Freedom Fighters

Posted: June 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

freedom fieldI wonder how often we think about or experience the Christian life in terms of a struggle or daily battle? In fact, I would argue that as you read scripture and try to apply it to your life, you could easily conclude that this means war! That coming to Christ by grace through faith involves entering into these constant battles against your enemies. Fighting for freedom with the truth of God’s word.

Now I say this as I prepare to preach another sermon in our summer series. This week we will be looking at finding balance between our enemies: the world, the remaining sin in our lives and, as Paul puts it, the powers of darkness. Realizing that to many, this idea of having enemies, not to mention the thought of taking up the “sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph 6:17) to fight them, sounds very strange. After all, we live in an age of tolerance and have been led to believe that it is the height of arrogance to hold to any expression of absolute truth. Which is why I found Stanley Hauerwas’ essay so helpful during my sermon prep.

Here is part of his conclusion…

Humility derives not from the presumption that no one knows the truth, but rather is a virtue dependent on our confidence that God’s word is truthful and good. Ironically, in the world in which we live if you preach with such humility you will more than likely be accused of being arrogant and authoritarian. To be so accused is a sign that the enemy has been engaged. After all, the enemy (who is often enough ourselves) does not like to be reminded that the narratives that constitute our lives are false.

Moreover, you had better be ready for a fierce counteroffensive as well as be prepared to take some casualties. God has not promised us safety, but participation in an adventure called the Kingdom. That seems to me to be great good news in a world that is literally dying of boredom. God has entrusted us, His Church, with the best story in the world. With great ingenuity we have managed, with the aid of much theory, to make that story boring… theories about meaning are what you get when you forget that the Church and Christians are embattled by subtle enemies who win easily by denying that any war exists. God knows what He is doing in this strange time between “worlds,” but hopefully He is inviting us again to engage the enemy through the godly weapons of preaching and sacrament. I pray that we will have the courage and humility to fight the enemy in Walter Rauschenbusch’s wonderful words, with “no sword but the truth.”

“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:31-32 (ESV)

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