By P. Andrew Sandlin
Published May 1, 2008
After the capitulation of France to Hitler’s Germany in World War II, loyal and freedom-loving Frenchmen formed a group called “The Resistance” which did its best to destabilize the new “French-Nazi” government. They assassinated Nazis and traitors, destroyed ammunition stations, and in general disrupted the Nazi government.
I suggest we twentieth-century American Christians can take a cue from the unregenerate but patriotic French Resistance. Spiritually we are in much the same position as they were about five decades ago. Because of neutrality, compromise and retreat on the part of Christian leadership over the past century, God’s world and its institutions have been overrun by his enemies-secular humanists and false religious teachers. We are suffering under their iron-fisted rule, as Israel suffered under the rule of heathen kings during the times of the judges. We need courageous, faithful judges (leaders) and a retinue of disciples to confess their sins and throw off the yoke of tyranny.
We must confess our sins of worldliness, laxity, and accommodation. We have been torpid in our self-centered ways while the Enemy has in deadly earnest wrestled the yoke onto us. We need to wrestle the yoke right back off and place it onto the enemy and his cohorts. To that end I offer a brief blueprint for The Resistance.
1. Adoration. That the practice of adoration and worship of God seems out of place in an essay designed to rouse Christians in the battle against Satan is a symptom of our spiritual ignorance and laxity. In a psalm of battle (Psalm 149), the writer states, “Let the high praises of God be in their [the saints’] mouth and a two-edged sword in their hand; to execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishment upon the people; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the Lord.” While the weapons of the church are not carnal (2 Cor. 10:3-6), the intensity of our conflict is greater than that which national Israel was engaged in the physical realm; and just as worship was an indispensable weapon in their arsenal (recall quickly the worship accompanying battles under Moses, Joshua, the judges, and the kings), so it should be in our battle against Satan and his hosts. When we cast our hearts and minds and voices heavenward and adore the great God of Heaven, we recognize his sovereign power and his authority over his universe and invoke his wrath upon his enemies (see Rev. 19:1-6). There is no more certain cure to an attitude of negativism and helplessness on the part of God’s people than a stirring revival of worship.
But for too many modern Christians, Biblical worship is simply an unknown or unpracticed phenomenon. It is virtually unknown in low liturgical churches (Methodist and Baptist), and it is cold and meaningless in most high liturgical churches (Lutheran and Episcopal, for example). But one thing is for certain. God’s people were successful in their Satan and his followers precisely because they knew how to worship (see Ac. 4:23-31). They were motivated by a knowledge of God’s omnipotence and authority. They poured out their hearts in adoration of Him and His Son Jesus. The apostles’ lips were filled with worshipful benedictions, as the lips of early Christians were filled songs of praise.
A prominent result of worship-and sometimes the very reason it was invoked-was for God to act on behalf of and through his people to subdue the Old Tempter and vicious Adversary.
Consequently, if we are going to beat back the forces of Satanic secularism, we must revive Biblical worship. Churches must become strongholds of adoration. We must revive the “worship service”: an initial quiet atmosphere in which hearts can be prepared for the word, an offering given by adoring hearts, songs of praise sung with the enthusiasm of true worship, the elements of the Lord’s table partaken with awe to and gratitude for the One whose blood and body are the cornerstone of our Faith, and the careful, Spirit-anointed declaration of the word whose goal is the exaltation of God and Christ (1 Pet. 4: ). Complaining, ungrateful hearts quickly invite divine chastisement and the Devilish yoke. Genuine worship is a sure means throwing off the yoke and taking back the Devil’s territory.
2. Supplication. 2 Chronicles 7:14 states, “If my people which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” A cold-hearted, self-centered, devotionless Christianity deserves to bear the yoke of Satanic humanism and secularism. We must ask God to show us the utter depravity and spiritual laxity of our own lives, and only subsequently the perversity of the society about us. We should ask him to melt our cold, indifferent hearts. Little by little we are becoming spiritually impotent and emasculated as we receive sensual favors from Satan in exchange for worldliness and torpidity. While we are at ease, Satan is working feverishly (Rev. 12:12). We must constantly cry out to God for grace and strength.
