I originally wrote the following for the hand of help e-newsletter that is coming out shortly, but after pondering it for awhile I decided to post it on the web log as well:
What has become of God’s mighty men? What has become of the warriors of God’s house? Where are the battle hardened, those who know how to wage spiritual war, those who acknowledge the fundamental truth that the enemy we face takes no prisoners, and our only option is to stand and to fight and to overcome the darkness on its own turf?
With the old guard, the previous generation, the old soldiers all but gone to their eternal rest, having fought their fight and received their reward, what has replaced them can be likened to many things, but none of the things they can be likened to is a warrior of Christ. Where once the motto of the believer was ‘onward Christian soldier’ it has been replaced by the new and less catchy motto, ‘avoid confrontation at all cost.’
The standard lays in the dust, the banner of truth is hidden away, rather than be ashamed of their sin, men are ashamed of the Christ who bought them with His blood, and the new self appointed generals of God’s army would much rather attempt to talk the enemy to sleep, or better still wave the white flag of surrender than run the risk of chipping one of their manicured nails, or heaven forbid wrinkle their three thousand dollar suit.
The godless mock; the saints stay silent! The Word of God is trampled underfoot; the saints stay silent! Sin is running amuck, closet doors are squeaking on rusty hinges, and preachers, and leaders, and evangelists are coming out shameless in their shame, and the saints stay silent!
We have become cowards to our core, to the very marrow of our being, but rather than fess up to our cowardice, rather than admit that we are spineless and weak willed, we attempt to justify it by invoking tolerance.
Long forgotten is the command that we are to hate evil, long forgotten is the command that we are to strive for holiness, long forgotten is the command that we are to be light and salt and truth in a world of darkness and deception. No, not us, not this generation, we have more important things to worry about than standing for truth or having the courage of our convictions.
We look down on those who suffered, and bled and died for the cause of Christ, we scoff at the sacrifice of our fellow brothers throughout the world, and rather than be shamed by their faithfulness, rather than be shamed by their selflessness, we defend our apathy by telling all who would hear that they’re suffering and dying because they didn’t have enough faith to believe for prosperity, they didn’t know the secret combination to unlocking vast fortunes, a blessed life, an adoring public, and an easy ride on the heaven express.
We have lost our ability to blush! We have lost our ability to be convicted! The church has descended toward the deepest bowels of lawlessness and sin, has shunned righteousness and holiness outright, yet still has the temerity to say ‘we will lead you out of the darkness into that glorious light of truth!’
As for the soldiers, they are on furlough. ‘No battle here, nothing to see, move along. We thought we’d have to stand up for Jesus at a certain point, but then the world set us straight, and showed us just how profitable compromise can be. We have crossover artists, crossover preachers, crossover churches, all integrated, interchangeable, and flavored to everyone’s taste. It’s just the strange folks, the outcasts, those on the outskirts of modern Christendom that still believe there is an enemy to be confronted, a battle to be fought, a war to be won, and a crown to be had. They’re the folks that give us tolerant all embracing Christians a bad name.
Diplomacy that’s the ticket, not these antiquated ideas pulled from spiritual reliquaries of the past like holiness unto God, the fear of the Lord, or sanctification. Those people just didn’t know about the power of the double portion, and the hundred fold return, they were just ignorant. So what if God did miracles by their hands? So what if the lame walked, the blind saw, the deaf heard, and demons were cast out of many? They still didn’t have what really matters; they didn’t have wealth, and gaudy mansions, and indoor pools, and fancy cars and expensive watches. So what if all we have is a form of godliness? So what if we are weak and powerless and absent of conviction? We have stuff; lots of stuff; expensive stuff!’
And so we march to the beat of our own drummer, we are our own generals, we make the rules, change the rules, even erase the rules altogether, considering God’s Holy Word to be nothing more than an arbitrary self help manual, but nothing really set in stone, certainly not something we will be held to account for in case we choose to dismiss it. We are after all ‘little gods’ are we not, and as ‘little gods’ we create the construct of our own personal universe.
Lie to ourselves as we might, there is one truth from which all of our self delusions will not shelter us, the fact that the gardener is here, shears in hand, and He has methodically begun to prune the tree in His vineyard, removing the dry and dead branches, the rotten fruit and all that He finds displeasing. He will be merciless in His pruning, that what remains might bear good fruit, that when He returns He might still find faith on the earth. May God help us!
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.