Once upon a time, a long time ago… well, not so long ago… Christians wore white hats. We were the good guys. As a matter of fact, we thought we had goodness on lock to the point that we thought that *we* could fix the world so that it would be shiny and perfect for Jesus to come and rule. I know, it’s crazy – right? Looking at our world in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen, you surely do not think of humans as being able to fix the messes that we’ve made… but so it was.
Christianity (at least nominal Christianity) has been the default for so long… we’re so used to it… because you know, a lot of folks weren’t true to the faith, and they acknowledged that they weren’t, but they agreed with us about what was good, and what was bad, and they praised those who were good, even if they thought they were a bit bug-nutty.
Times have changed. Those of us who are prone to histrionics (gets out the mirror) or melodrama are ready to say that we’re headed straight for the time of Christian persecution circa first-century Rome, where failing to burn a bit of incense to Caesar once a year was a death sentence.
Yes, the bus is headed that direction, but we haven’t gotten very far on the road as yet. Let’s not make ourselves out to be martyrs before we’re on the scaffold, shall we?
But it *is* time that we start thinking like martyrs. No, not in self-aggrandizement, “look at what I’m suffering for Jesus”, but really looking around us – this world is NOT our home. It never was. So, what can we accomplish in the time and place that we’ve been put? What ground can we gain for the Kingdom of Heaven?
Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.
What is the goal? What should we be doing?
Should we withdraw, pull back, let the world go to pot and out-breed them quietly on our farms?
Should we fight back, using politics, demagogues, marches and social media?
Should we give in, as some of our so-called siblings in Christ have done? (This is here merely for the logic – I’m not suggesting it).
Should we get out in the communities, taking one for Christ and concentrating on winning souls?
God knows, I don’t. My preference is #1… but I tend to think my preference is a result of my cowardly flesh, wanting to avoid conflict. I *think* we should be doing #4.
Because the World no longer gives even lip service to what we call right and wrong, we can stop pretending. There was never any way for a human to change their hearts and lives – not without Jesus. I don’t think we *can* convince the World that our rules (Bible) are good before we convince them that Jesus is everything. Not now, not when they are having such a good time telling each other that there is no reason to feel bad for sin, that there is no sin.
And so how, how do we do this on the day to day? Well, we have instructions in our Rule Book – and I think we should help each other and remind each other about what those say. And I think we should be looking for temporal things to do as well, things that are specific to 2015.. . to this day, this hour. And we should look to the Spirit, and follow His leading as we speak to those around us, letting His words replace ours, His grace replace our anger, His truth replace our wounded hearts.
And in *that way* we should think of ourselves as the martyrs thought of themselves – as warriors for Jesus, as the ones on the ground, to do whatever needs doing, until we’re called Home.
Hey, I could be wrong… the Lord COULD cause this world to be perfect before He comes back – but you know what? Whatever He does with it, it belongs to Him, as do I. All I am responsible for is my obedience. I’m a trooper, not a general. I’m not in charge of planning this war, I’m only responsible for my part in the fight.