Monday, March 22, 2010
Passing on Good Stuff
Following is an article by an old friend, Bob Flynn, President of the Christian Military Fellowship.
Casualties of War — Friendly Fire
I am grieved in my spirit of late at the breaking news about all of the terrorist activity reported in the news. Not the television network news, nor even the cable news, but reports from the front lines in the battle for souls. My ears are still ringing from reports of church splits, pastoral staff resignations, mischief and misbehavior at Christian universities. What fuels the flame of this seemingly continuous conflagration that destroys lives, churches and makes impotent the work of the Gospel? It is the sin of anger! Yes, you heard it here first. Anger is a sin.
I did not come to this conclusion by way of thoughtful consideration of my intellectual prowess. It came instead by incremental illumination by the Holy Spirit as He worked upon my heart during a ten-year long sojourn in the second chapter of the Epistle to the Philippians. It could not have happened any other way! It was and is a continuance of the work that God began and will finish on the day when Christ returns (Phil 1:6, paraphrase mine). For how can mere flesh and blood stand in the midst of Him of whom angels sing, “Holy, Holy, Holy.” For He who brings everything into conformity with His will had already spoken through the Apostle Paul and said, “Be humble, thinking others as better than yourself…In everything you do, stay away from complaining and arguing….” (Phil 2:3b, 14) Instead, our lives should epitomize the “attitude that was in Christ Jesus.” The only innocent man who lived did not cling to His innocence but rather sacrificed himself on the altar without complaint. He could have been angry at those who falsely accused and condemned Him. He could have clung to His excellence and rightly held us in contempt. Instead He went as a lamb to the slaughter. How then shall we live? Shall we continue giving aid and comfort to the Enemy? Shall we continue inflicting casualties upon each other because our lives are not “blameless,” “clean” and “innocent” “as children of God in a dark world full of crooked and perverse people.”? (Phil 2:15) How then can we be angry with another without thinking too highly of ourselves?
I know that there are those who would argue with me, but C.S. Lewis pretty much covers the basis for this conclusion in his book, Mere Christianity. “The law of gravity tells you what stones do if you drop them; but the law of Human Nature tells you what human beings ought to do and do not. In other words, when you are dealing with humans, something else comes in above and beyond the actual facts. You have the facts (how men do behave) and you also have something else (how they ought to behave). In the rest of the universe there need not be anything but the facts. Electrons and molecules behave in a certain way, and certain results follow, and that may be the whole story. But men behave in a certain way and that is not the whole story, for all the time you know that they ought to behave differently.”