“I have fought a good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.” (2Tim. 4:7)
When I wrote the title for this article, I was thinking should I write the more familiar phrase, Soldier of the Cross or The Warrior one? I decided on the Warrior because of what I want to say in this essay, seeing that warrior depicts a fighting man of a more independent nature, not someone that necessarily follows the lead or command of an higher officer, but one that works and operates on his or her own initiative, more or less a maverick. St. Paul was such a man, against overwhelming odds, much opposition and hardship; he persevered in his quest to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the masses. Paul was shipwrecked, he was stoned, he was beaten and ultimately paid with his life, but not before he had preached the Gospel of Jesus through Asia-Minor, Macedonia, Greece, and Rome and even unto the British Isles. He, Paul, did not do this under the protection of a large assembly but on his own with one or two companions.
There were others at a later period in time that had the same zeal that Paul possessed. They lived by the principle of service to their Lord, with the conviction that what they were doing would bring the masses to a closer and personal relationship with their Lord and Savior, and out from under the yoke and domination of the Papal Church. A few names that come to mind regarding this fact are Tyndale, Latimer, Kramner, etc. These men all persevered in their effort to bring the truth of God’s Word to their fellow men. We all know that, just like Paul, these men paid the ultimate price for their efforts, but knowing the risks; they never shirked their duty in the Lord’s service. Those men were fighters all; they were warriors for the cause. If we hold a truth or a conviction worth fighting for and we fail to do so truth or conviction will ultimately die, not only that, but if we fail to fight for what we believe in, we will ourselves ultimately spiritually die together with that conviction.
If in any military conflict one side limits itself to only defensive action sooner rather than later, the aggressive force will gain the upper hand and drive the defensive forces further backward to ultimate defeat. The same holds true in the religious realm, if because of political correctness or fear of repercussion, we forever shy away from any and all confrontation, then our enemy and the enemy of our Lord will definitely gain the upper hand in our society, a fact that is already very evident. The Bible and prayer are out of our schools, prayer at public meetings and events has been banned, free speech and freedom of religion, both guaranteed under the constitution and the Bill of Rights have been negated by nefarious legislation and political correctness. If a person follows Judaism and the Talmud or the teaching of Mohammed and the Koran they can expect the full protection of the Law, but Christianity and the Christian Bible ae being viewed as a pariah and a curse in today’s society. There is a great irony in how things are looked at today, if a person has, for some reason or another, to appear in a legal court, he or she has to swear an oath on the Bible, but is not allowed to use any of the contents in his or her arguments pertaining to the case.
As you can see in these few points that I have mentioned here, we, the Christian community, have already lost too much ground to the forces that oppose our very way of life, and it is high time that we refrain from being silent and backing up to the onslaught and vile attacks of our enemies and take a stand for what we really believe in and take the offensive. In Eph. 6 Paul tells us to be strong in the Lord (vs 10), and to put on the whole armor of God (vs 11), when he states, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil”. (Eph. 6:10-11). In vs 12-17 Paul explains what all that armor is and then in verses 18-19-20 he goes on saying, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching there unto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly (or use the pen) to make known the mystery of the Gospel, for which I (we) am an ambassador in bonds; that in this I (we) may speak boldly, as I (we) ought to speak”.
For many, many years in our not too distant past we had preachers that would expound the Word of God with fervor and great passion and the parishioners lived their lives as close as possible to the dictates of the Holy Word of God, but in more recent time the new feel good gospel has neutered most believers to the point of shying away from most if not all confrontations and or opposition, very sad, but very true. In Luke 19:13 Jesus said, “Occupy till I come”, with other words, hold on to that which is mine until I return. Well, all I can say is that we, the followers of the Lord, have done a mighty poor job of occupying, for we have surrendered more rights and territory than that is viable.
Yes, my dear friends it is high time that we start to fight back and go on the offensive to regain all that we have lost. This may be a poor analogy, with the current pandemic going on all across the globe, but if only a few of us take up this challenge, then maybe others will be infected by the same zeal and purpose, and may it be that our Lord will say to us, “Well done thou good and faithful servant”, rather than, O, Lord! We did this, and this and that for you; and He will say, depart from me, for I know you not!
Therefore, my friends let us all become warriors for the cause! Amen!