Imprecation. A second aspect of supplication in which we must engage is imprecation, the invoking of divine curses upon God’s enemies. Note carefully Psalms . In our increasingly sentimental and syrupy Christianity, imprecatory prayers have all but disappeared. Where are the earnest prayers for God to cast down the secularists from their seats, to unseat unjust judges, and to destroy abortionists? The fact is, most of us are not serious about our dilemma; thus, we sadly shake our heads, and click our tongues, and walk away. Face it. God gets serious when his people get serious. This is not to say that the sovereign God of heaven is manipulated by his creatures. It is quite true, however, that the testimony of Scripture bears out that as God’s people repent and begin to despise evil in their own lives and in their society, he is inclined to eliminate that evil.
3. Evangelization. The message of salvation, justification, adoption, pardon, and forgiveness to condemned sinners is what we term “the gospel.” It is this message that transforms lives, changing rebels into repentant sinners and obedient saints, and that should be on our lips consistently as by means of the dynamic power of the Holy Spirit we communicate it to the unsaved who surround us. Unfortunately, the Satanic stranglehold on Western culture has led some Christians to the attitude that, Well, things are so bad morally that we need to pull ourselves into our Christian fortresses and wait out until the Second Coming of Christ. This philosophy is anything but Scriptural. If the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16), then to neglect telling it because of the depravity of a society is to hold the nearly blasphemous idea that the gospel is not as potent as depravity. Everything in Scripture flies in the face of that idea. Further, it does not take into the account the absolute predestinating power of God who has chosen his own for his own purposes (Eph. 1). Nor does it take into account the prophecy of Romans 11:25 that there yet remains the “fullness of the Gentiles” which will accompany the conversion of the Jews. Obviously we do not know exactly when these mass conversions will occur; it is foolish, notwithstanding, to think that the days of great revival and reformation are past, and that increased depravity will somehow stymie God’s Gospel plan. The evangelization not only of the United States, but also of the entire world should be high on the priority list of all Christ’s churches.
4. Proclamation. The pulpit of a Bible-believing church is one of the most sacred places in any community. God calls his ministers, his prophets, to cry aloud against sin both personal and social. When supposed Bible-believing pulpits become nests for high-sounding, polished topical chirps, rather than for noble content-ful music and warning sounds of danger, it is time for birdshot. Liberal and evangelical pleasantries on the one hand, and topical fundamentalist pulpit-pounding on the other, are egregious substitutes for clear, Scriptural proclamation.
5. Indoctrination. Just as it took more than a single generation for Satan’s devotees in the form of secularism, humanism, and false teaching to seize control of American society, so it will take The Resistance longer than a single generation to liberate this society from Satan’s occupation. Recognition of this truth is particularly crucial since so many Christians late in the twentieth century are so spiritually and socially short-sighted. They are accustomed to quick-decision regeneration in “revival” meetings and probably transfer this revivalistic philosophy to their general outlook on life: that just as people can be brought to salvation quickly, and sometimes painlessly, so social maladies can be quickly and almost painlessly eliminated. Nothing could be further from the truth. The restructuring of our individual lives and of society will be a long, arduous, sometimes thankless task. Long, arduous and thankless are words not found in the modern “Christian servant’s” vocabulary. Nonetheless, if we are going to counter the malevolent effects of humanism and secularism, we had better learn to work diligently and methodically, and not expect immediate results. If our work will take longer than a single generation, indoctrination must be of critical importance. In two particular spheres we must engage in indoctrination.
