Is the Church Making a “Certain Sound?”

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For if the trumpet makes and uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle? (1 Corinthians 14:8)

Christianity is at war. One of our adversaries in battle, Islam, is a satanic counterfeit of Christianity. It fights with bullets and knives, wielded by men of hatred, designed to bring death to all who are not Muslim. In contrast, Christianity’s weapon is the Word of God, wielded by men of love and forgiveness, designed to bring abundant life to all.

This war, like WWII which was waged against the Japanese in the Pacific and the Germans in Europe, is being fought on two fronts as well. Islam presents an obvious, physical presence like Germany and Japan, but our second enemy is more insidious. It goes by several names, but make no mistake, its goal, like Islam, is to defeat God’s people and eliminate Him from His world. 

The second enemy has been described by several names, and this very multiplicity of labels increases the inability of Christians to identify and combat this enemy. A few of those names are Progressivism, Socialism, Humanism, Postmodernism, and Critical Theory—the same religion in several disguises. This religion establishes man as his own god, making his own rules and answers to no one outside himself. Its corporate expression is always a cabal of elites who have gained absolute control over their fellow men and who are governed by no one outside themselves.

So, these two enemies, Islam and Humanism, are very real, but the church’s trumpet call to enter the battle against them, as Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 14:8, has been an uncertain sound at best, while generally there has been no call at all. We hear little, if any, proclamation from the pulpit as to our mandate in Genesis 1:26 to rule for God over the whole earth, nor certainly anything about how we would go about such a thing. Meanwhile, the cultural battle intensifies, including in the political sphere, and it remains largely unaddressed in the church. We are holding hands and sharing precious verses, not wanting to offend those who might not agree, while the battle in society outside the stained glass window rages. 

All Christians are called by God to listen for that trumpet sound, and when they hear it, rally to the call to battle. It is a call for us all to be “warriors,” first sounded in Genesis 1:26; to rule over “all the earth”—including over the “creeping things” in that verse. That is a direct reference to the serpent in the Garden of Eden, Satan and his forces that energize both of the religions that are Christianity’s enemies. The serpent and his principalities and powers, while defeated at the cross, will not give up without a fight. Those in the church are called to the battle (2 Corinthians 10:4; 1 Timothy 1:18; 2 Timothy 2:3, 4) as “warriors,” to do the mop-up duty! What does it mean to be a “warrior?”

It is necessary that a warrior first must be an “aware-ior”—he must be aware of God’s trumpet call to battle in Genesis 1:26! Be aware that all of us as Christians are, right now, in one of four levels of “warriorhood:” 1.)  by actively rallying and leading the troops to stand uncompromisingly for biblical truth and proclaim the Lordship of Jesus Christ over the whole earth; 2.) by standing and proclaiming the Lordship of Jesus Christ over the whole earth; 3). by watching passively while others stand and proclaim the Lordship of Jesus over the whole earth; 4.) by not being aware that the church is in a war in the world at all.

We are all called to war to serve in either category #1 (to lead) or category #2 (to participate). Some are officers; others are enlisted soldiers, but we are all recruited to be warriors, never simply spectators. 

However, our recruitment is very often a lengthy process. Know for sure that God is busily at work recruiting us, and with some of us who are entrenched in legalism and pietism (the withdrawal of Christians from the world), a lifetime is necessary to complete that process! He is busily at work right now within us, renewing our minds to teach us how to walk by faith and not the law until we become dangerous to the enemy. Finally, we are ready to hear the trumpet call to battle and then, self consciously, join with Him in it.

Our only weapon is the Word of God, spoken or unspoken (the Bible need not be directly quoted, but all we will proclaim is based firmly upon its truth). We must use neither “Humanism’s best ideas” as weapons against the enemy, nor “the way it’s always done,” but we must follow the Word of God, which lies at the heart of all we proclaim. Underlying it all is the unconditional love of God. 

Some of us, aware of the battle and enthusiastically involved in it, have not yet discovered this agape love delivery system. It is only possible for us to use as we learn to walk by faith and not by obedience to the law as a way to live. I am often struck by the incongruity of the message delivered by Christian warriors currently in the political sphere in contrast to their attitude as they deliver it. Anger, hatred and vitriol are the weapons of our enemies, not the weapons of Jesus’ army, yet I see so many who are attempting to “fight fire with fire.”  

That is not Jesus’ way. His way is to “…love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44), and, as He said at His crucifiction, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34). This kind of agape love is what Paul is referring to when he says “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:4). 

Wow! Who can be a warrior and fight this way? Only those who are walking by faith! Lord, may we stand for Your truth against the encroaching way of the world, never, ever compromising, and then proclaim Your lordship, Your right to rule by Your law, over the whole earth, May that be done with agape love and compassion, unfailingly extended to our enemies, even in the midst of unresolvable differences. 

Lord Jesus, as we march off to war in the world every morning, we stand on your promise that the gates of Hell (that surround our government, education system, judicial system, Hollywood and the arts, the media and even many of our churches) will not stop our attack (Matthew 16:18). Make us joyous warriors who know we march to ultimate victory. Hallelujah!

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