Tuesday, November 08, 2016

The Commentariat Speaks (5)

One feature of this election cycle that will stick with me is the Christian reaction to revelations of venality and outright criminality in the lives of public figures.

Sure, a few expect it. I’m afraid I’m among them. While mildly disappointed, we are rarely surprised. We shake our heads and carry on, thinking “There they go again” and “There is nothing new under the sun”.

But a large number of believers — whether because they are low-information voters or just good-hearted souls — have such difficulty processing the facts that they lag behind even uber-liberal actress Susan Sarandon, who concedes that the Democratic National Committee is “completely corrupt”.

“American Christians have had the most sheltered existence of any believers since Christ walked the Earth. Most have no exposure to any of this. Most came to Christ during a salvation call at an air conditioned mega church with free coffee and cookies after.

Why do fighters beat their fists, arms, and shins? To get used to the pain for a real fight. Most American Christians are coddled children. A slap would knock them down.

And lest it appear that I am bragging: I know this because this is very much my background. I’m not as strong as I should be. I recognize now that I never ‘grew up’ as a Christian. I’ve lived like a man in peace time when we are in fact behind enemy lines in the middle of a world war.”
I’m not altogether sure about the numbers saved through salvation calls at megachurches, but the rest rings true. We ARE behind enemy lines in the middle of a world war, and we need to remember it.

“We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
It is unwise, not to mention defiling, to marinate our heads in the specifics of the misdeeds of others. But it seems to me that failing to recognize sin is a problem for the believer. If we cannot identify sin when we see it, we cannot hate it like the Lord Jesus did. Nor can we forgive as the Lord Jesus did. Nor can we truly grasp what we ourselves have been forgiven.

Should it really surprise us if the “cosmic powers over this present darkness” are able to trigger the darkest of impulses in those who have no hope beyond this present world?

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