For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against
the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of
evil in the heavenly realms (Eph.6:12).
Within some of the times that the nation of Israel was
held captive, they found themselves separated from the life they once knew, the land they
called home, and a freedom they loved. But many of their captors followed a brilliant plan
which would in essence make the people who were captives become more like citizens of the
nation who carried them off, than prisoners. The captors would slowly work them into their
society so that they would become comfortable with their new lives. They would give them a
place, a purpose and a home so that over time they would claim their captor's land as
their own home.
Doing so would instill within the captives a sense of loyalty to their captors. It was a
way to turn them from possibly being rebellious patriots into being faithful citizens.
Sure, they were allowed to keep some of their religious freedoms and practices, and some
of their cultural and traditional customs. But for many those things became little more
than time honored heritage which made up a only a small part of who they were
individually; while on a greater scale, they took on the resemblance of their
captors--eventually becoming as one with them while clinging to their past homes, people
and God with sentimental attachment only.
Why not fight back? In such a situation it may have often been easier to "make the
best of it." Life was hard enough and who wants to live a life complicated by chaos
and conflict. When the captor is willing to give you a place among their society, a home
to live in, and overall a pretty good life, why not surrender? Over time the memories
would fade and the people would grow content to live their lives in the foreign land. For
even that which is foreign becomes the familiar over time.
There would be many benefits from conforming. The people would be able to live in peace.
If the nation who took them captive has a massive empire they would no longer have to
worry about some other country taking them captive--one who might treat them poorly. And
if all of that is not enough, the captor was so strong that resistance would be a waste of
time and lives, so why resist?
We might consider these things and consider ourselves blessed. We live in a nation that is
strong, one in which we are free to live as we choose, and one in which we have religious
freedoms. We have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness--don't we? And
yet what is the difference between us and those who are held captive?
For Christians there is not much difference at all. For even though we claim to be free,
we often practice our Christianity within the closets of sentimental tradition. Rather
than it being seen as the core of who we are, it is seen more as a private and personal
individual choice. After all, we don't want to be fanatical about it, that might stir up
chaos and conflict. It's easier to be captive to the culture and customs of the society in
which we live than to stand against the forces that keep us as a loyal and peaceful part
of a decadent land.
We as Christians have allowed ourselves to be taken in by the land in which we live. We
have taken a home, purpose and place within the society in the land in which we live, and
we have become comfortable. We have turned away from being a threat to our society to
being supporters of it within our lifestyles. Our religious freedoms and practices have
become little more than time honored heritage. On a greater scale, we have taken on the
resemblance of those in whose land we dwell, and have become as one with them while our
memories of our promised land fade with the passing of each generation.
We are Christians. We live in a foreign land. One in which, over time, we have allowed to
become home and cause our memories of our heritage to fade. We have forgotten what it
means to be Christian, and have chosen instead to become a faithful and contributing
member to a godless society. We have surrendered to live like those around us, and have
forgotten that God has given us the land.
It is time we refuse to silently stand by and watch our Christian nation be destroyed and
our children along with it. It is time we remember that our God is bigger than any thing,
nation, society or person that holds us captive. It is time we remember our heritage is
not as Americans, it is as Christians. It is time we remember who we are. It is time we
remember whose land this is and it is time we take it back.