Let Them Laugh

Their laughter must not stop our witness.

Let who will laugh and scoff. I will not be silent, nor will I conceal the signs and wonders which the Lord has shown to me many years before they happened – He Who knows all happenings since before the beginning of time.

  - Patrick, Confession, Irish, 5th century[1]

But he said, “I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason.”

  - Acts 26.25

We can thank Patrick’s detractors back in Britain for the fact that he wrote his Confession. They refused to support him when he left for Ireland, and now they were acting like they owned him. Who did he think he was, refusing their counsel and having no “degree” or proper credentials for ministry?

His ecclesiastical superiors were insisting he return home to answer charges that he was profiting from his ministry. These charges, of course, were just slander, intended to put this backwater preacher, as they saw him, in his proper place.

Patrick was unmoved by their taunts and threats. “Let who will laugh and scoff,” he wrote back to them. He was too busy to leave the field in order to submit to their jealous demands.

In writing to decline their call, Patrick over and over acknowledged his “rusticity.” He was not very learned and he didn’t write very well, a fact he knew would draw scorn and derision from some who read his words, just as it had drawn derision from the pagan Irish he had evangelized so faithfully for 60 years.

Let ‘em laugh. He wasn’t going to be quiet about the Gospel, and he wasn’t going to be quiet about the things God had done through his ministry. If his detractors didn’t like it, that was their problem. Patrick feared neither what they thought or what they might do to him. He feared God, and he would not be deterred from proclaiming Him, just because someone might laugh at or scorn him.

After all, like Paul before Festus, Patrick was merely explaining the way God had used him in leading many to the Lord. Festus mocked Paul as if he were a mad man, but Paul stood his ground, knowing that ground was true and reasonable.

What about us? Do we fear the laughter and scorn of our unbelieving friends and associates? Do we shy away from talking about what the Lord has done in our lives because we fear they’ll make light of our testimony or talk about us behind our backs?

Let ‘em laugh! And let them think we’re weird. Truth and reason are on our side, as will one day become evident to all.

We know what God has done, we know His truth, and we must not be silent out of fear that others may heap scorn and derision upon us for our witness.

Paul didn’t keep quiet, in spite of the many “educated” people and power brokers who mocked and slandered him.

Patrick didn’t keep quiet, and his faithfulness in the face of mockers and detractors sparked a revival that lasted nearly 400 years.

Might not God do the same thing in our day? Today, more than at any time in our lifetimes, we need God to send revival to His churches and awakening to the world. We need Him to convict and cleanse us of our sins and to empower and embolden us by His Spirit, so that we will fulfill our callings to be witnesses to Jesus. And we need Him to prepare the hearts of multitudes, just as He did in Paul’s day and Patrick’s, so that the Name of Jesus will be exalted, and all His detractors will be made silent.

We will never know revival unless, in the face of all opposition, we face down our fears, refuse to keep silent, and speak up for Jesus. Today, and every day.

For Reflection
1. Why do you think Christians today are not very consistent in their witness for Jesus?

2. What can you do to bring more witness to Jesus into your daily life?

Psalm 71.3, 12-16 (Solid Rock: My Hope is Built on Nothing Less)
O God, be not too far from me; my ever-present Helper be!
Consume and shame my enemies; let them reproached and humbled be.
  A Rock of habitation be; command Your Word to rescue me;
  my Rock and Fortress ever be!

But as for me my voice I raise to sing in hope and constant praise!
With saving grace my voice will swell Your never-ending grace to tell.
  A Rock of habitation be; command Your Word to rescue me;
  my Rock and Fortress ever be!

Give me words of witness and testimony, Lord, as I go forth today to…

The Good News of the Kingdom
Perhaps you need to brush-up on your witness? Our booklet, The Gospel of the Kingdom, can help you to understand why this Good News is so needed, and how you can become more consistent in proclaiming it. Order your copy by clicking here.

Thank You
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T. M. Moore
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All Psalms for singing from The Ailbe Psalter. Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


[1] Da Paor, p. 105.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore