(I typed this in as a comment to follow up on “If this is evangelical, then I am not,” but it got so long that I thought I’d post it separately.)
Thanks everyone for your good comments! Am I being judgemental? Maybe. A bit. OK, yes, yes! Color me irritated.
All metaphors have their uses, Helen. I am accustomed to war metaphors and have used them myself. What strikes me is the poor timing. I’m afraid it muddles the distinction between the battle against spiritual forces of evil and the battle against our own flesh and blood fellow humans. It is very similar to the language of jihad, which Muslims generally apply to battling evil forces, particularly the evil within each of us. But the fundie Muslims are muddling that. Let’s not go there ourselves. Let’s not even get close.
But as I said, that is the least of my concerns. David put his finger on what bugs me the most: It’s about fear. It’s about protecting ourselves, especially our precious institutions. My gosh, haven’t they read the Book? Don’t they believe that the amazing Message with which we have been entrusted has power to change individuals and systems? Don’t they believe the ancient creed, “I believe in the holy Church”? (Hmm, that’s a topic to pursue in another posting.)
I wonder if they realize that the power of the Message is revealed through weakness. And this brings us back to Christendom, which is about the Christian church being one of the centers and dominant power players of society since the wacky conversion of the Roman emperor Constantine in 312. I no longer see the decline of this position of cultural power as such a bad thing. I may be an insufferable optimist. I have to be! I’ve read the Book and have seen the ultimate goal of human history, and have been given the privilege of living as a Citizen of the Future, doing my part to pull that future into the present. And as the Master demonstrated, this pulling is done through weakness, suffering, and surrender. Only then will we be able to overturn the present world system which values power and dominance.