Sunday, December 05, 2010

Behind enemy lines: Christian life in a forced-secular world

A follower of Christ has no enemies, for his own part: hates none, wishes harm to none, works for the good of all. But many others call Christ's people their enemies. And, often times, we find ourselves as Christians in territory that is controlled by those who count us as enemies. Let's face it: banishing religion from the public square does mean that the public square has fallen under the control of hostile hands; a friendly takeover would not have banished anyone. And this has occurred even though the majority of people in this country are religious, even Christian. In the public square, then, we find ourselves in hostile territory. We are behind enemy lines, in a sense.

Unexpectedly, this position behind enemy lines gives us a few advantages, if only we were to use them. Does the word "sabotage" have an opposite, a word that means the stealthy and unexpected act of "subversive" goodness? In the middle of an insult war, a gentle answer is a kind of reverse sabotage. Blessing those who curse us is an act of subversive goodness. Praying for those who persecute us is an act of reverse sabotage. Returning good for evil is Jesus' call to us. And in the midst of this unique amount of fear that so many people are feeling about the nation and the future, hope and goodwill are uniquely potent acts. We are in a position to surprise the enemy, to convert the enemy. Each kind word returned for an insult, each refusal to hate, each refusal to slander, each refusal to assume the worst of others, is planting our flag in enemy territory, the flag of the kingdom of God.


Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Excellent post!!!

And of course, this is what Christ did upon the cross, by His goodness subverting and then triumphing over satan.

Weekend Fisher said...

Definitely what Christ did. The absolute shock of him forgiving the people who were killing him. I'd expect most people tried to go out with a bang, getting in any last-minute verbal attacks they could manage.

Thank you for the encouragement, too.

Take care & God bless
Anne / WF

Craig said...

Thanks for this reminder, Anne! It is easy to get caught up in the cycle and downward spiral of the world, but returning kind for like kind only feeds the evil and sin, helping it to grow. We are the circuit breaker God has placed in the path of evil, called to slow it down even if we can't stop it.

Anonymous said...

Are you somehow longing for the "good old days" when Christianity was the POLITICALLY ENFORCED STATE RELIGION in ALL of the Western world?

How then do you explain the continuous horror story that is Christian history?

Such were the inevitable results the moment that the church was coopted by the Roman state, and thus became an integral player in the Western drive for total power and control over every one and every thing.

Onwards Christian soldiers forever marching into wars - of imperial conquest.

The UK Tory prayer - praise the lord and pass the ammunition

Weekend Fisher said...

Hi Craig

Thanks for the encouragement.

Take care & God bless
Anne / WF

Weekend Fisher said...

Hi John

I think it was C.S. Lewis who observed, "Of all the types of bad man, the worst is the 'religious' bad man." (Or words to that effect, paraphrasing here.)

I am, at times, amazed at certain interpretations of Christianity over the years. As in, "How can you get from what Jesus said to that?"

It will be very interesting to hear what Jesus has to say about all of that.

My part is to make sure that he's not saying that about me.

Take care & God bless
Anne / WF