As Christians, our scriptures have much to say about war and peace. Even though there are disputes about how it all applies in living out this life.
The terms are all there: warfare, weapons, victory, peace.
I have been scoping out some of the undercurrent that I have felt spiritually, and that I have picked up from other Christians. It is premature for me to say anything yet, because … truthfully, I don’t know what the Lord has to say about it yet.
The confusion is palpable, though. There are more than a few, me included, who have been dismayed by the rottweiler politics and side taking. All the while there have been two separate moves among the currents in American Christianity. One is becoming more focused on political activism, and another has developed a backlash, a reactionary response to it. But you know when you pilot a boat in these waters you have to develop a steady hand, and I don’t yet hear a voice for that.
Or else learn to still the storm and walk on the water… and I don’t hear the voice for that either. What I hear is something like panic and confusion.
People like cheap love. They do. They like it to respond to demands and shame. People are panicked about where their peace, security, and love are going. It seems to be evaporating and that panics people. But I’ll tell you what I think is happening. I believe we are in the midst of a great unmasking. I think things are being exposed for what their true nature consists of.
Usually, I’d say that means say a bit less and watch a bit more. Hold judgment until things clarify more.
There are many fronts of warfare, some physical and some spiritual. That is a reality that will not go away and the question that rests before us is how we will wage our warfare… not whether.
I think the wars of the past century have shown us that we don’t always get to choose whether we are thrown into a battlefield or not. It is not always something in ones control. This is where the arguments begin, because there are many that believe that we have all the control and we don’t have to join any fight that we do not actively choose.
I think that idea is being broken down. What we choose is to whom we respond. The false dilemma presented us is “us or them”… when really the dilemma is God or This World. All of the “us and thems” of this world. This is what I felt Greg was saying in his post the other day, concerning his growing disaffection with the Right. Or maybe it is more than ‘growing’, maybe for him it is accomplished?
But I think the question is, where is your arena? Not whether you have something to win or lose. If you are convinced that there ought to be more love and acceptance, you are going to have to find God’s avenue for that. And prevent yourself from attacking someone elses pathway. It is a matter of warfare and understanding your enemy, how to fight, and what your weapons are. Really, true peace is an occupation of territory for that purpose. It is enforced and protected. Peace is not a vague negative space, an absence of war…. it is occupying space and time with actions that constitute its character.
That is why it is spiritual in nature, and more than uneasy truce, or temporary cessation of strife. Peace has its own qualities and requirements.
Love even moreso. You can’t pull people together and insist they love each other. You have to build the substance of love , and in the case of Christian love, you must allow God the space and the access to build the substance of love within your life. There is no other way.
That doesn’t mean that there aren’t things that threaten to destroy the capability of love and peace. And I believe people are waking up to that. We are perilously close to crossing the lines that destroy our potential to build what is good.
I do think though that we ought to look at the example of Elijah. He became convinced that evil was winning and that he was standing alone, but God revealed to him that there were reserves. There were others, and that God has the situation in hand.
You either believe God or you don’t. Which? If you do, it is time to strengthen those knees and those hands that hang down. We are in this together… yes, the corruption is ugly, but what was worse? To ignore it blissfully while it worked insidiously as an inward force? Or to face up to the ugliness and do the necessary cleanup?
Actually, we have no choice, other than are we for God or against Him? That is the only choice you get in the only war that counts. And we don’t want to fight that war that begins in our own hearts, do we? We want to win all the wars around us, and deflect attention from that within.
But as I said, I think we are in an unmasking time. What will we do with what we see in ourselves, in our Churches, in our nation?
Greg said something about not being at war against the world, but it is time to define terms here. We are most adamantly at war against it, but it is for the souls that we mistake for the world. We have either confused the two, or we have turned a blind eye to those who are confusing it. Time for that is over, and it will mean a loss of pride of place for some. However, simply being uncomfortable with terms does not erase the reality of the situation. Christians most definitely are out to win. The definition is in the what and the how. Admittedly we are far way from understanding it properly even though it is plain in the scriptures. It is very plain.
When was the last time you prayed for the winning of souls? For open doors for the gospel? And if it’s been a long time, then maybe it is time to rectify that.
There is more to be said on the subject of war and warfare….another time