Evil

I have a hard time celebrating the heritage of men and women whether they are of color or not because we are all equal in the eyes of the Lord.  My wife and I are of Irish and Italian heritage respectively; those two cultures faced derision, slavery, prejudice, racism, intolerance, and brutality over the centuries, not unlike the plight of “people of color.”  Truly, it is not different from the terrible injustices done to disciples of Christ in the past two millenia and that still go on today.

So in light of that, off we go.

He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Who will rise up for me against the wicked?
    Who will take a stand for me against evildoers?

Psalm 94:16

We were made to be courageous

We were made to lead the way

We could be the generation

That finally breaks the chains

Where are you, men of courage?

You were made for so much more

Let the pounding of our hearts cry

We will serve the lord

The only way we’ll ever stand

Is on our knees with lifted hands

Make us courageous

Lord, make us courageous

We will reignite the passion

That we buried deep inside

May the watchers become warriors

Let the men of god arise

Seek justice Love mercy

Walk humbly with your god

We were made to be courageous

And we’re taking back the fight

We were made to be courageous

And it starts with us tonight

Adapted from Courageous, Casting Crowns

 

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Firm

One of the most well-read and God-loving men I know has as one of his guiding principles that when phrases or concepts are repeated in the Bible, there is a distinct and incredibly important reason.  For instance, the combination of “Fear not,” “do not fear,” “be not afraid,” etc are in the bible hundreds of times.  Why is that?

Simply, if God, the eternal, all-powerful, Creator of every last subatomic particle and ampule of energy in the entire universe and beyond, is on your team, then really, what does it matter what is arrayed against you?

Something I have heard a lot of late amongst conservatives and patriots is a lament, a deep-seated concern that perhaps we are outnumbered.  To this I say what does it matter?  Does it matter if we philosophically outnumbered?  Does it matter if we are physically outnumbered?  Does it matter whatsoever how many people attack us verbally, disrespect us publicly, or assault us physically?

Even in the most dire of circumstances where you are being hunted or persecuted for your beliefs, you have one amazing thing on your side if you have the Lord of all in your corner.

So what should you do?  Should you cave on your principles in the face of a numerically superior enemy?  Should you compromise on your principles?  Should you do whatever it takes to survive?

Stand firm.

You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.

2 Chronicles 20:17

Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.

Exodus 14:13

We rise up and stand firm.

Psalm 20:8

When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone,
    but the righteous stand firm forever.

Proverbs 10:25

Stand firm, and you will win life.

Luke 21:19

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

1 Corinthians 15:58

Don’t give up the ship. Fight her till she sinks.

James Lawrence

What does it look like to stand firm?

Imagine a shield wall.  Tens, hundreds, thousands of foot soldiers with interlocked and overlapping shields arrayed and shielded on both sides by something immovable, like a rock wall.  You hold fast, assured that your sides are protected just as well by your comrades in arms… but as a Christian, that faith does not need to be in men, but rather the God of the universe.

I read a book not long ago that spoke about “the covering” as something God bestowed on David and his mighty men (Benaiah, etc) in combat.  They did not understand it, but when they were under “the covering,” they were invincible.  Standing firm, or standing fast, in faith is much like that… you are within that shield wall and you are untouchable.

Deserved Wrath

I read a quote recently that set my mind’s wheels turning.  To paraphrase it: how better to live one’s life than to earn the wrath of tyrants.

This paraphrase can be looked at in multiple ways, but I just want to briefly highlight two of those ways.

The men that swore on their lives, fortunes, and honor to separate America from Britain centuries ago knew that they would incur the wrath of people that they considered tyrants.  The Declaration of Independence, which I have delved into previously on this blog, makes it clear why they thought this to be true and how they believe that they were justified in doing so.

If we truly believe ourselves to be patriots, then we must be willing to incur the same wrath in how we live.  If we find ourselves living under tyrants, then it is our duty to resist as Americans, as free men, and as Christians.

Wait… are we not called to submit as Christians?  Render to Caesar, etc.  Yes, if our rulers are submitting to God’s will themselves then they will not be tyrants, but will rule lightly with compassion and justice.

Now how can this be?  How can we be both obedient to those God ordains as rulers over us and yet have an obligation to resist tyrants?

Are we called to be subject to laws that violate God’s laws?

Should we obey a law that forces us to choose between God and man?  Is that not the very act of sedition toward God?

Submit yourselves, then, to God.

James 4:7

If you struggle with this idea, just ask yourself this question.

How would you justify watching as Jewish neighbors were hauled off to concentration camps if you lived in Nazi Germany?  How would you justify this to your Creator?

As I often do, let’s look back and recall the words of one man who had this entire concept figured out.  He realized that tyranny toward one man was tyranny toward all men.  That tyranny, once realized, was worth of resistance, despite the earned wrath that such resistance would cause.  Good must counter evil.

Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings….

…We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the numbers of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation?

…Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission…

…Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power….

…There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave…

…There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged!

…Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

Patrick Henry

In battling evil, excess is good; for he who is moderate in announcing the truth is presenting half-truth. He conceals the other half out of fear of the people’s wrath.

Khalil Gibran

Stand firm.  Resist.  Defy tyranny.  Incur their temporal wrath.  Glorify God.

Buckle Up

Is the reelection of the President the end of the American Constitutional Republic as we know it?  I have tried to digest a wide swath of opinions from far right, to middle, to left… from pundits to average guys like me.  Just like the country as a whole after this divisive election, there is no consensus.  There is a palpable malaise though coming from liberty-minded people.

I copied this text in full to remind you, if you are depressed, angry, upset, or lost because of how the election went this is but one battle in a long war of ideas.  Don’t get down on yourself or your principles as a result because of a single election.  Things could be far worse.

THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to TAX) but “to BIND us in ALL CASES WHATSOEVER” and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is impious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God.

Thomas Paine

Ready yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, but most importantly spiritually for a long slog.  If it weren’t hard, then we wouldn’t cherish the victory when all is said and done.  Looking forward, I believe that you and I just need inspiration to see it through… look to the writings of Thomas Paine, of the Founding Fathers, look to the scripture, and the writings of the martyrs.  You can even look to Hollywood because every so often they get it so right that they don’t even know it.

I see a whole army of my countrymen, here in defiance of tyranny. You’ve come to fight as free men… and free men you are. What will you do with that freedom? Will you fight?

Fight and you may die. Run, and you’ll live… at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin’ to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom.

Paraphrased from Braveheart

Defiance

To follow Christ, at its core, means to stand in defiance and resistance to this world and its systems. ArcticPatriot

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. – John 15:18-19

To what do you owe your allegiance?

Do I owe my allegiance to my country?

Do I owe any man or creation of man any allegiance whatsoever?

Do I owe my allegiance to mankind as a whole?

I do not belong to the world. I belong to Christ alone. I have been set apart.  I know where my allegiance lies and I celebrate it.  Do you?

Are you prepared to openly defy the world?

Defiance is a strong word.

1. The act or an example of defying; bold resistance to an opposing force or authority.
2. Intentionally contemptuous behavior or attitude; readiness to contend or resist.

Notice the emphasis on authority in the definition.  In our world, the authority is the government.  Are you prepared to offer bold resistance to the world? To the government?  To what end?

In the words of Patrick Henry on March 13, 1775,  Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

Act in faith and with the liberty gracefully given through Christ Jesus and defy the world.

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