Zebra Matters :: By Ron Ferguson

Please Read This Introduction:

Now, before you go any further, I know there are a lot of readers here who do not relate much to poetry; they prefer narrative. I understand that (I write in both fields), but I am asking you to try at least to read this poem. I will tell you the reasons.

There are more and more people in the world who stand for nothing. In recent posts to Rapture Ready, I have written about the state of our current world and the increasing wickedness and compromising of the truth that causes distress for Christians. It is concerning that much of this is found in our churches, especially the larger ones, where the biblical truths are either rejected or compromised.

The poem deals with church members and church leaders. It also challenges us to stand for the truth and to defend it in a truthless world. You will understand as you read it why I called it “Zebra Matters.” This poem is written in blank verse, a method I very rarely use. However, it does have proper metre: 11-8-11-8 throughout.

May I just add something cheeky. Read this aloud as if you are truly making the point. God bless you all.

Zebra Matters

A zebra is a curious animal;
Very distinctive with its stripes;
An irregular canvas of black and white,
But unique in patterned design.
No two zebras have the same banding of stripes;
It’s their own special “DNA.”
The blackbird is black, and the white dove is white.

What purpose serves the zebra’s stripes?
It could be to confuse the enemy’s plans,
A kaleidoscope of movement,
When here and there, they dart around in escape,
And thus outwit the enemy.
It may be they have a collective beauty
That God designated to them.
The cynic may wonder what use is all this:
Neither one thing nor the other.
Make it white; make it black, not the confusion
That distracts the poor cynic’s mind.

There is an application that can be made
To certain Christians, I am sure.
In matters theological, this we know
That some are neither this nor that;
Uncertain in belief; waverers in faith.
They will not take a stand for truth.
These are zebras, neither black nor white, you see.
They graze unnoticed in churches;
When it comes to commitment, where are they then?
They remain in the herd unseen.

Laodicea had its zebras there also.
They were ones neither hot nor cold.
In the church they were reprobates, of no use,
Fit only to be spat right out.

Church zebras like to congregate in their stalls,
Those resting pens with their own names.
The names are well described, like Conformity,
Compromise, and Conscience-shedding.
Laodicea is alive and well right now.
It suits the mores of this world.
It takes no stand on godly things but denies
The important moral issues.
No Christian could ever support abortion;
Cannot support vile “gay marriage.”

Zebras like to band together in their herd.
They know it gives security.
Like doves, they do not act or think by themselves.
Where’s the courage to stand alone?
Together they eat; together they will flee.
Where’s the courage to stand alone?

Church seats are full of zebras, social members –
They love the hype; they love the style.
Where among the masses are found Daniel’s men;
Those who please not man, but please God?
We live in darkened days, and love for God wanes;
Love’s growing cold through cowardice.
Why accept a bit of this, a bit of that;
Drift in the tide, and anchorless.
Dare to be a Daniel; dare to stand alone.
Know God’s true word, and know the Lord.
So many adhere to Christianity,
But they do so in ignorance.

The zebras in the Laodicean church
Were implored to open the door.
Hot or cold was a tragic state of affairs.
Lukewarm profession was worthless.
Unless the Bible is accepted as true
As the inspiration of God,
Then there is no basis to judge right or wrong.
Then one will just drift with the wind.
God hates that. He wants strong trunks against the wind; (gale)
Ones that stand upright in the wind.
It requires rigidity in the storm;
Strength of character to the fore.
“Come out from among them, My people,” God said.
Stand on principles, not on doubt.
If God be God, then serve Him. What is your choice?
Gutless wonders don’t count for God –
A bit of this, or a bit of black or white;
Not hot nor cold, merely lukewarm.
God hates that condition of non-commitment.
Be hot or cold or black or white.

Too many zebras are found in the pulpits,
Anesthetizing people.
Blind leaders of the blind without direction;
Men, women, not raised up by God.
On moral or biblical issues, hear this –
A bit of black with white is wrong.
Those with no certain values destroy the faith;
False teachers without a conscience.
You can’t have a mixing of truth and error.
It is like mixing milk and mud.
God’s truth remains paramount and eternal;
It can’t be adulterated.
Zebras in churches and on television
Charge after lies, and discard truth.
Some are not conscious of the wrong they promote,
Through ignorance and delusion.
“Christian” zebras feast on liberalism;
Humanism is their dessert;
Pride and intellectualism as well.
What a sorry state we are in!

Striped is neither one thing nor the other thing.
Stand upright clearly for your Lord.
Don’t be compromised with a foot in each camp.
Striped is fashion for a coward.

Be not a zebra when it comes to doctrine.
Know the word and proclaim its truths.
Those who honour God, God Himself will honour.
Study the word to be approved.

Be not a zebra when it comes to belief.
Belief must not connect with any other.
God’s word formulates your beliefs.

Be not a zebra when it comes to practice.
Your behaviour must be correct.
What you live is what you witness to, you know;
It’s either black or white, not striped.

Don’t be a zebra unsure of black or white.
Do not conform or compromise.
Discretion and discernment are your best friends.
Take them with you each day always.

To end, learn the lesson from the zebra’s stripes:
Its pattern fits the zebra well,
But not the Christian who alters black and white;
Who’s partly this and partly that;
Partly hot and partly cold, who’ve compromised.

God requires bright, shining lights,
Not those dulled and dirty by indecision,
Who are no witness to others.
Take stock and choose – be black or white; hot or cold.
Better still, be on fire for God!

R E Ferguson 27 and 28 December 2020 Blank Verse

11-8-11-8 throughout

You are free to use this poem in any way open to you to help the Christian cause. I retain the copyright, and authorship must be acknowledged.