Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Remembering Soldiers

Today is Rememberance Day in Canada, Veteran's Day in the US. Growing up in a military town, Veteran's Day celebrations and honoring those in service (present and past) was a very big deal. It's a big deal in Canada as well, and there's a tradition here that I really like that wasn't a part of my American tradition. On this day at 11:00am the tradition is to have a moment of silence in honor of those who have given their lives in service for their country. We have that moment of silence and we give it to the Lord in prayer.

Considering the political climate in the US, my thoughts today are on a different kind of freedom, liberty and justice. A different kind of war and a different kind of soldier. A different kind of bravery and a different kind of courage. Of course what I refer to is the spiritual realm, not the physical.

We live in a time unlike any other in North America. We live in a culture where you can go to jail if you stand in your pulpit as a pastor and preach what the Scriptures say about homosexuality or slaughtering unborn babies. We live in a time where sterilized, generic spirituality is praised but Biblical Christianity is mocked and derided. We live in an era of God-hating culture, and man-centered religion & morality. Indeed this is a serious challenge for any Bible believing Christian desiring to live their life in a way that pleases God and not men. The younger generations of Christians face challenges that us older Christians never faced, growing up in a different time.

For the serious Christian, the time is now to not cave in and become weary, as easy as that is to do. This takes courage, and it takes conviction, and it takes the grace and the strength of God, to do it. Of all the Christians I've read that have their finger on the pulse of North American culture, not one of them has any hope that things will get better, but instead that the battle will become more intense, and more outrageous than North American Christians have ever experienced first hand. Some say that this is exactly what the church needs to strengthen it. Frankly, I don't look forward to it but if that's what is coming then let it come and let us stand in the face of it.

Let's remember today, the Christian Soldiers that are on the front lines of battle in ministry. In foreign and domestic missions where the unlovely and cultural cast-offs are being loved and cared for. In evangelism in the most hostile situations. In apologetics where speaking God's truth against false religion can get you killed. In clandestine house churches scattered around the world where knowledge of your faith can end up causing your entire family to be slaughtered. The young people in North America that love the Lord and battle man-centered philosophical garbage as they attempt to live out their faith according to the Scriptures.

The list could go on and on, but these are the soldiers of faith that I think of today. They inspire me and they need our prayers every day.

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