Fighting the Right War
In the September issue of Christianity Today, Russell D. Moore dealt with the topic of Christianity and the tenth anniversary of September 11th (Read the article here). One particularly poignant argument Moore made was that we evangelicals can, at times, remove all talk of the devil out of an embarrassment of over the top spiritual warfare lingo. But the removal of warfare language only serves to confuse the issue of what we as Christians are supposed to be fighting. As Moore states:
“If we are too afraid of seeming Pentecostal to talk about the Devil, we will find ourselves declaring war against mere concepts, like “evil” or “sin.” Where there are no demons, we demonize. And without a clear vision of the concrete forces we as the church are supposed to be aligned against, we find it very difficult to differentiate between enemy combatants and their hostages.
“The Scriptures command us to be gentle and kind to unbelievers, not because we are not at war, but because we’re not at war with them(2 Tim. 2:26). When we see that we are warring against principalities and powers in the heavenly places, we can see that we’re not wrestling against flesh and blood (Eph. 6:12). The path to peace isn’t through bellicosity or surrender, but through fighting the right war (Rom. 16:20).”
I have a strong desire to see the “culture war” imagery that so often characterizes evangelical political involvement go by the wayside. But we must be careful to not exercise all warfare language for the simple fact that the Church does have an enemy that we are combating. The devil, not the homosexual or the secularist or even the corrupt business executive is not our enemy. This distinction is too important to go unappreciated.