I never liked military imagery much to present Christianity because of the abuse nowadays in the media and some freaky Christians (Lord forgive me for being a little unkind here!) But, C.S. Lewis didn’t shy away using it for his purposes in times surrounded by war and conflict. In fact, I felt he rightly uses “warfare” lingo on what really matters. It conveys the intensity, severity and urgency of the Christian message. Consider the following cries from Mere Christianity:
“Christianity is a fighting religion. It thinks God made the world–that space and time, heat and cold, and all the colours and tastes, and all the animals and vegetables, are things that God ‘made up out of His head’ as a man makes up a story. But it also thinks that a great many things have gone wrong with the world that God made and that God insists, and insists very loudly, on putting them right again.” (emphasis mine, pp. 37-38)
Lewis knocks the nail in with this, read on (the background is a comparison with DUALISM – i.e. two independent powers at opposing ends)!
“The difference is that Christianity thinks this Dark Power was created by God, and was good when he was created, and went wrong. Christianity agrees with Dualism that this universe is at war. But it does not think this is a war between independent powers. It thinks it is a civil war, a rebellion, and that we are living in a part of the universe occupied by the rebel… Enemy-occupied territory–that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage. When you go to church you are really listening-in to the secret wireless from our friends: that is why the enemy is so anxious to prevent us from going. he does it by playing on our conceit and laziness and intellectual snobbery.” (emphasis mine, pp. 45-46)
I liked the going to church example very much … it does put things in an honest perspective! The subject of “Spiritual Warfare” has been kidnapped by quarters fascinated by the demonic and needs to be rescued back to everyday living. By confining it outside of ourselves to the weird, the scary, the odd-balls and strange occurances misses the whole point! The weird stuff (e.g. eye-balls rolling) as well as the mundane stuff (e.g. laziness) are different strategies in which the Enemy operates. Coupled with the our self-centredness and corrupted world, he’s got plenty of room and access to wreck damage before his final countdown ends. I know I’m treading on dangerous ground here … But knowing the Truth sets us Free! I need to know who’s side I’m on. And sitting on the fence is not going to help.
The “civil war”-“rebellion” (in Lewis’ terms) can be seen in different forms, shapes and styles. After listening to numerous struggles people have with work and relationships at the office (which takes more than 40hours of their life per week), that seems to be one place we need to sound an ALERT. Much energies are drained, and casualties are coming in. Surface solutions won’t work, such as …
… earning as much as we can so we can do what we really want
… finding the so called best work-environment
… pumping ourselves up with motivational “stuff”
… escaping weekly in some form of “entertainment”(momentary happiness) only to return to “hell”
… persevere without questioning
… complaining or questioning without being open for changes
… the list goes on, the cycle is unending
the Work place is one area to focus on, but there can be many others e.g. family, or friendships, etc.
Plunge deeper and we see the REAL battlefield is in …
____ the way we “view” our world, and what is expected of us
_____ the “values” often submerged within us which we are to busy to find out. “Values” around us we may have unquestioningly adopted as a norm without putting it next to Kingdom values.
______ Our “vision” of who we are in God’s eyes and where we are heading with the Christ-life he has given us, what on earth we are doing? Who are we?
______ the “life-shaping forces” we are exposed to whether human or otherwise, and what place do these “forces” have in influencing us.
______ the list may go on further. (I’m just getting a bit tired here.)
Honestly, sometimes it feels like we’re on the losing end (especially when we hear bad news or see casualties). Othertimes it feels like cheers all around (when there’s Good News and we see victory flags flying high). My hope lies in the “Rightful King has landed” and “He’s making a final touch down” soon (when the appointed time comes!). I’m living in between, all of us are … I trust my “Rightful King” – he’s got our best interest in mind, he’s got the power to make it so – CHRISTUS VICTOR (Christ is the Winner!)