I love movies, especially movies with epic battle scenes. Movies have the capability of communicating either very direct messages, or very subtle messages, and it still be enjoyable to the movie watcher. Many times, we don’t even realize that the movie communicates a message; it’s just a story. Depending on the message communicated, this could be good or bad. One of my favorite movies of all time is the Lord of the Rings trilogy. If you haven’t seen it yet, go watch it now. Seriously, this blog will be here in 9 hours when you’re done watching.
Perhaps the most important line of the entire movie is said in the first hour of The Fellowship of the Ring. Men, Elves, and Dwarves have gathered to decide what must be done with the One Ring. The tension in that scene is thick. Then it happens! When Boromir, eldest son of the Steward of Gondor, is confronted with the identity of Aragorn, the rightful King of Gondor. In retaliation, Boromir snaps as he says, “Gondor has no king. Gondor needs no king.”
Jump forward to the third movie, The Return of the King, and we see the result of such thinking. The steward believes that the throne is his. He is being attacked by the forces of darkness from all sides, with no hope of defending the city he was charged to protect, serve, and return to the king. He had become too inward focused, caring only about his city, and not the welfare of the surrounding cities. He had allowed Gondor to become defensive, not offensive.
The Real World
Many of us echo Boromir’s sentiments concerning our own lives. We have no King. We need no King. We may not verbally say this, but we functionally practice it. We live as though we own our lives, our possessions, and our faith. We have exchanged the truth of stewardship for the lie of ownership.
Because of this idolatrous exchange, we retreat into our churches, hoping and praying that the darkness won’t breach the walls. When there may indeed be more darkness inside the walls than outside. We focus on ourselves, neglecting to serve those in need, neglecting to reach those without Christ. Because we think that we are the owners of what we have, we feel that it is acceptable to yield to pop culture and political correctness, so we become incapable of protecting the sheep from the wolves, paralyzed by the fear that we will be labeled “intolerant” or “exclusive”.
Realize that we have a King. We need a King. And FIGHT! Fight for the King, in the name of the King! We must actively declare the Truth to those who haven’t heard it, and we must defend Truth against those who would attack it with post-modern relativism. We must not only contend for absolute truth philosophically, but we must live out the absolute truth to which we claim to hold. We must fight to redeem the name of Christ. The term “Christian” has apparently become either so negative or misunderstood that now people are saying nonsensical things like, “I’m not a Christian, I’m a ‘Christ-follower’.” Rather than fight to redeem the name which means “little Christ”, we’re content to just change it to something else that doesn’t have negative press. News flash, Christ had negative press, so will we. Yet we do not fight this fight physically or in our own strength, for though we will have to address heresies, misunderstandings, and slandering verbally, we truly contend against the dark spiritual forces behind those symptoms. We fight these forces in the name of our King, Jesus Christ, who has sealed the fate of those He loves and of the powers of darkness.
We must fight to stand strong in God’s Word, reading and studying DAILY, and living out God’s Word. Sinclair Ferguson rightly points out that the Word of God sanctifies in and of itself, so we must fight and labor to read and understand God’s word so that we will have the ability to live out His Word.
We must fight for each other, in the name of the King. We must network with Christians around us, not to increase our social status and ministry contacts, but to develop deep, gospel-driven community focused on repentance. We must fight for others when they are down, instead of condemning them for unwise or sinful actions, because we aren’t any better than they are. We must fight for them by following Matthew 18 and church discipline guidelines to call them to repentance in the name of Christ. We must fight for each other by praying for each other, and we must fight for each other by sacrificing for each other.
We must fight for the lost, in the name of the King. Matthew 16:18 says that the gates of Hell will not prevail against Christ’s church. Gates are defensive tools, not offensive. The primary stance of a Christian is to be one of attack, not one of retreat or holding on for dear life. We are to be actively invading the darkness with the Light and attacking the forces of darkness in the power of the Light.
We do not do this senselessly, or without reason. We do this because we have a King. We need a King. Christ is our King. Our King has granted us stewardship over His creation, as a sign of His authority. So, we must fight to be good and faithful stewards of what we will eventually return to the King.
How are you fighting for the King? How are you fighting for your fellow Christians? How are you fighting for the lost? Will the King call you a faithful steward?