Friday, September 30, 2011

Christian Warrior Culture in the Old Testament

At first blush, some readers may consider my title a huge gaffe. How can I make any reference to "Old Testament Christian Warrior Culture"? After all . . . .

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Operation Mountain Guardian: Martial Law Coming Soon to a City Near You?

Last Friday (9/23/11), more than 100 gov't agencies participated in Operation Mountain Guardian hosted by homeland security. The exercise put Denver Colorado . . . . 

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

From the Barber's Chair: Preparedness Evaluation, 4

Here is the final installment of my barber's preparedness evaluation (sorry this is late, but I had to leave town the latter part of last week):

Summation.  I had about a week to think about everything.  In disaster prep,you have two directions . . . . 

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Christian Warrior as Sentinel

Yesterday one of my daughters plus husband & 8 children stopped in for a visit before continuing a whirlwind business trip. As they made their way to the car to leave, I stood over a pile of doggy-dooders with my flash light . . . .
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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Songs for Christian Warriors: The Blacksmith of Brandywine

In 1963 Pat Garvey wrote the song "The Blacksmith of Brandywine", based upon a legend of the Battle of Brandywine . . . . 

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Christian Warrior: Mission & Strategy

Re: The Christian warrior must understand the King's broader mission and strategy in order to contribute to ultimate victory.

Before you look to the future, sometimes it helps you gain perspective if you look back. Thus, to better understand and apply the mission and strategy set down in Scripture to the world situation today, perhaps it would help to look at a monumental failure to accomplish that mission as seen in world history.

The early North African Church of the fifth century (Period of Augustine) had become a bastion of the faith. Seminaries flourished – the greatest teachers and apologists coming from there. The whole society had become generally Christian, but had adopted dualistic theology in its last century. The problem was that Manichaean (dualistic) philosophy had infected the church. This form of mysticism taught that the world is evil. Anything physical only hampers the Christian life. Thus, spirituality is determined by what one does not have. Furthermore, premillennialism, familiar bedfellow with mysticism, had convinced the Christian world that Christ would remove them from carnal encumbrances. He did, but not the way their theology anticipated. 

A false prophet, Mohammed, came down from the mountain with a monistic world view and totally eradicated Christianity in that area. The pacifistic, pietistic church was no match. Did God bless this view of spirituality No. The church has never regained that area of the world. Today, it is still the toughest mission field. Perhaps that is because missions generally have the same theology as the early North African Church. (James Jordan, "The Church as a Shadow Government" in The Tactics of Christian Resistance, Christianity & Civilization #3)

The Church in North Africa had neglected the implications of Christ's command to disciple the nations and to teach them to obey His every command. (Matthew 28:19-20) Moreover, they had neglected the strategy He had laid down in His teaching.

Look, for example, at two of our Lord's parables:

The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof. Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. (Matthew 13:31-33)

The first parable expresses the breadth of the Kingdom of God. From a small and seemingly insignificant beginning, it grows to dominate the field -- the earth -- in which it stands.

The second parable teaches that the rule of the kingdom is not something imposed on society from outside. It involves a transformation of the social fabric from the inside out. This means not only winning souls, but also placing converts into Christian communities where they can function in a Biblically oriented alternative to the surrounding culture.

Now, I'm not referring to some schlock-y, evangelical, smile-Jesus-loves-you ghetto that apes the prevailing culture. I'm talking about a city set on a hill that shows new Christians (and the world) how God intends for His people to function in communion and community.

This strategy entails a commitment to display the glory of God through institutional and cultural expressions that conform to His Word. I believe that Christ's Great Commission requires that we thoughtfully structure our community of faith as laboratories of the Spirit such that any observer can see what Christianity looks like when applied to marriage and family, education, business, architecture, self defense (and you knew I would get there, didn't you?) or any other social expression that you can think of.

The Church in the U.S. has made some piecemeal efforts in some of these areas -- notably in Christian schools, home education and family nurture -- but it has lacked the vision of community life in a comprehensively Biblical context. To be faithful to the fullness of the Great Commission, churches must think of worship services, Bible classes and prayer meetings as the hub rather than the whole of Christian community.

When communities of believers accept the mission that the King has laid upon them, they will see that the answer to the ever growing tyranny of Washington lies neither in political action nor in armed revolt. It lies, rather, in a faithful demonstration of the way things ought to be done -- God's way (Deuteronomy 30:16).

James Jordan, in the essay quoted above, has referred to this function of the Church community as a shadow government.

When one sphere like the state collapses, the church is left to fill the gap. She cannot, however, take the place of the state and pick up the sword. Like a Christian wife married to a rebellious husband, the church must bring the civil sphere to obedience by proper activity in its own category. The best description of this role is shadow government. A shadow government is understood as representing the true government, acting and waiting in the shadows for the present system to fall. When it does, the shadow government becomes the ruling government, or appoints another to take proper rule.

Jordan makes it plain that he's not advocating that ecclesiocracy (political rule by church) displace civil authority. He simply means what Jesus said: that it's the Church's job to show nations how to govern themselves under the rule of Christ.

As the institutional structures of society -- including but not limited to civil government -- become moribund and begin to collapse under the weight of their humanistic presuppositions, the King intends for His people to be waiting in the wings with alternative solutions that follow His principles (i.e., that really work).

The Banyan Tree

Earlier I referred to the parables of the mustard seed and of the leaven in the dough. It occurs to me that had His listeners know of the banyan tree, Jesus might have combined the two parables into one.

