Mt Soledad
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Christian Citizenship Council
of San Diego
San Diego
“When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.” (Prov 29:2)

“Who’s The Enemy?”

In any war, there has to be a clear understanding of who the enemy is.  Historically, foes are described in horrific terms to whip up hatred against them and build support for a war effort.  Kingdom work for Christians, however, is not the same as the armed conflict of the world, we don’t use tanks, IED’s, rifles and the like, we use different weapons, those consistent with the spiritual battle we’re engaged in.  The weapons we use are prayer, Biblical truths and principles, reasoning, and tactics of employment in line with godly, moral principles.

But like any war, we must first know whom we’re engaged with in combat.  By understanding who or what we’re fighting we can properly develop and apply the resources at our disposal.  For me, the “enemy” tends to fall into three major categories: the world, the church and ourselves.

The battle with the world can usually be seen for what it is.  We’re all sensitized to ungodly judicial activism that has legalized abortion on demand and is pushing hard to make homosexual marriages “mainstream”.  The constant pressure to remove anything Christian from the public square is just a symptom of a deeper secular worldview that rejects ultimate Biblical truths and accountability to God’s standards.  This is true whether we consider the radical environmental movement, animal rights activists, pornographers, one world government activists, radical homosexual “rights” activists, pro-abortion advocates or the like – the underlying worldview, no matter how well meaning, rejects Christian standards for another so-called standard. This is true even if some objectives, such as being a good steward of the earth’s environment, are consistent with our Biblical responsibilities.  The fact is, these “enemies” are perfectly willing to tolerate and even support each other’s radical agenda since they have a common foe they’re going after – and that foe is us, and any influence we desire to exercise.

A harder adversary to pin down is contained in the Christian community itself.  The spectrum of churches is broad: Baptists, Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Calvary Chapels, Easter Orthodox, etc., or sliced a different way: evangelicals, reformed, Pentecostal, interdenominational, non-denominational, theonomist, and on and on.  Huge differences in doctrine, practices and beliefs create enormous division and at times hostility.  Different views of the authority and sufficiency of scripture results in anything from far left liberal to far right conservative beliefs, all under the heading of “Christian”.  This division over matters of faith and practice not only results in opposing positions on many societal issues but prevents meaningful dialogue or collaborative effort when some level of agreement could otherwise exist.

The third adversary is none other than ourselves.  Given we’re bombarded by secular worldviews in the mass media, and at times uncertain teaching from our pulpits, it’s no surprise Christians come down on different sides of any particular issue.  Add to that a general apathy and ignorance to anything not directly impacting us or our families and it’s not surprising our salt and light mandate has been ignored for a long time.

So, what’s the answer?  I suggest several things for your serious consideration.  First, I strongly believe the Bible, God’s word, is the ultimate authority for our lives as Christians.  The further we (or our church) diverges from, or rejects, the Bible’s sufficiency to address all matters of faith and practice the further we diverge from what is best for us, our families and society.  Second, in order to apply Biblical truths in a Christ-honoring way we need to understand them well – not just rely on a tag line verse here and there.  This takes committed study on our part, and demands that our church leadership equip us to apply Biblical truths to all spheres of our life and societal involvement.  Third, we are to become involved and not give up.  Though there seems to be so many “enemies” that want to destroy what we believe is good, we’re only called to be faithful soldiers in the spiritual fight.  Our Commander-in-Chief, God Himself, will bring about victory for His glory as we use the weapons He has given us to use.  Am I optimistic?  You bet!  In later articles I’ll address why I’m optimistic and what makes sense for the Christian community to do.

Note: If you would like an electronic copy of the previous four part series on the role of Government and the Church, just send an e-mail request to the address below.

Frank Kacer
Executive Director, Christian Citizenship Council of San Diego

First published in the June 2005 issue of Good News Etc.