Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Engaging the Culture, an Allegory

A quote which has greatly impacted me, though one which I could not corroborate to the attributed missionary, beautifully sums up how the Christian ought to engage the culture of the world. It states:

Let us stand fast in what is right and prepare our souls for trial. Let us neither be dogs that do not bark nor silent onlookers, nor paid servants who run away before the wolf. Instead, where the battle rages, let us find ourselves. Run towards the roar of the lion! Run towards the roar of battle! That is where Christ’s most glorious victories shall be won.

– Boniface, Missionary to the Germanic tribes AD672-754

Whoever wrote this, whether it truly be Wynfred, or another, genuinely shows a knowledge of the scriptures. Just at first glance I see alluded to Ephesians 6, John 10, Zechariah 10, 1 Corinthians 15:58, Isaiah 56:10, Psalm 18:29-30, Judges 14:6, and 1 Samuel 17:34-36.

But, above all I see David rushing headlong at the behemoth that was Goliath, slingshot in hand, trust firmly in providence, letting loose with a weapon which would have received ridicule from Goliath had he not been mortally wounded by it, and the great giant fell, finished off by the triumphant swipe of his own sword in the hands of the victor (1 Samuel 17). It is a magnificent shadow for Christ defeating death and Satan. But what it also is, as the writer of the above quote shows, a call to engaging the culture.

It cannot be denied that Christianity has utterly failed in the United States; the murder of babies is sanctioned by law, homosexuality is legislated as right, the abomination of divorce is dwarfed by the sin of fornication, blasphemy is so common that the idlest of sentences begin with the name of God, and above all the church is either on par or leads the nation in these sins. Evangelism is scorned and tolerance is lauded, alcoholism is rampant and suicide common-place, greed and lust have won the day.

The world system is a giant on the battlefield for souls, he is undefeatable, a mocker, a scoffer, proud, arrogant, abusive, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, brutal, a lover of evil, a hater of good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, a lover of pleasure rather than a lover of God. He defies the army of God standing before him, knowing that his presence is enough to cause them to faint for fear; their dismay evident to all.

Now, dear Christian, I assume you are expecting me to tell you that you are David, capable of slaying this enemy with a single smooth stone? No, your Victor has come and has won the war, through the seeming foolishness of a cross he has gone to battle for your soul, with abandon for his own self and counting you as worth more than he, though he himself was, and is, and ever will be the infinite God, he has rushed to the fight. He has substituted himself for your cowardice and hopelessness, he has born the reproach, and he has felled the enemy. With a glorious resurrection he has beheaded once for all that great enemy death. Take heart, he has overcome the world.

Dear Christian, the war is won, the enemy is routed, his camp is yours to plunder, but lesser battles remain. The Apostle Paul said,
I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church…Christ we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. - Colossians 1:24,28
The work of securing salvation is complete, an empty cross and empty tomb stand as testaments to his victory. But if we do not press on to make a complete end to sin, it will revive and slay those most dear to us. David slew Goliath, yes, but a devious Philistine army would return sooner than later to again ravage Israel (1 Samuel 17:51-53).

We therefore must take the advice of the above missionary’s quote, rush to the battle. Fill up what is yet lacking, a proclamation of Christ to see sin eradicated and souls won. Take up the Sword of the Spirit and do damage to the enemy.

It is with great sadness that I know that the church in America has utterly failed in this capacity. Philistia has regrouped and have come against the church with force, sparing none, men we once counted brothers have defected and taken up arms in support of the Adversary. It is expected that eight out of ten of our children will soon be wearing Philistine garb and brandishing weapons against their own families, not by conscription, but by choice.

Men in the church, arise from your slumber, awake, and Christ will shine on you. Adjust your helmet of salvation, secure your breastplate of righteousness, tighten your belt of truth, tie tightly the laces on your sandals of peace, pick up your impregnable shield of faith, and arm your self with the full counsel of scripture. Make WAR on the kingdom of darkness, tolerate not a single iniquity, give no quarter to little transgressions, take no prisoners of the attractive sins, make a complete end to the enemy and pursue it into the darkness.

Finding captives of the Destroyer behind enemy lines, loose their bonds with the truth that Christ is risen, give them living water to quench their thirst, bread of life to break their starvation, heal them with the blood of a pieced Saviour, clothe them in the righteousness of their King. Train them to rescue others.

But, should you watch the defeated enemy flee from the comfort of your own sins, caring not that souls are soon to perish at their hands…then I pray God that the enemy will descend so quickly and violently upon you that you escape with only your life in your hands, your land ransacked, the souls of your people slain, and a disgrace which would weigh so heavily upon you that you despair for life itself.

We have become comfortable in our sins, we have forgotten that sin is deadly, we have given up the fight, we watch sinners burn in the fire who easily could have been snatched in pity from the flames, and to add insult to injury, we justify ourselves in our sins and pretend there is no problem.

Let us find ourselves where the battle rages, for there Christ’s greatest victories will be won.
We cannot play at preaching, we preach for eternity.

– Charles Spurgeon

0 comments: