Curiously, the chapter following “Form and Freedom” is “The Battle We Are In” – which, in a nutshell, is a clarion call to engage in Spiritual Warfare. We are often attacked, and denigrated within our culture for the martial theme with which we accompany our calls to cultural regeneration . In a way, this criticism is warranted – in a way, it is not. Why is this so?

We have two problems. I’m going to address the battlefield, and our call to it, in one post. After you read this, I want to request something of you. I want you to meditate on this chapter of Scripture, once you read this first portion below. Ephesians 6. Now, with that in mind – and please, do not forget, because I will be relying on it heavily in the post to follow, and I want your head, and your heart, in God’s word before doing so – read the rest, by clicking “more” below.

First, the battle we are in is Spiritual – not physical. I have to quickly say (to steal Schaeffer’s oft-repeated phrase) that this does not mean we are to live with our head in the clouds, and not engage the culture in real, tangible ways. However, the only battle we are engaged in, is a spiritual one. The physical manisfestation of that battle will be confrontation, not tangible, physical battle. That is the frequent, constant accompaniment we must flavor every call to battle we issue. Our goal is not physical confrontation with humanity – it is ideological, moral, and spiritual confrontation with Satan.

Second, we need to realize that even though the battle is, indeed, spiritual, we are also called to live our lives as a reflection of our Lord and Master. This involves not only confronting what is wrong – but doing what is right – in a loving manner. This is the second part of confrontation. Love. If it sounds like I’m harping on it… you’re right. I am harping on it because it is something we all too often totally dismiss, in our zeal to say what is necessary in opposition to evil. We not only confront evil – we condemn, in our zeal, everyone. Yes, that was intentional. Condemnation is not our role. Our role is to confront evil, yet demonstrate Paul’s “more excellent way”, in every part of our lives. Both must be practiced simultaneously, and equally. Such a feat can only be accomplished by the presence, and continual renewal given by the Holy Spirit in our lives. We cannot do such an incredible thing alone, or unaided.

If we err to the side of “confrontation alone”, we are doing nothing but stereotyping ourselves as judgemental hypocrites – because we do not show the love we should be preaching! If we err to the side of love alone, we cripple both our faith, and our witness – because we don’t show the love for God’s Holiness, and our desire to “be Holy, as He is Holy.”

Which brings us to our next look at the book: What is this battle? How are we engaged in it?

The world spirit of our age rolls on and on claiming to be autonomous and crushing all that we cherish in its path. Sixty years ago could we have imagined that unborn children would be killed by the millions here in our own country? or that we would have no freedom of speech when it comes to speaking of God and biblical truth in our public schools? Or that every form of sexual perversion would be promoted by the entertainment media? Or that marriage, raising children, and family life would be objects of attack? Sadly we must say that very few Christians have understood the battle we are in. Very few have taken a strong and courageous stand against the world spirit of this age as it destroys our culture, and the Christian ethos that once shaped our country.

So, this sets the scene – it delineates the cultural battlefield we find ourselves faced with. Remember – this was written in 1983 – it’s now 2005! Have we “won the cultural war”? Does having a Republican, passively pro-life, pro-family President mean that we are supposedly “wrapping up the war”? If you think so – if you think it matters at all, in the overall progress of the “culture war” – you are gravely mistaken. We elected a generally moderate President, who will say what we want to hear, and may even believe them – but he has done disappointingly little toward “winning the war for us”. We are kidding ourselves, if we think this is even about politics. It is not. it is as little about politics as the Boston Tea Party was about American Indian repression.

It is deeper than politics, deeper than culture, and deeper than even “worldviews”. The worldview, as we like to call it, is just a manifestation of what naturally results from, well, naturalism. From humanism. From human pride, and the doctrine of the “sufficiency of self”. We are face to face, in a quite literal way, with the result and natural outgrowth of Satan’s pride and arrogance! The doctrine of the Enthronement of Self. Do you still doubt that this is Satan’s influence?

“How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations! But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God … ‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.

Does that sound familiar? Let me quote you something from the comments of a post in this week’s “Carnival of the Godless”.

So you see, anytime you make anything more sacred than a human being, you diminish the value of a human. Perhaps the most absolute truth is that human life is the highest value in our environment, and anything that encourages and gives variety and vitality to human life is to be encouraged and applauded. Since humans are an integral part of their environment, anything that perpetuates the best in that environment should be encouraged. And, since life would be extremely boring if everybody said and believed the same thing, I think variety and diversity should also be encouraged. How’s that for absolute truth?

Do you see it? Do you see the pernicious lie that is being swallowed – hook, line, and sinker? It is the basest deception – that man is somehow the most important value in the universe.

It is that ideology – that distorted morality – that we are called to confront, and lovingly show the alternative to – not by mere words – but by what C.S. Lewis calls “Mere Christianity” – faith in action. What is that? It is called, dear reader – Faithfulness. Pure, unadulterated faithfulness to our Lord, and His Word. Anything else is a betrayal of both God and man.

… we as Bible-believing Christians are locked in a battle of cosmic proportions. It is a life an death struggle over the minds and souls of men for all eternity, but it is equally a life and death struggle over life on this earth. On one level this is a spiritual battle which is being fought in the heavenlies … Do we really belive that we are engaged in this cosmic battle? Do we really believe that there are “powers of this dark world” which rule our age? Or, as the Apostle John says, do we really believe that “the whole world is under the control of the evil one”? If we do not believe these things (and we must say that much of the evangelical world does not believe these things), we certainly cannot expect to have much success in fighting the battle. Why has the Christian ethos in our culture been squandered? Why do we have so little impact upon the world today? Is it not because we have failed to take the primary battle seriously?