O Church Arise and put your armor on . . . It’s time we stop hiding on our comfortable sofas and show the boldness of Christ to this troubled world. I don’t speak for all Christians, but I feel it’s time believers of every color, nationality and denomination suit up in the armor of God.
Some of the recent advancements for unity and understanding in our country have been long overdue and we should be ashamed that although we did what we thought was right, obviously it wasn’t enough. We have more work to do now than ever before to bring liberty and justice to all of God’s children.
While we’ve been busy dealing with relationships within our communities, the focus of darkness has shifted and all Christians have stealthily come under attack.
We’re afraid to sing, “Onward Christian Soldiers” because it mentions the word, “war,” but when churches are being burned, defaced and leaders of these mobs are encouraging followers to destroy images of Christ, then we are indeed at war. To remain passive is what the enemy wants.
Creating artwork that reflects the Holy family as different races has been practiced for centuries. There are images of Christ as Hispanic, black, white and hanging in the Cathedral of Notre Dame was the unofficially titled, “The Chinese Madonna and son.” We believe Christ lives within us and this human artwork reflects our longing to connect with him. We know good and well Christ was really a Middle Eastern Jewish man, and yet humans have always wanted to capture part of us in him. There’s nothing wrong with employing artistic license to bring someone closer to God. Those who aim to destroy these types of works are merely searching for an excuse to divide and conquer.
Our right to assemble is under scrutiny and the very name of God will soon be forbidden. And yet, we watch it play out on television, shake our heads and say, “this is terrible.” Then . . . we eat a snack. Are we helpless, clueless, overwhelmed, cowards or just lazy?
Maybe we’ve forgotten that we’ve been equipped with the strongest power on earth. Prayer and love are our main weapons against evil. Prayer can stop angry armies in their tracks and God’s love can turn evil hearts to righteousness. We have these tools at our disposal and yet we fail to use them.
We stopped using prayer in public long ago, then it faded from our homes. Sweetness and clean humor were replaced by reality style TV, so yelling and screaming at each other became the norm. Parents thought it was cute when their children were disrespectful like Bart Simpson, but now these TV saturated children have grown up to stand in the streets and call law enforcement officers disgusting names while taking over neighborhoods and destroying the dreams of self-made business owners.
This is the time for every believer to raise their voice of concern to local officials, the community, and most importantly to God himself. It’s time to suit up in the armor and go about our mission of flooding the darkness with light. God didn’t create us to be weak, apologetic or silent. He gave us the power of warriors to turn the world to him. It’s time we hear the call of Christ our captain.
*O Church Arise lyrics by Keith Getty
This story first appeared in AL.com newspapers.