It’s not a battle between Republicans and Democrats.
It’s not a battle between conservatives and liberals.
It’s not a battle between Christians and Muslims.
It’s not a battle between gay and straight.
It’s not a battle between “us” and “them”.
These are the battles we are fighting in the Christian world we live in, but they are the wrong wars, the wrong battlefields, attacks against the wrong enemies.
This week we fought a battle that many made into a war. I believe that it was the wrong war to fight but none-the-less, Dan Cathy, the CEO of Chick-fil-A, had stated his opposition of gay marriage. This started a battle among those that agreed and those that opposed. The outcry from those that disagreed, took the stand that as a CEO of a major company such as Chick-fil-A, he had no right to express his feeling nor was he allowed to spend his money to support groups and organizations that were against gay marriage. It became more about his beliefs as opposed to what the battle was really about. It was, in my opinion, a battle about “free-speech” not gay marriage.
What followed was a call to support Chick-fil-A by standing up for your beliefs by purchasing a chicken sandwich. Most critics said that we as Christians and as a church failed to show love to those we disagree with. While I agree we missed an opportunity to show love… wasn’t this really about free speech? The freedom to believe in what one wants to believe? It just so happens that this event was based upon a comment about a belief about gay marriage. It could have been about anything but it became all about gay marriage and our chance to “show love”. I am not sure if it was a “failure” of the church as some stated. I would say it was a missed opportunity to do something more than reduce the chicken population. There is a distinct difference between “failure” and a “missed opportunity”.
The Christian world I live in has chosen to fight the wrong war, focus on what is not the enemy, oppose what isn’t the real problem at all. All the while the real enemy prospers and smiles at our foolishness. He has masterfully misdirected our attention at the wrong things. We are indeed in a war…I pray we realize who the real enemy is and focus our attacks in the right way, with the right weapons at the real enemy.
Our battle and our war is not against the gay community. Jesus showed love to sinners and was “despised and rejected” by most. We could have done nothing except try to show love to the gay community and do you think that would have made it a victory for the church if that message would have been rejected by almost all of them? God’s dealings with the gay community over history has not been one that I would say is filled with tolerance but that is another discussion.
Maybe we should have a had a day of volunteer community service to show our support for free speech… because that is what this was really about. How long of a line of volunteers do you think that might have been? A lot shorter I presume…because people wouldn’t have got a chicken sandwich at the other end of the line.
God hasn’t changed his views. He still says marriage is between a man and a woman only. He still says that sex outside of marriage is wrong. He still says that homosexuality is sin just as lying and stealing are sins. Even as I type this I know I will be the subject of our inverted morality and be called a bigot, someone opposed to “marriage equality”, but I’m not. I view the world right side up and refuse to agree with those that try to turn the world upside down around me.
There is still evil and good, dark and light, bitter and sweet and these things do not change simply because the culture doesn’t like the way God describes right and wrong. Yes, I realize I live in a culture and world inverted by sin, but I still have to declare to the world around me that all of this is upside down. This is not the way God wants us to live. Nor is it the war that God wants us to fight. Even if the upside world around me doesn’t like to hear it said it’s still upside down and inverted from the way God designed it.
We are taking swings at the symptoms and not at the real enemies. We find ourselves boxing shadows and completely missing the real enemies among us. It is a war of the worlds, but not the one we fight now. Here’s the real battlefield, here’s the real enemy.
“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” -Ephesians 6
I’m sure our real enemies are thrilled with the shadow boxing we are doing….swinging at what is not the real enemy at all…and all the while our unseen enemy continues the fight.
Our battle in never with people, let me repeat that….our battle is never with people…it’s always spiritual and with an enemy unseen. If that enemy can get us to focus our attention on the wrong battle, the wrong enemy, the wrong battlefield all the better for him.
In this world of misplaced wars, I pray we see what the real war is about, who the real enemy really is and how we are to respond. The real war is for the souls of men, the real enemy is the devil, and the proper response for us is love and prayer. Those are the “weapons” that will change the culture around us and deal a death-blow to the enemy’s plans.
The real battlefield is spiritual. The real war is spiritual.
And the real war is fought in prayer and with love for others, regardless of their sin.