man.
Let’s take a look at real life examples of people who stand for the truth in our current culture.
I also want to preface this with something I think is worth noting. We often think small numbers can’t make a big difference. That’s just not true. It’s just that most people want to be accepted so they don’t go against the majority. But let me give you an example of a small group that ended up making a big change. I will read you what George Barna said about how only 3% of the population ended up changing the entire course of the nation. He says, “Consider the experience of the LGBTQ community. Its well-conceived and meticulously executed long-term plan for growth smoothed the way for radical changes in the law and in the way Americans think about gender identity and sexual orientation.
They accomplished their goals despite being less than 3% of the population.
Movements that are small in the number of passionate supporters but are well-funded, highly disciplined, and adroitly execute strategic plans can transform the larger culture despite their tiny size.”
Before I talk to you about the people in our current culture who have stood up for truth in the last few months, I want to let you know this goes both ways. If we stand by and do nothing, the deception takes over. Because you don’t have to be large in number or rally the troops to make a difference.
So the first person we’re going to talk about is Candace Cameron Bure.
She is a well known actress who started as a child actor on Full House. Her brother is Kirk Cameron and she was on the Hallmark channel for years as a successful actress. She recently did an interview after switching to the TV network Great American Family and said she believes GAF will stick to storylines with traditional marriage at the forefront. All you – know – what broke loose and she had to give a statement to follow her remarks and because many called her a bigot and hater.
Hollywood actors and actresses berated her for it.
However, when she did make her follow up statement, she thankfully never retracted her statement about traditional marriage. She stood firm and said she loved everyone and no matter what. I always wonder how things like this will play out. Well, fast forward a few weeks and GAF surpassed Hallmark in December to the top of the charts in network views because there are a lot of Americans who don’t want this stuff crammed down their throats.
By now, people should know where Candace stands. She is consistent and she is bold. She doesn’t back down from her beliefs and we have to admire her for that and support her. I sent her a message on IG to thank her for her stance. Don’t know if she saw it, I doubt it, but I sent it because we need to encourage those who are brave enough to do it.
The other person I want to highlight is the one I mentioned at the beginning of the episode – Ivan provorov.
An article from Fox News – and I literally read and pulled up the top article that explained this story – I don’t watch the news, I read it and not from any mainstream news source, just so you know. It says:
Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov faced backlash for his decision to boycott the organization’s Pride night to support the LGBTQ+ community.
Provorov didn’t participate in pregame warmups when the team wore Pride-themed jerseys and used sticks wrapped in rainbow Pride tape. He cited his Russian Orthodox religion as the reason why he didn’t participate. He eventually played in the game against the Anaheim Ducks.
“I respect everybody and I respect everybody’s choices,” he told reporters after the game. “My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion. That’s all I’m going to say.”
Some blue check parked celebs said, “Oh, but he doesn’t respect everyone or he would have worn the jersey.” Is that what respect is? Is respect compromising your beliefs?
A few days later, several news sources post that Ivan Proverbs jersey sells out!
The articles reads: Other Provorov supporters have taken to Twitter to criticize the “radical woke mob” for coming after him. Many praised the Flyers player for standing up for his beliefs.
In the days since the Flyers’ “Pride night,” Provorov’s jersey has sold out on Fanatics and NHL Shop, the Washington Examiner reported.
Not long after, the NY Rangers hockey team did not dress out in the rainbow colored jersey. The Daily Mail reports that they responded by saying, “n a statement to DailyMail.com, the Rangers said: ‘Our organization respects the LGBTQ+ community and we are proud to bring attention to important local community organizations as part of another great Pride Night. ‘In keeping with our organization’s core values, we support everyone’s individual right to respectfully express their beliefs.’
Now you might be an NHL fan and you’ve heard of Ivan Provorov, but many of us have not.
But now we do. We do because he took a stand against the cultural narrative and he got berated for it by some, but others supported him and some also followed his lead. I don’t know that the NY Rangers hockey team would have declined to wear the rainbow jersey if Ivan didn’t take a stand only days before, but I don’t think the fact that he did take a stand hurt their confidence to do so.
