Sunday, September 11, 2011

Message From the Front Lines

Prophetic words from an old soldier:
"The enemy has not yet thought it worth his while to fling his whole weight against us. But he soon will. This happens in the history of every Christian movement, beginning with the Ministry of Christ Himself. At first it is welcome to all who have no special reason for opposing it: at this stage he who is not against it is for it. What men notice is its difference from those aspects of the World which they already dislike. But later on, as the real meaning of the Christian claim becomes apparent, its demand for total surrender, the sheer chasm between Nature and Supernature, men are increasingly 'offended'. Dislike, terror, and finally hatred succeed: none who will not give it what it asks (and it asks all) can endure it: all who are not with it are against it...

...I think - but how should I know? - that all is going reasonably well. But it is early days. Neither our armour nor our enemies' is fully engaged. Combatants always tend to imagine that the war is further on than it really is."
C.S. Lewis on "The Decline of Religion," in "God in the Dock", 1970 Erdmans Publishing pp 222-3.

I love his long term perspective on things, yet, for the foot-soldier, there are battles to be fought, burdens to be shouldered, and miles to be marched, but to what end? Is the end even within the capabilities of our vision?

This war is likely to be a lot longer than we can possibly imagine.


  1. Nobody crystallizes things like Lewis.

    I'm afraid, for too long in this country we've been living in those "early times." We see now that the attacks are coming more frequently. Alas, our complacency has led to many victories already for the enemy. We are back on our heels, yet we are already tired. The worst is yet to come, I think, and all we can do as pray that Christ will live through us. We need to stop thinking that He needs us to accomplish His will through our own efforts. Rather he needs/wants/demands that total surrender to which Lewis refers.

    Thanks for reminding me of that, especially on this day.

  2. The quotation makes me think of the underlying evil behind it all, particularly 9/11, and how that evil works on a time scale far different from our own.

  3. You are welcome Randall and thanks MJ, remember that the forces of good also work over that different time scale.

  4. great insight. I think many of us are confused about the 'action plan' in the face of aggressive anti-Christian sentiment. Obviously, we depend on God. I try to remind myself of that over and again.