Western Christians have heard for years about “spiritual wolves” here and there, but few could testify to really having seen one.
Thus, we are dangerously close to ignoring a valid cry of, “Wolf!” “Yes, yes. Another ‘spiritual wolf.’ I’ve not seen one of those creatures in years and years. I read a book about them once, but they don’t live in these parts.”
Christians are persecuted the world over, even in America. But it is ludicrous to compare the hardships American Believers face to those faced by Christ-followers in the Islamic State, fundamental Muslim countries, North Korea, China, and dozens of other places. These members of our faith family are in the game.
Could severe persecution of Christians come to the western world? There are scenarios where this could happen, but are they likely? I don’t see it, certainly not any time soon. Perhaps there will be revised tax laws that will make the fiscal stability of nonprofits tenuous, but tortured for my faith in Texas?
So what’s the point in getting spiritually ready if I’m never going to get into the “real” game anyway? I can be mediocre in my spiritual life and never miss a beat as a western Christian. I know that’s not true for my Christian family in Iran, Syria, Pakistan, and other places, but status quo works just fine in America.
You know, if I was Satan I wouldn’t mess with the western system. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” He’d be silly to tamper with something so effective.
I don’t think the devil could care less if people go to church. Furthermore, he doesn’t mind if they get really committed. After all, a fellow can miss a living relationship with Jesus sitting in his church pew and teaching Sunday School just as he can lying in the gutter drunk or pledging allegiance to an atheistic system. Satan’s not out to make everyone drug addicts, prostitutes, and pagans. His concern is with folks who care about Christ in a personal way.
Apathy accomplishes his purpose just as surely (if not more effectively sometimes) as a radical Muslim with a knife. It’s like we in the west know there is a spiritual wolf out there. Somewhere there is a game being played for keeps. But we stand little, if any, chance of getting to play in the real game or being called on to fend off the true beast. So we grow complacent and apathetic.
But I press the question: Do we have a real enemy and is our battle legitimate?
Thoughts on this question are next up.