Monday, February 07, 2011

Slaying Giants - Entry 4

Using the historical account recorded in 1 Samuel 17 as a metaphor for the cultural battles raging in the nations we next read, “…Saul and the men of Israel were gathered, and camped in the valley of Elah, and drew up in battle array to encounter the Philistines.”

Saul and his army looked the part, they had the right outward appearance, coming out to meet the Philistines in “battle array”. As the account unfolds, however, we are told that with all of their military appearance, “they were dismayed and greatly afraid” as they were taunted by one huge opponent.

Could it be that the people of God today, the church, looks the part but is all too often unprepared to face the giants of our culture? Could it be that with all of the impressive appearance, we are often unaware of the damage the giants who taunt the people of God are doing in our culture and in the nations? Could it be that the arenas in which thousands gather for self-satisfying, emotionally uplifting experiences are not fully equipping the saints for the work of ministry, to battle the giants? The mission of the church is multi-faceted. Different people will focus on different types and levels of ministry. There are those who do what they do well. Many important things get accomplished. The question I raise concerns the ability of the church to recognize and defeat the giants who are effectively instrumental in shaping our culture. Giants who, at times, manage to sculpt out a culture that is simply contrary to Biblical principle and, at times, more aggressively promote an anti-Christian agenda. Do I anticipate that every Christian will be equipped to fight this battle? I do not. But, as the corporate body of believers, I do believe we need to give greater and more effective attention to raising up, supporting and sending those who can go forth to be effective in this extremely important ministry. Unfortunately, the need for and importance of such ministry seems to be nearly unrecognized in the “popular” church. I recently asked a group of about fifty Christian men and women if they had ever heard of Jacques Derrida or Michel Foucault. None had ever heard of them. My only point is to question why, in the thousands of sermons and teachings to which they have been exposed, was there not one reference to the influence such men are having upon our society. Darrow Miller has stated that we are ruled by dead men. The influences exercised by Charles Darwin, Sigmund Freud, Karl Marx and others have significantly shaped the thinking of college professors, politicians, scientists and other important professionals. While the army of God is often “dismayed and greatly afraid”, we desperately need Davids who can declare, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine” as they actively go forth with the seemingly insufficiant slings and stones that the Lord will use in ways that are beyond popular expectation.

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