In this day and age, the culture is the crowd. They are the ones with the loudest voice. They will cancel you if you don’t go along with what they want. They’re the ones who didn’t want Candace to act anymore. They didn’t want Ivan to play the game if he didn’t want to put on the jersey they wanted him to wear. They would have canceled them if they could and that’s what’s next if we do not stand up and speak up on behalf of doing the right thing.
We live in a place where there is freedom of speech and freedom of religion.
This should not be debated. If someone has any religious belief and opts out of participating in an event because of it, then they should get to do that. We all have beliefs. What makes the celebrities who agree with the LGBTQ agenda more valid than Candace’s? Or Ivans? You don’t have to watch Candace’s shows. You don’t have to watch Ivan play hockey. That’s the beauty of freedom – we get to choose what we participate in.
There are more examples of brave men and women taking a stand for the truth. We have college girls in women’s sports standing up for women to have their own sport without the intrusion of men who say they’re women participating in the sport and letting their junk out in the locker room for these poor girls to see.
There are parents challenging school boards and the books permitted in public school libraries.
There are parents standing up for their children and pulling them out of public education and finding alternative and safe educational options for their kids.
Just because they don’t make the headline news, doesn’t mean it’s not happening. God works on both the micro and the macro level. We see God work in big ways and we say, “Oh, I want to see that. I want to see God do big things in the lives of others, and we look for those testimonies or the evidence of God moving big, but what about the micro level? What about the ways God moves when He uses ordinary people like you and me to take a stand and speak the truth. And when we do that, we end up emboldening others to do the same? Those things might not make headline news but it doesn’t mean they don’t bring change. It starts with ONE person being bold enough to speak the truth. Ask yourself: is that me? Am I willing to do that not knowing the outcome?
The call to action
I’ve said this before but it’s worth repeating – we need all hands on deck. And I want to also make clear that I’m not saying pick a fight with everyone you see on social media spouting lies. We have to know what we’re talking about.
I had a conversation with someone who jumped on my IG page the other day and she at first made me angry, but I reeled in my frustration and took a very soft approach, keeping in mind that if I make her angry, she’ll stop talking and leave. Low and behold, she ends up admitting to being an agnostic and I got to share with her why I believe God exists with the cosmological argument. We ended the conversation by telling each other thank you and wishing each other the best. She first told me something about attending a Luau with clowns so it could have gotten weird if I allowed that comment to annoy me.
My point: make sure we know why we are taking a stand and do it like Candace and Ivan did.
They have an extreme amount of pressure on them to balance their beliefs with love because they are in the spotlight. We will feel the pressure, but I can’t imagine pressure like that.
God doesn’t care about the crowd. I know God wants everyone to be saved. But Jesus gave us the parable of the one lost sheep. And I know this is referencing a lost person that Christ goes to great lengths to save, but the point is that He is willing to leave the crowd to find the one. When we stand alone, we do not stand along. God is with us. He gives us strength. If Christ cared about the crowd, He wouldn’t have told the many disciples He had to eat His flesh and drink His blood because the outcome is that they left Him.
Do you know how we will be bold enough to stand up for the truth?
When we fear God rather than man. When we know God is the ultimate judge and He is the only one we need to please.
Everyone wants an Esther story, or a David story, or a Shardrach, Meshacch and Abednego story, but there’s the thing: no one knows how the end will be played out. It might cost you everything. It might now. But one thing we know for sure, when you stand for the Lord, others will be encouraged to do the same and you will not bow to the culture mob who just wants you to blend in with the crows and go with status quo.
We never know the names of the ones who are in the crowd.
But we do know the ones who are brave enough to step away from the crowd and take a stand, even if they stand alone.
I hope this episode encourages you to speak up and stand up for the truth. If you’re not sure how you would respond under that kind of pressure, I’m with you. I can only say I pray God gives me the strength to fear Him over man and do the right thing. God is faithful to complete the work in us. All we have to do is stand.
If you have any questions for me, you can email me at email@example.com and I’ll catch you on the next one.