By Jeff Kepeli
We are at war.
No, not a war to garner resources from other countries or to fight “terrorism”, but a war that is being fought on such a subtle level that we don’t even realize that we’re losing! How pathetic is that?! I’ll explain more later, but first I’d like to invite you on a journey that I’ve been taking.
I’ve been struggling, ever since I became a Christian late 2009, to understand what it means to be a man of God and how that looks in everyday life and within the church itself. To understand what it means to be a man in the church you need to understand the reality in which we find ourselves and in which the church finds itself.
Men these days, especially young men, spend a lot of time in the virtual world; virtual reality if you will. A strong addiction to video games, computer games, console games (such as the one this blog post title is not-so-subtly referencing), and pornography is plaguing men and drawing us away from the goodness that is actual reality. Maybe you aren’t a game or porn addict, but perhaps you fall into the more subtle and even scarier category of technology addict. Can’t go more than 30 seconds without some form of technology near your face? That’s an addiction to technology my friend. But it’s okay, let’s join reality together shall we?
The reality: we are in a war.
But we must understand the type of war we are fighting. War is inherently political, I’m sure you knew that already. Matthew and Paul both confirm this as the authors of some parts of the Bible. Matthew writes “Repent, the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” in Matthew 3:2. Paul goes further in his writings in Colossians 1:13, “He [Jesus] has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.” Emphasis added. Politics is normally thought of as relations between countries but here we see that Matthew and Paul are describing entire domains (basically Heaven, Hell and Earth). Has it hit you yet that we’re in a war against the unseen that affects the seen? No? Let me break it down for you.
We should be fighting against Satan who wants us to fruitlessly try to satisfy our desires. Whether that be pursuing money out of love for money, whether it be sacrificing our time to the pursuit of temporal pleasures of pornography or virtual gaming, or ignoring our family and friends to “work to provide” for the very same family and friends. Oh, there’s more, such as idolizing our relationships and putting others on a pedestal and worshiping other people or even ourselves! The list goes on and on.
So what are we, as Christ-following men, supposed to do? Thankfully, Paul elucidates that for us in Ephesians 2. God has given us a war-time rescue mission. How cool is that?! But are you prepared for it? Do you have enough ammunition? What kind of ammunition? Nukes? Cool. But no.
We must understand how modern warfare has evolved in order to prepare correctly and effectively. (Reminds me of an adage: bringing a knife to a gun-fight). Don’t want that now do we?
- 1st Generation Warfare – consisting of line and column. Shoot in a line with neat rows and columns, step back and let the next row shoot. Pretty simple. Effective pre-automatic weaponry. Doesn’t help us these days against the constant bombardment of technology.
- 2nd Generation Warfare – consisting of line and column with some massed firepower, as in World War I. The things we’re fighting against aren’t big nation states are they? No. Let’s move on.
- 3rd Generation Warfare – consisting of out-maneuvering the opposition, as in World War II. Again, big nations trying to turn a large, bulky vehicle in a period where we can easily out-maneuver them? (technology wins once again)
- 4th Generation Warfare – consisting of small groups fighting nation states (insurgency). Now we’re talking; get a few of our buddies together, get suited up and off we go!
We find ourselves in the 4th generation of warfare; where small groups plant themselves in a dangerous environment to intentionally bring about change with the least amount of casualties. Seems pretty effective in this day and age wouldn’t you agree?
As we dive into the reality of warfare going on each and every day of our lives, the warfare that is so pervasive and so subtle as to make you think that we aren’t even fighting anything, we must prepare and prepare effectively. Men, we must arm ourselves with truth, not relative truths but absolute truths. We must be aware and educate ourselves and each other of the trappings of Satan and his captives. How will you free your captive son or daughter, mother or father, friends? Do you want to nuke them? Or do you want a small tactical team properly trained and effectively armed so as to not destroy the very thing you are trying to save? Do you need saving?
For the men out there calling themselves Christian, take heart. Paul writes in Colossians 2:13-15, “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.” Jesus has already disarmed the opposition! Doesn’t mean you don’t prepare, it means that your small insurgency has a great fighting chance!
So Men, join reality with me. Take ownership of your lives and the lives entrusted to you. Get into a small group of men who will watch your back and support you through battles in the war we call life. If you consider yourself a Christ-follower, it is your duty as stated by Paul in Ephesians 2.
Welcome to reality gentlemen. Thanks for answering the call of duty to join the modern warfare in its 4th generation. Good luck and godspeed.
This post is part of a series of reflections written by the men of Trinity Church in response to the ACT LIKE MEN Conference and the topic of Mens Issues within Christianity.
Other posts include:
Reposted from Jeff Kepeli’s blog: http://seecao.wordpress.com/