Much of Western Europe seems to be walking the tightrope between civil war and accommodation to the demands of Islam. Now that Islam’s militant agenda is becoming increasingly clear, will the West find the moral courage and conviction to take a costly stand?
The USA is facing an unprecedented and acrimonious election characterized by allegations of fraud and threats of possible violence. We desperately want the anger, fear, and uncertainty to pass, but no simple reconciliation is in sight. Instead, whatever the outcome of the election, it seems that our foundations are crumbling.
Where then must the Christian stand, and what principles must serve as our foundation? These are questions to which I continue to return. Here are biblical boulders upon which we must plant our feet:
OUR GOD REIGNS: Psalm 46:1-2, 10-11 (ESV) God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea…“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
NO ONE CAN HURT US WITHOUT HIS PERMISSION: Psalm 91:7-10 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place—the Most High, who is my refuge—no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent.
NEVERTHELESS, WE MIGHT HAVE TO FACE MARTYRDOM: John 16:2 They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God.
EVEN IF WE ARE MARTYRED, WE ARE BLESSED: 2 Corinthians 5:1 For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
WE HAVE AN ETERNAL KINGDOM AWAITING US: John 14:1-3 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”
WE MUST NOT FEAR OR HATE OUR ENEMIES: Philippians 1:27-29 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake,
WE MUST EVEN LOVE OUR ENEMIES: Romans 12:14, 17-19 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them… Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
BUT INSTEAD, MAKE USE OF THE GOVERNMENT, AN INSTRUMENT OF GOD’S VENGEANCE/WRATH: Romans 13:3-5 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience.
OUR ENEMY IS NOT OUR PRIMARY ENEMY: 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.
NEVERTHELESS, THEY ARE STILL GUILTY BEFORE GOD, SINCE THEY WILLINGLY REJECTED THE LIGHT IN FAVOR OF THE DARKNESS: John 3:18-20 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.
NEVERTHELESS, WE MUST SHOW THEM COMPASSION, SINCE WE WOULD HAVE BEEN NO BETTER THAN THEY, HAD WE NOT BEEN GIVEN CHRIST’S GIFT: 1 Corinthians 1:28-31 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
I have found nothing as liberating as knowing these truths. I need to know that I am eternally and incredibly rich in Him(1 Cor. 3:20-22; Rom. 8:17), and that I have been privileged to love my enemies. As soon as I clothe myself with these truths, I feel unburdened by fears and angers. I am serving my Savior, and that’s all that seems to matter.
I am not saying that we shouldn’t be concerned about the threats encircling us. However, we must address them in ways that honor our Lord. Lift your voice, expose evil (Eph. 5:11), vote, champion justice, and be the light of the world, but in the confidence and equipping of our Lord.