If you’ve read the blog this past week, then you know that God has really pressed on me to make the gospel, Christ crucified, the center of the words that fill this space. Pressing me to think more and call attention to how we portray Jesus in blogging and in life. This is along the same vein, but really includes Christ followers outside of the blogging world as well.
My good friend, Mike, is the young adult pastor for The Movement. He’s been preaching through Philippians lately, and last night, I’m not sure if it was what he said or if the text jumped out at me first, but I was hit to the core.
Philippians 3:18-21 ESV
For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.
The ESV Study Bible notes that the “For many” Paul mentions could be Judaizers or those who live in a worldly manner, those who live as “enemies of the cross”. But what stuck out to me was “even with tears.” It isn’t just that Paul is warning the Church whom he loves about danger, but it breaks his heart to see those created in the image of God live in such a way that “their end is destruction.”
This is so important for us today. We are constantly bombarded by blogs, articles, Tweets, and Facebook shares that condemn a certain group for destroying the fabric of America. The liberal claim that the conservative violate and restrict the rights of those who are different, and the conservative get angry when someone behaves in a way that throws our sense of reality off kilter by making us actually see something we believe is wrong instead of keeping it hidden away, allowing us to remain unaffected…and unchanged.
Because what’s happened to us? We’ve gotten comfortable. We’ve grown accustomed to the life in suburbia and we don’t want anything to rock our world and make us uncomfortable. We don’t want to see the dirt, the muck, or the mire of this world. And when we do, because we have become comfortable and, for the most part, spiritually weak, we react out of anger instead of responding in love and grace. Yes, and amen, stand for truth. Fight for truth! But we don’t fight against flesh and blood (Eph. 6:12). We don’t fight those whom Paul calls enemies of the cross! We fight FOR them. With carpet-worn knees and tear stained couches, we fight for them. Better that the politics of this nation become uncomfortable for us than for the those who claim the name of Christ to repel the lost from the very grace that saved us by being unloving to those whom Christ came to save.
There are some things that we must fight against. We fight against the murder of unborn babies. Absolutely. But we fight the politics, not the people. And we don’t fight with picket lines or quick-witted Tweets! We fight with love and grace through conversation over coffee, drinks, and food. We fight through prayer and education. We fight by falling on God’s grace and asking for the miracle of salvation, healed wounds, and spiritual strength.
In 1330, James Douglas lead his army into battle against the Moors. Cut off and surrounded, he took the container holding the embalmed heart of Robert the Bruce that he carried into battle since 1329 and threw it into the middle of the enemy’s army. Then he exclaimed, “Fight for the heart of your king!”
I’ve often heard this used as a rally cry for Christians to fight for the heart of Jesus when it comes to just about everything. Politics, corporate ethics, even evangelism. And, I think we do a great job of fighting for the heart of the King.