A dictator was angry hearing about a dissident who was criticizing him. His aide asked the dictator what should be done. He said: ‘Silence him’. The aide executed the dissident by shooting him dead. Peter writes about different kinds of silencing the dissidents, detractors, critics, and persecutors. This is indeed a radically natural response to opposition and persecution. “For God’s will is that by doing good you silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.” (I Peter 2:15)
God’s will: Doing God’s will is for all Christians including the persecuted Christians. Peter writes to the persecuted Christians, victims of state-sponsored persecution, probably under Emperor Nero. It is not about asserting their rights and fighting for legitimate freedom, but about doing the will of God.
Doing good: Peter specifies doing the will of God as the appropriate response to persecution, which is doing good. Paul writes not to be weary of doing good. (Galatians 6:9) A Christian should not be weary, tired, or exhausted even when persecuted, for doing good. Lord Jesus when crucified violently by his own created beings responded with the offer of forgiveness. (Luke 23:34) Stephen also asked forgiveness for his persecutors. (Acts 7:60) There are many other ways of doing good for individuals, families, communities, and nations.
Ignorant talk: Justification for the oppression, exploitation, and persecution of Christians is just ignorant talk. They do not know the Lord Jesus Christ, the goodness of God, the transformative power of the Spirit of God, and God’s chosen Church to bring blessing to nations. Countering ignorance with wisdom is a futile exercise. They are ignorant as they refuse to learn wisdom from nature, scripture, or history.
Foolish people: Fools are those who do not fear God. Without fear of God, there is only foolishness, not wisdom. (Proverbs 9:10) Even fundamentalists of many religions behave like fools, as their action does not spring from the fear of God, but pride in themselves, their culture, or religion. Paul writes that they have exchanged the truth for a lie. (Romans 1:25) Ignorance of truth is no excuse, will be judged by God.
Am I creative in doing good even to foolish detractors?