I have waited several days to write this. I looked and listened to the media, the politicians, the spiritual and community leaders as I pondered the events at Sandy Creek and groaned within myself at what all sane people would agree was a senseless slaughter of innocents, and I waited. But today I can wait no more. My voice is small, its reach is limited but it is time and beyond time for all voices great and small to arise and cry out for the deliverance of our God. Many will not read beyond that line, but I implore you to give five minutes to the balance of this writing.
Truth! I will not debate absolute truth here but rather I will declare that which I hold to be true. We, mankind, are born into a fallen world destined for destruction. Nothing we do can change or avert that. One day the world we know will cease to exist as it is because evil will have reached its fulfillment. Man himself is born to a fallen nature, I don’t need scripture or Sunday School to tell me that, I can look at history and the world around and see countless examples where children and adults, when left unrestrained by law and faith become completely and mercilessly evil, seeking only the pleasure of the individual for the moment with no regard for others. What then is the source of all this evil and what if anything is the solution?
There is a God, and at this point many will say “where was He at Sandy Creek”. He was there, as many better and wiser than I have said, comforting children, causing unarmed adults to face an attacker in their defense, protecting others, welcoming the departed into His presence. All those things are true as far as they go. Others have said, we have rejected His presence in our schools, our courts, our communities and our conversation, so why should we be surprised when He does not spring to our defense. Again, there is an argument to be made for this and it has merit as far as it goes. What has been sorely lacking in my opinion is a third element which does not negate the others but goes to fill in the gaps between them. That element is the existence of evil.
God is perfect, just, righteous and absolute. Man rejected Him as creator and rebelled against Him and allowed evil to enter in to a perfect world. Since that time, there has been a battle between good and evil for the souls of men. This is not a battle with equal power because God could simply destroy all evil with a word from His lips and it would no longer exist. However, instantly destroying evil would also destroy the creation that God holds closest to His heart, mankind. Instead, God has chosen to love His fallen creation and to rescue it through extending an invitation to love Him in return. We will return to this thought.
A battle supposes an enemy, an opposing force. Well we have one, a guerilla fighter leading a band of ruthless, bloodthirsty cutthroats whose only aim is destruction because they know victory is impossible. This is Satan and the demonic forces that abound with him. Perhaps their greatest accomplishment is to persuade most of the scientific, medical, and educational community to relegate the existence of such creatures to folklore, myths and fairy tales for children. This persuasion allows these fighters to operate unseen and unnoticed by all but a few who would be spiritually sensitive to their presence. It is here, in the unseen world where the battle for men’s souls takes place and it is in our natural world where it explodes in tragedy.
By now, some heads are shaking and eyes rolling, but let me encourage you just a little longer and you will see. It doesn’t begin with bloodshed, but with the whispered thought, “it’s only a little lie, no one will know”. Then later the thoughts of “they are just seeking to keep me from having fun” so we violate our parents curfew, or the speed limit, or take a drink, try a drug or some other thing. It is a false freedom that is promised, the freedom of choice without consequence and that freedom does not exist. Later the voices rise to answer the challenge to that freedom and it brings anger as the answer. Harsh words, gestures, angry looks, physical violence. We have all had these thoughts at some level. They don’t come from within, but are planted from outside and we nurture them. This is the arena of the demonic. It cannot be controlled by meditation, by good thoughts, or balanced by good deeds. Neither can it be controlled by assigning it a name, classifying it as a disease, prescribing medication or behavioral therapy. Evil must be confronted and defeated where it is, but how.
Thus we come to the truth I cling to. God made a way for us in this. That way is Jesus. Those who believe this and accept Jesus must also accept we are born into a war between the Kingdom of Light and the Kingdom of Darkness. What we often fail to accept and act on is that our entire lives after accepting Christ is to be the life of a warrior fighting not to defeat darkness, but to rescue from darkness. Darkness will have this world, not the next. All we can retrieve from this world is the souls of men. Ephesians 6 describes the Great War, the levels of demonic authority, the armor of the Christian, and the two weapons – The word of God – and Prayer. We alone on the face of the earth have the right to declare God’s love and acceptance of those who will believe, and we alone have the right to petition God to move and intervene and the right to expect that movement to come in power.
As God’s ambassadors of the Kingdom of Heaven, our job is not to resist the government, to fight the scientific community, the educational system and such, but instead to engage the enemy in the arena of the supernatural by bringing prayer and scripture to bear on behalf of these organizations instead of against them. People are never our enemy; they are the prisoners and tools of the enemy. By engaging him directly, some of them will be set free. Can we prevent another Sandy Creek? Not in my opinion, but we can battle the enemy constantly and delay such events and set free some of his prisoners as well. It is time friends to engage in the battle.