Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Will You Fight?

I was just wanting to let you know that the Lord's army is recruiting right now, and we need some strong young lads with a tough disfigure and the courage to take on the main brunt of the devil's forces.
I've sent in my recommendations, so you can expect a call to service any time now. Of course, the decision to enlist is absolutely up to you, but I can't encourage you more highly to join. The training is tough, but the wages are superb... life and peace and ultimately in the end there is a fantastic retirement plan... plus the enjoyment of wielding a sword and dealing a death blow to demons on their own festering turf. We have the greatest of commanders, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the greatest of weapons, the power of the Holy Spirit, that no foe either in heaven or on earth can stand up against, for we've seen even the most terrifying of giants fall, and many more will follow.

I can't pretend that the work isn't dangerous, for it will ultimately cost you your life, but at the end of it all our marching song still sings:

"Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and honor and power belongs to our God, for now and forever. Amen!"

So what'll it be?


Adam O said...

Sign me up! The Holy Spirit is with me, and I've got a holy fireball for those demons. There will be noone getting in my way with the Lord at my side!

Anonymous said...

YES! We must be ready to "take up the weapons of the Lord Jesus Christ, and stop paying attention to [our] sinful nature and satisfying its desires"(Rom. 10:13). "We must wear faith and love as a breastplate, and our hope of salvation as a helmet" (1 Thess. 5:8). "So stand ready, with truth as a belt tight round your waist, with righteousness as your breastplate, and as your shoes the readiness to announce the Good News of peace. As all times carry faith as a shield; for with it you will be able to put out all the burning arrows shot by the Evil One." (Eph 6:14 -16)

For "It is true that we live in the world, but we do not fight from worldly motives. The weapons we use in our fight are not the world's weapons but God's powerful weapons, which we use to destroy strong-holds. We destroy false arguments; we pull down every proud obstacle that is raised against the knowledge of God; we take every thought captive and make it obey Christ. And after you have proved your complete loyalty, we will be ready to punish any act of disloyalty." (2 Corinth. 10:3-6)

Although this is a daunting task, we must never fear, for "God keeps his promise, and he will not allow you to be tested beyond your power to remain firm; at the time you are put to the test, he will give you the strength to endure it, and so provide you with a way out." (1 Corinth. 10:13)

Anonymous said...

Elsewhere on your blog, it seems that you are being accused of being exclusive and intolerant. If that is incorrect, you might serve your points better by avoiding the use of exclusive nouns and pronouns (men, man, he, "we need some strong young lads") and by being careful to recognise that your war metaphor is perhaps a bit culturally insensitive, seeing as many people have been killed in the name of christianity. This is not a question of lessening your convictions; just a suggestion for seeming less closed minded. If it is your goal to engage only men with like-singular attitudes, I guess you can ignore this post (along with most of the world's population).

Anonymous said...

Dear 'goin' up?',
I am sincerely sorry that your first (or at least postable) reaction to this inspiring message was so negative. I feel that my humble interpretation of it may shed some light on its true meaning for you. For its lessons are invaluable, and I would not want you or others who may share your view to go away ignorant of them or any others on this site because of a bias against their author. In the spirit of gentle guiding instead of harsh words as a reaction to criticism, I will do my best to give a simple, reasoned walk through of my understanding of, and thus justification for, this post. I hope that the relief from your misconceptions will help you to see the truth. I apologize for my long, dry, and boring post, but anything less I feel would not do this topic justice. May Christ (and Eli, for that matter) forgive me if my interpretation is false.
As Christians, we are taught by reading the bible. Through study, we come to learn the truth about God and his love, and about salvation through Christ. We also learn how to live lives that reflect these two pinnacles which our faith rests upon, for without works our faith is dead. In instructing us on how we might go about living these kinds of lives the writers of the Bible use many tools.
One of these tools is the use parables. Parables (and analogies, metaphors, allegories, etc...) are an effective way of communicating knowledge and concepts to others. See, sometimes, when truth is merely stated and reasoned through without being compared or associated with an already established concept in a student's mind, then its message can be easily lost on those who's reasoning skills are undeveloped or those who simply need a divine concept to be anthropomorphised into something that is intelligible for the human mind. Once the parable is understood in its literal context, then the student (I say student, but really I mean anyone who is learning from said parables) can easily apply it to the subject that he is being taught. That being said, another benefit of the use of parables is that they can convey different truths depending on the level of interpretation that one takes while applying it to their life. They truly are a wonderfully multifaceted tool!
In order for one to benefit from a parable, allegory, or metaphor, then one must have a great understanding of it so they can apply it to something that they have a limited understanding of. This is why the most useful parables deal with universal concepts. As far as I know, war has always existed in human societies in one form or another. Also according to my understanding of it, the soldiers are generally male, often to the exclusion of females from battle altogether. (I should say that this is not because women are weak, but because women are too precious to waste in battle!)
In teaching others how to resist the constant presence of the Enemy's temptations to fall away from Christ, it seems that Paul, inspired by the Living God Himself, found war and battle to be a very effective instructional tool. Now Eli, if not directly inspired by God at least given the strength to pursue his ministry by God, built this message upon such a theme. I believe that this is very effective, and implore you to produce a more effective metaphor for the Christian's fight against the Enemy's temptations.
Now I cannot speak for Eli but my interpretation of his use of 'lads' instead of a more politically correct 'people' was used not to exclude women but for the consistency of the metaphor, because inconsistencies can sometimes be misinterpreted as excuse to label something illegitimate. I hope that this helps clear up any misunderstandings and I encourage you in as you 'battle' for Christ. May God Bless You.

Micah and Katie said...

As your sister in Christ Eli, I am armed and ready for battle. I will stand along side of the many men and women who fight daily for our Lord and Savior JESUS!!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Soldier: I am sorry for provoking you into having to write a definition of "parable." My comments referred, not to the use of parables (of course I hope that the author doesn't mean actual weapons), but to the use of specific terms that, in the reality of our society today, are loaded. I could be equally verbose and choose to give you a history of semantics, but I will spare everyone. Parables, even those about war, are not necessarily exclusive. Again, thank you for enlightening me. Maybe next time, you can give us a history on condescension. I always hoped fellow Christians would be open; funny, it's perhaps the one group from my personal and cultural history that I find consistently problematic.

Eli said...

I am glad this blog is stirring up so much passion... it is time for people to start standing up for what they believe in.

So you are wondering if I am being gender exclusive? The answer is: No I'm not, and if you want to argue, why not argue against the Bible, because the entire Bible says "man" and "men" and "he" and "sons" and so forth. Dear friends, it takes grace to understand the point that is being made.

Katie, I love you sister, and may more women rise up and fight for Jesus Christ!