This is what I feel like I look like to most regular Christians and regular people who look at me or the ministry I run. Standing in a public place, armed to the teeth, suited up to take on Hell. It looks—well, out of place. Abnormal. Off-putting. Unsettling. Intense. Intimidating, at times. And, yea, even foreboding.
If a warrior is present and dressed for battle,that is a good sign that we are at war. And, sorry to say, many Christians don’t recognize the war and wouldn’t know how to enlist or fight if their life depended on it—which it does, I might add.
Flatly, it is difficult to be one of the few Christian soldiers who has seen action and regularly engages in life-shaking spiritual battle.
Few of us, outside deployed military or law enforcement personnel, have actually seen a man that—only minutes before—was in a firefight. This warrior would be noted for his hot-barreled, loaded weapon, the dirt on his boots and pants, possible blood-splatter on his hands or face, grenades hanging from his chest armor, and any number of likely fresh wounds on his body. HE HAS LITERALLY JUST SEEN BATTLE!
This man is breathing hard. His eyes are wide, yet pierced with focus. His hands may be shaking. His questions are demanding and kurt, “Ammo!” “I need water!” “We’ve got two units of the enemy 3 clicks east of here.” “We’ve got to MOVE!”
Please make a special note of his vocal structure…he may yell…he has a commanding tone…he didn’t even say please or thank you. When someone speaks like this, wearing the proper attire and obviously playing the part, we would (as regular people) listen to this man and “hop to!”
Now make the spiritual parallel….
Go try to complain to an 90-pound Chinese Bible smuggler about how that pastor hurt your feelings.
Go try and tell the Indian evangelist that you are sick and tired of getting looked at funny and talked down to at school for being a Christian.
Go ahead and tell the Sundanese chaplain about how hard you are working in ministry and how tired you are…this one nailed me.
If you can find on on-fire, true believer in post-Christian England, tell them how much you struggle with the spiritual state of the American Church. Hey, we still have a chance to save this thing!
And on and on and on.
The point is, Warrior-Christianity, fighting the Good Fight, looks very abnormal. We look at men engaging in a spiritual/cultural war, seeking to defend truth and proclaim it to a lost generation, and say, “those dudes are crazy!” Well yeah, just about as crazy as running behind enemy lines, in a hail of gun fire…to get the job done! Soldiers, in the civilian world, are supposed to stand out. They are a symbol of protection, guardianship, defense, and might. When you travel to another country and see them standing at bus stops or in the airports with an Uzi, you kinda watch what you are doing a little bit. Because they are serious as a heart attack when that gun is loaded and there may be a threat. THEY WOULDN’T BE THERE IF THERE WASN’T A THREAT!
This should make us reevaluate our stance on disciples vs. converts, pew-potatoes vs. harvesters. Those engaged and those decidedly not.
Rise Up people. Rise Up!
Oh, and to all the guys fighting or have fought “real” wars in the flesh…thank you. You probably know what I’m talking about more than I do. But I pray all our soldiers know their true Captain & Commander, and have their eternal armor on as well.