Follower of The Way


Dangers of being a “Warrior”

Posted in Christ and Culture by sosipater on August 24, 2007

In my GLAAD post a few posts back I unintentionally open a couple of cans when I was initially focused on one.  What I was trying to emphasize was how easy it is to fall in an “us vs. them” mentality when we take on a “culture war” mentality, and that the politicization of certain sins over others does not help in that regard.

In that vain, I wanted to point you to this post over at Between Two Worlds.  It is a good statement and basically the one I was trying to make.  I’m going to quote the whole thing just for ease of reading.

Jack Collins, Science and Faith, pp. 331-332:

It’s pretty common to hear that we’re in a culture war—the traditionalists and the secularists are fighting over who will control the culture. There is a sense in which the image is right: as we will see in the next chapter, there are worldviews that are at odds with each other, and therefore it’s no surprise that we find conflict. The image is a dangerous one, though, because it can lead us to look at everything in combatant terms: people who disagree with us become our enemies, and we have to defeat them. If you are my enemy, and I am a Christian, then—even if you’re a Christian too—you must be morally defective.

Three further dangers follow from this warfare imagery. The first is that we can forget that worldviews involve not just philosophical positions but also moral commitments; and that back behind unbelief there lies a demonic enslaver. As Paul put it in Ephesians 6,

12 For 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. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. . . . 18 [Pray] at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints . . .

There is a spiritual component to this battle; and therefore, all our intellectual efforts must express our faithfulness to Christ and must be bathed in prayer. We must never use the weapons of unbelief—dishonesty, slander, name-calling, and so on. The second danger, related to the first, is that we can forget that the unbeliever is not the person we’re fighting against; rather, he is the person we are fighting for: that is, the purpose of all this is to free people from their slavery to the Devil. The third danger that arises is that we can forget that any Christian—and any Christian church—always has only a partial grasp of a fully Christian worldview; and even those parts that we grasp rightly, we practice only partly. So some of our “warfare” ought to be against our own imperfections!

The warfare image is a biblical one, to be sure; but we will do well to be careful how we use it.

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