It’s a War Out There

The title of this blog can relate to almost any area of life today.

If you are over 50 you can probably remember a time when life was much calmer; people weren’t so uptight; the news wasn’t so depressing; political parties tended to work together in congress for the good of the people; and for the most part, everyone got along with everyone else.

Did everyone agree? Of course not, but there was a certain civility and respect that permeated our society.

The 60s change a lot of things. Many of the changes had ripple effects into other areas of life that I’m not sure we understand even today. Since then it seems that we have become more uptight, less peaceful, less respectful of other people, less tolerant not more, and less hopeful – as a nation and as individuals.

Many people – mostly the older crowd, remember life before the 60s nostalgically and long for the good ol’ days, while those who were born after the 60s scoff at the thought of every going back to the days of Ward, June and Beaver.

The post-60s crowd is right – you can’t go back. But does that mean that we’re destined for ever-increasing bickering and division in our society? Isn’t it possible for us to move forward and do it in a civilized manner, respecting our differences and honoring those with whom we disagree?

Here’s where I take issue with my own tribe. As Christians we have failed to set the example. In fact Christians have often been at the forefront of the political wars – and it’s difficult to tell who’s a Christian and who isn’t. We’ve made things worse not better. That shouldn’t be.

I’m not suggesting that Christians avoid controversial issues – I’m simply saying that we shouldn’t do battle the way other people do battle. Our attitudes, methods, responses and reactions are to be distinctly Christian. If they aren’t then we may will the battle but we’ll end up losing the war. Not the cultural war perhaps, but the more important spiritual war. The war for the souls of men.

Over and over the Bible implores us to be careful how we walk through life (Galatians 5:16, Ephesians 4:1, Colossians 1:10, 1 Thessalonians 2:12). In fact we are not to act like other people act (Ephesians 4:17) and we’re not to act in ways that fulfill our natural desires (Romans 8:1).

The Apostle Paul reminds us that though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:3-4).

What would happen if Christians actually began to act like Christians? If we approached the political-cultural issues with a Christ-like attitude, spiritual weapons, and dependence on God instead of on a political party?

What would happen if we really understood that the war is essentially spiritual in nature and began to fight it that way?

Stay in the Word
Pastor Steve

A Nation Divided Cannot Stand

American has become a nation divided. While we have always had our differences, reflected in our political parties, those differences have never touched the soul of our nation as they do today. The latest evidence of our division is the decision by the New York State legislature to legalize same-sex marriage.

Dr. Albert Mohler summarized the extent of our division in his blog when he wrote: It will be difficult to exaggerate the impact of New York’s move to legalize same-sex marriage. The statistics tell part of the story. New York State becomes the sixth state to recognize same-sex marriage, but its population is greater than that of the other five combined. When same-sex marriage is legal in New York next month, fully one in every nine Americans will live in a state or jurisdiction where same-sex marriage is legal. By any measure, this is a massive development in the nation’s legal and moral life.

Add to this the fact that California, the nation’s most populous state, is hanging in the balance as Proposition 8, the constitutional amendment passed by the state’s voters defining marriage as exclusively the union of a man and a woman, is now an issue before the Ninth U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco. It arrived at the appellate court after a federal judge in California ruled that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. If California is added (again) to the states with legal same-sex marriage, more than a third of the nation’s citizens will live where same-sex marriage is the law of the land.

One of the saddest aspects of this development in the cultural wars is that it was passed by the party that we have always counted on to stand against the tide of liberalism and moral decay. Perhaps our faith has been misplaced. Again, Dr. Mohler addressed the key issue when he wrote: One of the lessons learned in this sad spectacle is the fact that enough Republican senators changed their positions on the issue under intense pressure, thus enabling the passage of the legislation. The same was true for the minority of Democratic senators who had previously voted against the measure. One of these, Carl Kruger, changed his vote because the nephew of the woman Kruger lives with was so outraged over the issue that he had cut the couple off from an ongoing relationship. “I don’t need this,” the Senator told a colleague, “It has gotten personal now.”

Well, of course it has. But what this statement really means is that many Americans, including many in the political class, simply fold their moral convictions when they conflict with the lifestyles or convictions of a friend or relative.

But the most discouraging outcome of the vote in New York State is the impact it will have on our country, not just in the area of marriage but in the very survival of our nation. The statement of Jesus puts the future of our nation into perspective: Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand (Matthew 12:25). Can American survive a division that cuts through her very heart and soul? That’s the question. The answer seems obvious.

Stay in the Word

Pastor Steve