Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 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. Eph. 6:10-13
Since jumping “into the fray” almost two years ago, i.e. the battle against emergent ideology, and all sorts of other man-made phony movements like the social gospel, the environmental gospel, and gimmicky social club style ways to “do church”, I’ve made many friends. There’s no time here to tell you about them all, but that’s perhaps part of a book. God has blessed me with plenty of new brothers and sisters in the Lord, from the West coast to the East; from Canada to England; from Australia to Argentina and Brazil, and many more places around the world. From pastors, to street evangelists, to full time apologists, to ordinary laypeople in the church like me. And most likely, I would not have met any of them, if I had not decided to step into the spiritual warfare I find myself in.
“New” Soldiers On The Frontlines
In the past few days, I have processed the usual number of requests for the Concerned Nazarene DVD on the emergent church. It is still exciting to get these requests, and I pray for each person that asks for one, that they will first and foremost be quipped with God’s word, for the challenges they are willing to face. From the past few days, I would like to mention two groups that have “joined the fray”, but only from the perspective of not having known about them until this week; they certainly seem to have already thrown themselves into the spiritual battle zone for quite a while now.
The first is a group of folks that have started a new website. It is still developing, but you can go there now and read what they have posted, and it is very disturbing what they have uncovered. They are called Nazarenes-Standing Firm, and their website is www.standingfirmnazarenes.org. After reading the first document they have published, it is clear that they will need to have their spiritual armor all in place. The enemy will soon launch his attack. It is inevitable, because satan does not go after those who are spiritually dead, but he viciously and relentlessly does battle with those who have decided to take a stand uncompromisingly. Oh, he tries to keep the spiritually dead or complacent from waking up, but he hates to see people on fire for exposing his many lies. So these new friends will need much prayer and support from all the rest who have been in this spiritual warfare. They will soon be called dividers, liars, slanderers, hateful, and disrupters of Christian unity (those might be the gentle words). I urge you to go there and read what they have to say, because they are putting a lot on the line by telling the truth. I think I can speak for all the friends who I have joined up with, that we will stand with them on the frontlines.
The second group is a young couple who are near a Nazarene university that has embraced much of the emergent ideology, and are concerned about the many students at this school that they often talk to. I’ve heard this kind of story in the past year, but it’s still difficult to hear again. What they have experienced and seen is not what belongs in a Christian school, and they are saddened by the possibility that every day, some young person at that college will be roped in by Satan’s deception (1 Pet. 5:8), via his accomplices at the school who themselves have been seduced by the devil. They are determined to stand firm as well. As I spoke to them last night, I sensed again the excitement of finding new brothers and sisters willing to put all on the line, for the truth of God’s word. They also understand that they WILL be persecuted for the sake of Christ. And they assured me that they would have it no other way. We will stand with them also in this warfare, and we will encourage them as they will encourage us.
What Kind of Peace And Unity?
I love peace and quiet just like everyone else. I’m sure these new friends want that also. I want a sense of stability, predictability, security for me and my family. What reasonable person would not? But if it is the kind that the world seeks to have, forget it. God did not plan for that, and God does not give us the phony peace and so-called unity that the world seeks. It seems that those who have jumped into the fray, understand this more clearly than anything. They have signed on for something that does not make sense to the world, or to biblically naive Christians. It only makes no sense to those who are expecting a worldly kind of peace, a worldly kind of unity, that comes from a compromising acceptance of evil, or worst yet, an embrace of it. God’s kind of peace “passes all understanding”, and that is what I want to have, in spite of the price that comes with it. These friends understand this:
“If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you…. If they persecuted Me they will persecute you… for they do not know the One who sent Me.” John 15:19-21
They understand this hard truth as well:
“Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother.” Luke 12:51-53
This Is No Joke, This Is A Battle for the Souls Of Men and Women
Everyone who has made the decision to “stand for the truth, no matter what the cost”, realizes what is at stake, and that is the salvation of many; many who are sitting in our church pews, and perhaps especially the students in our universities and seminaries. They are in deadly peril, and we understand that. Time is of the essence, and now its a rescue operation without the “red tape” holding us up. We cannot wait for “those who in charge” to decide to do something anymore. That time has come and gone, and we are determined to warn as many as possible; to snatch as many from the flames as possible. To neglect them would be reckless endangerment, not in the worldly legal sense, but according to God’s word (Ezek. 33:1-20).
This army that has formed has not been led by men. I believe it is led of God, formed as a result of complete obedience to His word, and He has been bringing His own together in this battle to fight side by side against the assault on the Christian church, coming from within. I finish with some words from my friend Pastor Joe:
“God does not scatter his remnant, but gathers it. In Amos today, I read this verse:
“For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as [corn] is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.” (Amos 9:9)
Though God would shake the Southern Kingdom of Israel, like a man sifts corn, He would not let one seed fall to the ground. God will preserve those who are true to his Word (the good seed) though a great shake up must come to the Nazarene denomination.”
We need to pray for these “new” warriors, as well as all the rest. This is spiritual warfare, and to truly join the battle, we need to do it uncompromisingly. Will you join the fight? If so, let us know, we’d be glad to fight alongside you.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. Eph. 6:14-20