Friday, April 09, 2010

The Word for Friday, April 9

No point in missing the entire month of April, as I always say. Post something!

All right, I will.

In the on-again, off-again "weapons and the believer" series: Ephesians 6:10-20.
Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
This is, of course, a very familiar passage; have we not all heard more than a few sermons, and gone through more than a few Sunday-school lessons, on the metaphorical import of the military kit of the Roman soldier? I hasten to note that this, like many of the passages on which I've already commented here, certainly is not an instruction to the Christian to procure and keep weapons in the physical sense; neither does it forbid him from doing so. Such physical weapons are entirely beside the apostle's point, as he says himself: " ... our struggle is not against flesh and blood ...". From looking at the imperative-mood verbs in this passage, I think we can see that some actions, one most particularly, are being commended: be strong, put on, take up, stand firm, take up, take, pray, be on the alert, and pray. My guns don't prevent me from doing what I'm told here; but they are certainly irrelevant to the purpose.

Click here for actual Words for Wednesday.


Anonymous said...

I don't know, my friend. When I read this passage, I hear something like "Leave behind the weapons of the world, and use the ones that really work." But that could just be me.

FYI, the Lord recently led me to two books that I think you'd really find interesting. They both deal with the intersection of Christianity and politics, and they're both available on Amazon. Maybe your reading for the end of the semester break - if you have an end of semester break? I miss your presence, brother.

Gregory A. Boyd: The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power is Destroying the Church

D. Eric Schansberg: Turn Neither to the Right Nor to the Left: A Thinking Christian's Guide to Politics and Public Policy

Jim Wetzel said...

Thanks so much! I'll try to get hold of those titles. I'm currently fighting the temptation to acquire a Kindle -- my head tells me it's a bad idea, but that commercial devil perched on my off shoulder keeps whispering to me about how cool it would be.

Anonymous said...

woah, a kindle? I'm still figuring out my ipod. You're going to leave me in the dust!