Christians, we are at war. Maybe it’s time we accept that fact.
It’s not fun to think about, I realize, but war is not supposed to be fun. Especially not this kind of war. A war where the casualties are lost in the fires of Hell. A war where the enemy plots to rip your soul out of your chest and drag it into the darkness forever. A war that cannot be escaped. A war that conscripts every human on the planet into combat, on one side or the other, whether they like it or not. A war that we must train our children to fight. A war that could claim their souls, too, if we do not train them well. A war that will not be over until the end of the world. A war that God will ultimately win, but many human beings – maybe even including you, personally, and me – will lose if we die fighting for the wrong side.
These are not enjoyable thoughts. They are downright terrifying, in fact. But we cannot make the reality of our situation disappear any more than we could have wished away WWII by closing our eyes and hiding under our bed while the Germans dropped explosives on London. We can think all the nice thoughts and sing all the happy songs we want, but optimism never saves anyone when the bombs start falling. And it won’t save us from Hell. Indeed, it’s much more likely to send us there.
I’m not making this up. I wish I were, but I’m not. Your pastor might not be telling you these things, but that’s because he’s afraid, or maybe he doesn’t believe it himself. Nonetheless, it’s all right there in Scripture.
Check Ephesians. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Check the first epistle of Peter. “The Devil prowls around like a lion, seeking souls to devour.”
Check Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians. “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.”
This stuff is hard and I don’t find any of it particularly comforting. I have three kids – two born, one in the womb – and I feel immense grief and fear when I think about my innocent children being thrust into this spiritual battle. But then I remember that they are already in the midst of it; the enemy is already making advances against them. I don’t have time to sit around wishing it weren’t so. They’re here, I’m here, we’re here, and that’s all there is to it.
Many Christians in this country do not want to face this reality or acknowledge the stakes. They imagine that we can lethargically coast along, run out the clock, and then float up to Paradise as easily as we floated our way through life. There, God will embrace us, they seem to think, and hand us our Heavenly participation trophy. “Hey, at least you had fun,” God whispers gently and reassuringly in the delusional imaginations of many modern Christians.
These poor folks will be in for a quite a startling surprise when the time actually comes and God instead looks at them and says with perfect justice, “Depart from me, you evildoer. I never knew you.” (Matthew 7:23).
“Wait! But the Bible said life was supposed to be pleasurable and peaceful for Christians!”
“No, it didn’t. Maybe you should have read it.”
But I doubt He’ll respond at all. The time for negotiation and explanation will have long passed.
Yesterday, a reader sent me an email explaining that this kind of “militant Christianity” is “driving people away from the church.” Then he accused me of trying to “bring us back to the days of Christian holy wars.” We must not allow that to happen because “Jesus only preached peace,” he claimed. These are the kinds of things I hear every day from many of my fellow believers, and even when I do not hear it said outright, it’s often communicated implicitly by pastors and priests and other religious leaders who’ve helped drive western Christianity into irrelevancy by promoting this dull, mild version of the faith.
But Jesus has a decidedly different message:
“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law – a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’
Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”
Christ came to separate us from our sin – a violent, painful process that requires a sword, and leads straight to the cross. And He doesn’t stop there. He enlists all of us to join Him in His ancient war against evil. A war that, even if it does not get us physically killed (although, depending on where you live, it may), it’s a war that will cause deep divisions and strife in our communities and even our families. There is nothing particularly peaceful about that.
The peace comes later, and only to his good and faithful soldiers. Those who will not take up their cross – that is, embrace the suffering and sacrifice required to gain holiness – will be deemed unworthy of Him in the end. Whoever finds his life and his peace and his happiness in worldly pursuits and worldly pleasures will lose it eternally. But whoever is willing to lay down his life – not a peaceful process, by any means – will be given life in Heaven.
Christ is not calling us to an earthly existence of endless fun and decadent luxury. He is calling us to die. And in the meantime, He is cordially inviting us to be despised by the whole world. “You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matthew 10:22).
Therefore, despite my valued reader’s claims, I am not trying to “bring us back to the days of Christian holy wars.” We never left those days. I cannot “bring us back” to conditions that have already existed since the dawn of time. All I can do, all anyone can do, is acknowledge that the war is on, and then choose a side. But no matter what we choose, the holy war is happening. God and the Devil and angels and demons are fighting, right now, as we speak, and the battlefield is the heart of man, to paraphrase Dostoevsky.
Ahhhhh Curt you aren’t thinking of going around shooting up abortion clinics are you ?
That post sounds like you are getting close to the edge
He sounds like the other side of the ISIS coin.
Funny the first 2 postings are from the two regulars that don’t have the capacity to grasp the article, nor its real meaning.
One thinks Christians are being told to bomb another to behead and die as martyrs.
To be aware there are evils that must be avoided, even if those in power order it. Were all at Nuremberg innocent and just following orders, those in Ferguson just caught up in the moment?
