Fight Like a Christian

If the last presidential race proved anything it’s that Christians don’t know the rules or dress code of spiritual warfare.

The recent presidential election was the most contentious in my lifetime. Tempers flared, people called each other disparaging names, friendships were ended, family relationships were strained to the breaking point. And that was just in the Church, the Body of Christ; Christians went to war with other Christians.

And it became obvious that the Church needed to learn how to: “Fight Like a Christian”

And since every warrior needs the proper equipment to fight effectively it would be a good idea to learn what that equipment is and then learn how to use it to fight like a Christian.

Fortunately, the Bible tells us explicitly in the book of Ephesians what armor and weaponry Christians are to use in our war against evil.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak” (Ephesians 6:10-20 ESV).

Now, before we go to battle as Christians the second thing we need to learn after learning what armor and weaponry we are to use is to learn that fighting like a Christian requires us to recongize who are real enemy is, and it’s not the person or government that’s persecuting Christians, it’ the demonic spirits behind the person or government. Thus, before we begin to put on the armor of God Paul tells us this truth in very explicit terms as we read above. But it’s worth repeating…

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12 ESV).

Briefly, to fight like a Christian includes the following points…

The world fights to hurt or destroy, if necessary, the person who opposes it. The Christian fights to save the person who opposes him.

The world fights by calling those who oppose it with vile and degrading names, yelling and screaming at the person who opposes it. The Christian fights by blessing the person who opposes him.

The world fights by using ridicule, sarcasm, and mocking to belittle the person who opposes it. The Christian fight by using words born from gentleness and humility rather than harshness and arrogance.

The world fights from a position of human strength and ingenuity. The Christian fights from a position of grace relying upon the Name of the Lord.

The world fights not knowing it’s a prisoner of war, a POW, held captive by demonic spiritual powers and is being used by those demonic powers as human shields to hide the truth that they, the demonic spirits, are the real enemy, not the human beings we see with our eyes. The Christian fights knowing his Lord has triumphed over these spiritual powers and that he has been set free, no longer a spiritual POW, which allows him to see the real enemy.

To understand this more fully listen to the sermon “To Fight Like a Christian” and you will be better equipped to recognize and destroy the evil that threatens you and those around you.

Sandy Hook Remembered

Four years ago our nation experienced an unspeakable act of evil. Adam Lanza, then 20 years old, murdered 20 innocent children between 6 and 7 years of age and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

This massacre touched the consciences of many producing deep grief and even deeper anger as the scope of this evil act was unfolded before our eyes and ears on radio, TV, and the Internet.

I wrote an article at that time in an attempt to explain why this act of terrorism took place and what we needed to do as individuals and as a nation to overcome this evil. But many of us shut our eyes and ears to the only solution capable of doing so. As a result we have endured several more similar acts of demonic terrorism against the innocent.

Therefore, I felt it worth sharing again the article I wrote 4 years ago in the hope the eyes and ears of those who chose not to open them to the truth then will do so now.

Evil has been a part of our world ever since the Fall of Man in the Garden of Eden. We are surrounded by it constantly, but no longer recognize it. Why? Because we willfully ingest evil with our eyes and have thus become blind to holiness; we willfully ingest evil with our ears and have thus become deaf to the truth. We know longer hunger for holiness, but lies. And Satan is just as eager to feed us the lies our fallen, sinful natures crave. Yet it is in believing lies that evil takes deep root within the spirit of individuals and nations, flourishing and growing to a point where it yields a depth of evil that even our comatose consciences – both individually and collectively – respond to it with shock and bewilderment.

Such is what has happened in Newtown, Connecticut. The evil that was unleashed at Sandy Hook School was the harvest of a society and government that has actively labored for the removal of God from its culture. But there is another source even more guilty of allowing evil to grow to such monstrous proportions – religious leaders and teachers who have rejected the truth of the Bible and committed apostasy and are now teaching lies to congregations that “will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths” (2 Timothy 4:3-4 ESV).

For a few days people will flock to places of worship seeking comfort and answers to the questions that come to the surface when evil of such a degree as that manifested at Sandy Hook stuns us out of our spiritual slumber. We experienced this after 9/11, but we also experienced a quick return to that slumber as the evil that horrified us dissipated to a level our spirits have grown used to living with.

So please understand this, unless the Church takes a stand and begins to speak the truth from the pulpit – continually and consistently – regardless of whether it’s received with thanksgiving or rejected as the ranting’s of mad men, our nation will once again return to its spiritual slumber until another act of evil more horrific than Sandy Hook jars us awake.

There is an answer to this madness. It is found in 2 Chronicles 7:14. “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (ESV). The answer is simple, but it will take courage to speak it and even more courage to live it.