Converts. We must carefully and diligently disciple those whom the Lord regenerates and who join our congregations. Of course, I’m not insisting here on a strategy I dreamed up. The clear message of Scripture is that converts be discipled (Mt. 28:19, 20). To “hoop it up” over numerous conversions while neglecting our responsibility of discipleship is detrimental not only to undiscipled converts, but also to the cause of Christ as a whole. Pastors must insist on forming groups of spiritual, well-trained Christians whose main job is discipling those who are converted. And it won’t be easy. Discipling is hard work, requiring self-sacrifice. New converts to the Christian Faith must be taught the important central doctrines of Christianity, as well as important Biblical principles for daily living. Immediately we must impress on them the importance of devotion to God; worship; obedience to the Scriptures; and their responsibilities to pray, witness, and love the brethren. In the practice of discipleship the Holy Spirit uses more seasoned Christians to reproduce themselves in new converts.
Children. Even more important, however, than the indoctrination of new converts in the form of discipleship is the indoctrination of children by Christian parents. Christianity gains the majority of its converts before they are twenty years old, and the opportunities for children who are properly trained and indoctrinated according to the Holy Scriptures are virtually limitless. The discipleship of older converts necessitates a great deal of unlearning; for the discipleship and indoctrination of children, one starts “fresh.” This is one among several reasons that Scripture so emphasize the correct training of children-the preparation of a godly seed. Nurturing a godly seed is the ideal means of the transmission of spirituality on earth. God commanded both Adam and Noah to “be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth” with, of course, a godly seed. The awesome promises given to Abraham were inextricably linked to the maintenance of a godly seed. And today apostate Israelites have been supplanted by Gentiles as the true spiritual seed, as foretold in Old Testament. The seed is “seminal” in God’s plan. If Christians are to thwart Satan’s occupation of the world in general and America in particular, they must gain a renewed appreciation of the importance of a godly seed and redouble their efforts in training that seed. Because as a rule these godly children will have avoided the pattern of extensive depravity of most others in Adam’s race, they will thereby avoid many of the divine consequences of sin. Their hearts and intellects-if properly trained-will be steeped in red-blooded, Biblical Christianity. Children must be trained into salvation, as young Timothy was (2 Tim. 3:15). Parents must inculcate into them Christian convictions about the inspiration, infallibility, and absolute authority of Holy Scripture; the impeccable personhood and mediatorial work of Christ; the comprehensive scope of Biblical salvation; and God’s promises to his church and people that the gates of Hell will not prevail against them and they are God’s ambassadors in this world (Mt. 16:18; 2 Cor. 5:17-6:2), and Kings and priests not in only the future eternal realm, but in the present aeon also (Rev. 1:5). They should be introduced to a “Christian worldview” at a fairly early age. They should know at the earliest possible age, moreover, about the Lordship and authority of Christ in their lives and in the world.
Christian education. The proliferation of Christian day schools and home schooling bodes certain victory for The Resistance movement. Since the United States has conformed to Karl Marx’s suggestions for the ideal communistic society by instituting compulsory public education for children, Satan’s educational disciples have held a virtual monopoly. Fortunately, Christian home schools and day schools are quickly breaking that monopoly. Of course, public education has not helped its cause by its increasing incompetence and inefficiency; but The Resistance doesn’t care if public education were uniformly competent and efficient. Indeed, The Resistance realizes that competent and efficient public education more easily effects the Devil’s heinous designs; therefore, we prefer all the embarrassing incompetence it presently suffers. Our Christian day schools are not without problems, however. Too many of them equate spirituality with adherence to external codes and inculcate few Biblical life principles. In addition, a number of our day schools are academically weak, and they’re not trying to strengthen that weakness. Others, moreover, teach a retreatist attitude rather than a militant scheme for dealing with Satan, the flesh, and the world. Some have perverted priorities: athletics and activities come first. Finally, some are simply incubators for worldliness and carnality. These practices and attitudes must change immediately. On the other hand, the bright spot is that we have an abundant supply of Biblically grounded and scholastically sound textbooks. Materials from A Beka Books, Bob Jones Publications, Alpha-Omega and others have more than filled the pressing and crucial need of Christian textbooks.
