“Put on the whole armour of God” (Ephesians 6:11).
There is a growing consternation among a few Christians, at least, that Christianity is living in the past. It seems that there is no awareness, particularly amongst Church leaders, that we are at war, and that Christians need to be exhorted towards faithfulness, increasing separation from the world and its culture, courageous witness by each individual and increasing martyrdom.
Martyrdom, in this sense, may not be putting your head upon the block at the present time, although that time is coming; but present martyrdom means giving up your life in this world to serve, not self, but Christ.
It is long past dark in our culture, but in most Churches it is business as usual, with little “understanding of the times”, or “knowing what Israel should do”; there is anything but the sober alarm that is really necessary in times like these; instead, there is a feeble surrender.
Called to wage war, the Church has opted for a comfortable appeasement, in which the world pays lip service to the professed followers of Christ, while doing their utmost to undo the legacy of His teachings from the culture. It must be said that their success in destroying the Christian cultural heritage of our country has been spectacular; and it has been achieved with very little resistance from, or inconvenience to, the leaders of our Churches.
They are able to maintain their dignity and recognition in they eyes of the world; their views and comments are sought on controversial moral issues and when unnatural incidents occur; they are invited to offer some worldly homily on festive occasions such as Christmas and Easter. But there is little evidence in Christianity today, that the Church recognises its powerlessness and, truly, its irrelevance.
There is a fear of addressing issues that might be considered controversial lest someone be offended, or the Church be perceived as “intolerant” or “discriminating” or “unwelcoming”.
But it is time to cast off the soft clothing and the apologetic language and put on the whole armour of God, for the Church is engaged in a battle for survival; not the survival of the Churches as such, for their loss would not diminish the quality of spiritual life and may even enhance it; but the survival of our faith, which is under ferocious attack by the world forces of darkness.