Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Notes on the battle

Respectable Christians (including most of us in the "computer classes") need to remember that we're in the middle of a war zone. That's why its good to see some insightful posts lately about spiritual warfare.

RazorsKiss has a full-bore exegesis of Eph. 6:10-20. My favorite excerpt:

Wrestling, if you’ve ever done it, is all about quickness, deception, and trickery. In a word - it is the home turf of Satan. It is also very, very, very close combat. Nose to nose. With trickery, we counter with righteousness. With deception, we counter with Truth.

For breathless excitement in digging into a passage, Joshua is definitely tops.

Pruitt Communications draws on Terry's military experience in Germany to discuss Christian engagement with forces of darkness in the culture. In reading Terry's post, I'm reminded of two slightly different meanings of "engagement": one peaceful, one not:

. . . many of us want to engage our culture and not be at war with the culture. We want to be friendly and talk with the culture and transform the culture by letting them see love. However, the culture we seek to engage often does not want us to play by those rules. While we are approaching them, we come without weapons and without animosity. However, those who we would approach have set up fortifications, they have made use of every natural obstacle and created man made obstacles. They not only have made obstacles, they refuse us any space to regroup, rest or approach them.

These obstacles, Terry explains, include "off-limits" topics, concepts of privacy, and subsections of society associating Christianity with the most personally disparate subsections of the church:

While we do not want to have a war mentality when we engage the culture, the culture may have other ideas about how they want the church to behave. The culture may be more happy for us to bring signs of peace and friendship while they exploit our good graces. We should not return evil for evil but we must beware that our kindness may be used as a weapon against us if we are not wise. I am not suggesting that the church should become a fortress . . . We are now in various ways attempting to reach out, but we must be wise in how we go about it. While we are thinking of strategies to cross the gap that has developed between the church and our culture, our opponents are thinking of strategies of how they can keep us distanced from the culture. Remember they have been winning ground for years and do not want to give any of it back.

Non-Christians are not necessarily deliberate in their efforts to thwart Christian evangelism. The powers and principalities definitely are.

4 Comments:

Blogger Catez said...

Those last two sentences sum it up so well - thanks!

2:18 AM, February 17, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Thanks for saying so, and thanks for visiting.

5:46 AM, February 17, 2005  
Blogger Terry said...

Thanks for your links to Pruitt Communications. I understand that we don't want to make people our enemy but people often do compete with us, and I definately am not saying they are evil for doing so. I hope I made it clear this analogy is to give insight about how others may respond to us despite a kind disposition. And I hope we do have a kind disposition.

9:55 PM, February 19, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

I agree, Terry. And please forgive me for taking two years to reply to your comment. Peace.

6:26 PM, May 10, 2007  

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