We must be careful not to allow secularistic humanists to define our agenda. For instance, public education today has little use for traditionally stressed topics like logic, speech, literary interpretation, and so forth. If possible, these subjects and others out of vogue in modern public education should be emphasized.
It is at this level that The Resistance can be particularly effective.
6. Infiltration. We need people to infiltrate institutions presently under the control of the Devil. We could start with public schools. Of course, except in unusual cases, we should not send our own children to public schools; but courageous, Resistance-minded Christian educators need to secure posts in all levels of public education and reclaim their area for Christ. Obviously, while under the present humanistic yoke, they may have to operate covertly for a while. They may not be able to publicly proclaim the Crown Rights of Jesus Christ. They should quietly subvert the humanistic system, however, by providing “acceptable alternatives” (red-blooded Biblical Faith). If they become a little too bold and incite the ire of the humanistic administration or school board, they should cry, “Violation of academic freedom!” in tones appropriate to the cry of “bloody murder!”
Media. A whole crop of intelligent young people should infiltrate the media-newspapers, magazines, radio, and television. If they are reporters, they should present the news through the grid of a Christian world and life view. If they are editorial writers or television personalities, they should expose the glaring weaknesses and heresies of secular humanism, The New Age movement, and false teachings, while increasing providing the Christian alternative. And we desperately need Christian involvement in “entertainment,” television and movies. For too long-that is, forever-the Enemy has monopolized the movie industry. He is now producing technically superb but morally perverted and depraved films, which many people watch just because there are no alternatives. The Christian Broadcasting Network has developed some creditable television programing, and Bob Jones University has produced some excellent films; but more work needs to be done in this area. We need to produce truly Christian films of such high quality that the present greedy humanists cannot afford to ignore them. Such an enterprise will require a hefty some of money. Affluent Christians should consider contributing to such an enterprise. Never mind the pious-sounding but foolish argument, “What a waste of money!” or, “That’s terribly worldly.” Listen: cinema influences more people in America today than all other forms of media combined. If we want to influence people, we need to get a share of the control of the media by which people are influenced.
Politics. We should imitate Joseph and Daniel of the Old Testament and infiltrate the political system. Christian municipal board members, mayors, judges, auditors, senators, and representatives can mightily influence this society for the sake of righteousness. Joseph was used of God to preserve ethnic Israel, and Daniel was used to spiritually reorient an entire empire. Above all, when Christians are elected or appointed to public office, they should practice their Christian convictions, and not cave in to neutral “democratic” opinion. We Christians are here to extend Christ’s kingdom, not the Devil’s.
7. Confrontation. When John the Baptist fearlessly confronted Herod for his adulterous transgression with the words, “it is not lawful for thee to have her” (Mt. 14:4), he was following in the tradition of the Old Testament prophets who boldly and unequivocally denounced sin in society and in high places. Remarkably, what the Biblical prophets practiced so incessantly modern “preachers” neglect almost completely. They have apparently not taken seriously the exhortation to preach the entire counsel of God because they are conspicuously silent when it comes to boldly confronting sin-sin in their own congregations, and sin in society. Some Christian ministers do inveigh against “blocked” hair on males, any sort of slacks on females, and “earth shoes” on anybody; and they are embarrassingly misguided in their stand. But at least they stand for something. Most Christian ministers preach against nothing (except maybe greedy capitalism or the destructive effects of pollution, but that’s another story).
In every location and against every evil must the Christian cry out. Paul exhorts, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Eph. 5:11), referring to the works of the “children of disobedience.” Christians are indeed to begin by judging sin in their own lives, Christian ministers the sin in the lives of members of their congregation; but from their, each of us must confront and expose evil as we have the opportunity.
By speaking with friends and acquaintances, by writing letters, by contacting the media, by communication with management and labor, Christians should confront evil in in sphere. Pastors, teachers and evangelists are especially poised-and should be especially equipped-to expose on a local, state and national level. Students and other young adults can make their voice heard on secular campuses and in letters to the editor of the local newspaper, and in picketing, and . Not every individual can confront evil in every sphere, of course. But each individual must discover himself his own gifts and abilities and ask God what he can do to stem the tide of evil and roll back the Satanic occupation.