The Kingdom of God is like a banyan tree.

The banyan tree, which grows in India, Southeast Asia and Indonesia, is a variety of fig with a distinctive growth pattern. Birds eat the figs of the banyan, and when they relieve themselves, some of the seeds lodge in crevices of other kinds of trees, which become the hosts.

The seeds germinate and send down roots towards the ground, and may envelop part of the host tree or building structure with their roots . . . .

Older banyan trees are characterized by their Aerial prop roots that grow into thick woody trunks which, with age, can become indistinguishable from the main trunk. Old trees can spread out laterally using these prop roots to cover a wide area. (Wikipedia)

You see, the banyan tree grows parallel, alternative structures to the host tree and eventually displaces it altogether. This precisely depicts God's kingdom as we see it portrayed in the teachings of Christ.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

U.S. Gov't Involvement in the 9/11 Attacks?

I hesitate to categorically state that elements of the U.S. government actively engaged in the planning/execution of the 9/11 attacks.

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Kingdom is Coming

Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Martin Luther's catechism says that "Thy Kingdom come" means both that God's Kingdom . . . 

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

In Memoriam: A 9/11 Sheepdog

A 9/11 Sheepdog

To read my post about a sheepdog who may have given his life to cut the number of potential victims at the twin towers in half, click the link above.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Christian Warrior: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

I want to tell you why I believe that the Christian Warrior concept is an idea whose time has come. The world continues toward a tipping point that will seal the fate of millions, if not billions, and the Church experiences ridicule in the West while it suffers outright persecution in backward nations.

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

ATF's "Fast & Furious" -- Multiple Objectives?

First, the Feds over at Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) wanted us to believe that allowing the shipment of guns into Mexico was part of a sting operation. Then, they wanted us to believe it was a good plan gone awry -- a mistake.

According to some investigative reporters, the ATF operation known as "Fast & Furious" sprang from much more sinister motives.

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Monday, September 5, 2011

Finn's Army Awakens

This dance is also called "The Fianna Awaken," and I think it expresses a major purpose for my WARSKYL blog and now Christian Warrior Online. Except, of course, for the ruffled shirts and the twinky shoes.

If you liked Riverdance, you'll probably like this as well. As the video begins, Finn's army lies bound and in a drugged stupor, but then . . . .

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Sunday, September 4, 2011

We Rest on Thee, Our Shield and our Defender!

I remember, as a boy, gazing with horror at the pictures of bodies in Life Magazine as they lay face down in the river, spears sticking out of them. I also remember Elizabeth Elliott's book Through Gates of Splendor on our shelf at home.

The death of five missionaries slaughtered by the Auca Indians in January of 1956 reverberated through the Christian world. So did the song they sang before embarking on what would be their last mission: "We Rest on Thee, Our Shield and Our Defender".

 Elizabeth Elliott, wife to one of the slain used a line from that hymn as the title of her book about the five missionaries. The book, and the event that inspired it . . . .

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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Defense against Mob Violence

Since the media coverage of mob violence in London, I have seen some emails and articles that address the problem of mob violence and how to defend against it. Now that emotions have died down, somewhat, I think it;'s time for some sober reflection on the topic.

Here are my own observation/evaluation points:

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Friday, September 2, 2011

The Christian Warrior's Mission Impossible

Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw Him, they worshiped Him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:16-20)

Mission Impossible?

Let me paraphrase what Jesus said to His disciples in this Great Commission: "Since I am the ultimate authority, I want you to take over the world and bring all its nations under My rightful rule. You are not to do this by force of arms or political machinations. You are to conquer the world by converting and discipling the nations. You must also transform their pagan/humanistic cultures by teaching them to observe everything I've taught you. You won't be in this alone and in your own power, for I will be with you."

Any way you look at it, that's a pretty tall order. It goes way beyond what we normally think of as evangelism, or even world missions. In fact, it's so far out of line with what most churches teach, that evangelical Christians tend to dismiss it out of hand. Here's a dialogue based on actual objections raised to me  by people who call themselves Bible-believing Christians.

Objection: It won't work; it's impossible.

Answer: While I believe it is possible, it makes no difference; it's the mission assigned to us

Objection: This would sidetrack us from the main business of the Church: saving souls.

Answer: It's the mission our Lord assigned to us, and it includes saving souls.

Objection: That's not how I interpret the passage.

Answer: But that's what the passage says in clear terms -- disciple all nations and teach them to obey Christ.

Of course the mission is not easy; it's well-nigh impossible. So is healing the blind, lame j& sick with a touch, raising the dead and saving sinners in rebellion against God. Yet, Jesus has done all these things, and He has promised to be with us as we carry out our mission.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it -- and the King leaves no room for the idea that His command is optional -- requires that you think strategically and tactically about how to accomplish it. A serious consideration of Matthew 28:16-20 will require that your church recognize and organize itself in terms of that mission. It will also require that you teach your converts a new, Biblical worldview, and that you teach them to think self-consciously and to act in terms of that worldview.

In other words, to understand the Great Commission correctly and purpose to obey it will necessitate enormous changes in the way you view and conduct yourself, your family and your church.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Christian Warrior's Heart Health

Do you, as a Christian Warrior want to avoid heart disease and have a healthy cardiovascular system? Here's a simple tip: Eat lots of . . . To continue reading this post over at Christian Warrior Online, click here.