Sometimes it seems everything is about normalizing evil, violence, debauchery, murder, greed, theft and lying.
Ignore them. They are ignorant, low-information trolls and Christian haters. I’m pretty sure from many of their past posts that they don’t like Jews either.
@Ditto: I find them amusing so willing to worship at the government alter and follow their “saints” Hillary and Barry, anything they do that either people of common sense or faith find unacceptable gives them grounds to call them ignorant, backwards, racist or bigoted.
Those with totalitarian leanings have a history of attacking Christianity because the left cannot tolerate the existence of anything that opposed the desired goal of leftist totalitarianism. Belief in God, who is not bound by the power of the leftist state, and provides resolve to those who oppose the vile, unnatural and immoral nature of the foundationally hedonistic irrationality of leftist totalitarianism, cannot be tolerated by those who despise Judeo-Christian precepts. No competitive ideology can be allowed, because collectivism cannot compete on a level playing field. The diseased essence of the fruits of leftist ideology are readily seen in the curtent economic disaster of Venezuela. The fetid hypocrisy of western leftists screeching their false characterization of Christian ‘bigotry’ for opposing homogamy and enablement of the mental illness of transgenderism, while ignoring the proclivity of muslim societies for throwing homosexuals off multistory buildings (and stoning the victims who do not immediately die from the fall), is horrifyingly Orwellian.
Christ told the parable of the landowner separating the chaff from the wheat 2000 years ago. Christianity has always been a call to reject that which is evil and immoral, and His warning that those who choose to follow Him would be persecuted for believing in Him has not lost relevance over the last two millenia – in fact is even moreso under current conditions.
One should choose wisely which side to join.
Some Christians take a different view. The Christian Left Welcomes You.
I don’t believe people on the political right own Christianity any more than they own the Constitution or the flag.
LOL…as if a Christian “owns” the teachings of Christ, rather than being called to follow Christ’s teachings. Classic leftist attempt at manipulation through twisted interpretation, which of course Christ also forewarned when He foretold of those who would claim to speak in His name for the purpose of leading others astray.
The leftist propaganda that portrays only the forgiving, all-merciful aspects of God always forget the all-just description, like Christ’s use of violence to throw the moneychangers out of the temple, and His clear statement that to follow Him one must take up His cross to do so.
Indeed, he did. There’s only one valid source for his teachings, and it’s generally not anyone who’s waving the book around while telling you what it says.
You’re wasting your time with Greg. He has continually bashed Christians and Christianity for years here on FA, and when you point out his attempts to mislead others by his deferring to fellow leftist revisionist churches, he claims you are the one misusing the bible.
Greg is a mediocre pretender whom acts like he is an expert on everything. He isn’t of course, and he often gets his ass handed back to him. Even then, Greg pretends that he (the layman with his Wiki-links sources) is the only one who is right, and that it is actual trained experts who don’t know of what they speak.
I understand that, if elected, Donald Trump intends to declare the ad hominem fallacy to be acceptable argument in formal debate, by Executive Order.
The use of the word democrat as an adjective will also be declared to be grammatically correct, and the words who and whom will be declared to be completely interchangeable.
Understood. It is the same in any debate with a leftist. They cannot support their irrational, PC positions, so they twist, divert and throw ad hominem attacks posturing from a laughable position of arrogant and undeserved position of self-assesed intellectual superiority. It is the very essence of the leftist.
The unfortunate pig-wrestling in which we are forced to engage with the leftist is a choice made to refute the insane leftist worldview. To do otherwise allows a completely unwarranted perception of virtuous validity to be bestowed upon the childish vapidity of leftist ideology.
The avoidance of refutation of collectivist nonsense should be viewed through the context of those who lived under the Weimar Republic who took no action to ridicule the laughable ramblings of the National Socialist German Workers Party in the era of the Beer Hall Putsch. The one thing that must be understood about the leftist is that he doesn’t quit agitating un his quest for power and the imposition of his demented worldview on everyone else.
@Greg: As all good blessings come from the right hand I stick with that.
If the left treats the bible like it treats the flag and constitution, I will decline your invitation.
Be my guest, lay into him. Smack him down with great pleasure and gusto, I just wanted to make sure you knew that it’s like teaching a pig to sing while simultaneously having a conversation with a brick wall. Greg has been shooting his credibility in the ass for so long it’s gotten boring.
Oh I agree with you wholeheartedly, Ditto. It isn’t that I think a leftist like Greg will ever comprehend or admit the existential worthless failure of amoral collectivism. It is the presentation of ideas that refute and ridicule the hypocrisy of leftist ideology to allow those who have critical thinking skills to consider for themselves which philosophy is based on reality, and which represents the whining petulence of a 5 year old who doesn’t think it fair he must eat his veggies or he won’t be allowed any ice cream.