Now is not the time for timidity; it is the time for confrontation.
8. Information. Information movements cannot survive apart from good information links. The problem among many Christians today is simply that they do not recognize the importance of such links. Several suggestions are in order here.
First, Christians should do their best to locate other Christians who have “resistance inclinations.” Individually, if they hear about such believers, they should try to locate addresses, and establish contacts. They should write letters and use the long-distance telephone and FAX machine. They should schedule times to rendezvous with these believers in informal-not church-settings to talk over strategies. There is a very important place for information in the church setting, but it is not in view here.
Second, Christians should make use of the rapidly growing market of information technology, i.e., the personal computer. The personal computer is almost an indispensable means these days of establishing information links and disseminating information.
Third, Christians in a particular locality should consistently congregate and informally ask what they can do to further the cause of Christ in their community. Even if their respective local churches disagree on numerous relatively secondary matters, these individual Christians-and their pastors-can unite in order to fight Satanic occupation.
Fourth, Christians should recommend and lend to one another excellent Christian books, articles, and magazines. Audio and video tapes are useful, but for sheer content cannot nothing can be compared to literature. Christians, I repeat, should concentrate on good Christian literature-not contemporary mishmash. Steer people clear of revivalistic tracts and superficial how-to-do-it manuals and start by getting into Francis Schaeffer, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, A. W. Tozer, Gary North, and . If you have more studious correspondents recommend Carl F. Henry, Leon Morris, Cornelius Van Til, Herman Ridderbos, and the old Puritan and Baptist writers. You and the people to whom you recommend these books will not agree with everything you read; the people whose writings I recommend certainly do not agree with each other. The object in getting people to read books by these men, however, is not that they will imbibe everything they read but that they will develop more profound Biblical views about the Bible, society and Christianity in general, and potentially be drawn closer to Christ. Be in careful in recommendations. Recommend gently. Don’t come on too strongly.
Fifth, Christian pastors should inform their congregations of good sources of information and make them available to the membership either by starting a book table, a church library, or a church bookstore. At the very least, they should distribute some sort of annotated bibliography to interested members.
9. Identification. When a soldier is in a battle for his life, and is dependent on allies to save him, he does not demand that his allies always wear their insignia on their uniform the way he himself does. In a battle, you use about any ally available. In the present conflict, we have no time for unscriptural sectarianism. We must courageously obey the Scriptural teachings regarding separation from unbelievers, false teachers, and unrepentant brethren; but we must avoid lubricious partisan separatism that by default furthers Satanic occupation. Bible-believing Methodists, Baptists, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Brethren, and so forth should maintain their strict denominational/organizational convictions at all times. They should, however, set aside important secondary differences when they are uniting to turn back Satan. For instance, the Calvinists should not be arguing about eternal security with their Church of God brethren while they are picketing abortion clinics. Presbyterians had better not be arguing about sprinkling and immersion at anti-pornography meetings. Lutherans are foolish if they are arguing with Charismatics about the gifts of the Spirit while both are fighting liberalism, modernism, and neo-orthodoxy. Reconstructionists should not be blasting dispensationalists while both are trying to oppose government encroachments on individual and ecclesiastical liberty. Christians should not be arguing over which translation of the Bible they use while secularists are scuttling all Bibles of any kind that are halfway decent. But I’m not suggesting any diminution of doctrinal distinctives. Stand firm on those distinctives. I am simply suggesting that when we are fighting the Devil, we shouldn’t be fighting each other in matters that are, I repeat, important, yet secondary to this battle for our very survival. Ecumenicity involving liberals and religious humanists and other false teachers is vile in God’s sight; ecumenicity among Bible-believing people who differ on secondary matters is altogether Scriptural; and if it is avoided, it is sometimes lethal.
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