Perhaps it may turn out a sang,
Perhaps turn out a sermon.

-- R. Burns Epistle to a Young Friend

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Siege Engines Approach

Be strong and courageous, do not fear or be dismayed because of the King of Assyria nor because of all the horde that is with him; for the one with us is greater than the one with him. -- 2 Chronicles 32:7 (NASB)

Wars have often been seen as a conflict between the gods of the adversaries.  There is some truth to that because all violence and evil is a reflection of the fact that there is the god of this world who remains at war with God who is Good.

We are caught up in the ongoing rebellion, and it often seems from our temporal, material perspective that our side is not doing all that well.  As I look around at the world today, Christianity is under attack from every side.  We tend to hole up in our church buildings, besieged, hardly able to raise our heads above the parapets, as we might say.

Secularism is supreme in the West -- for now, though it is threatened by the invading forces of Islam.  Muslims succeed by playing the victim and demanding tolerance even as they demand submission to their intolerance.  The secularist grasps neither the threat nor the appeal of Islamic fanaticism, having been trained to see Christianity as the great religious evil.

Give the devil his due, he has done a good job blinding and confusing the modern world to bring it under his control.  The enemy has the upper hand over Christendom for the moment.  I look back now, over fifteen years, to the brief revival that took place after the horrors of September 11, 2001.  I wonder why it did not galvanize the Church, why it did not last.

The Crusades have been depicted as acts of Christian aggression.  They were not, but the modern western mind is invested with the image of Crusaders as evil oppressors rather than righteous defenders of Christianity and western culture.  We didn't want to be crusaders.  We didn't want to make our retaliation against Al-Qaeda a religious war with all of Islam.  A Christian resurgence in America would have, according to the secular world, sent the wrong message.

Besides, Protestant Evangelicals have been embracing secularism for at least the last thirty years.  When I became involved with fundamentalist Christians in the mid-80s, many still clung to their origins.  I saw that attitude slip away as they became enamored of the mega-church, of having community influence, of attracting young families by means of musical styles, changes in format, and technology.

Now we have Pope Francis heading the Catholic Church while vangelicals are led by those who do not understand the threat of one-worlders and their antichrist, Tower of Babel religion.

Yet Hezekiah's declaration remains true.  The enemy advances relentlessly against us.  We are outnumbered and poorly prepared in a physical sense; nevertheless, God reigns.  He will be victorious, and all we need to do is get on His side.  The preparation we need is to pray and seek Him, asking not that He align Himself with us and our causes but that we be allowed to align with Him under the banner of Christ.