If you are a faithful Bible reader, then you know that many portions of God’s Book sound a militant tone. The apostle Paul tells us to put on the full armor of God, to take up the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God.
This is neither popular nor politically correct in many sissified churches these days. The fierce doctrinal battles of years gone by, the uncompromising zeal of a John the Baptist, of an Athanasius, or a Martin Luther are embarrassing to many. The Bible talks of waging war with spiritual weaponry, demolishing strongholds, taking thoughts captive and fighting the good fight. Jude urges believers “to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” In Revelation the smoke of battle rises from the sacred page. Christ Himself is portrayed on a white horse, stained with the blood of His defeated foes, sounding forth the trumpet that never calls retreat.
Old hymns such as “Onward, Christian Soldiers,” or “Stand Up, Stand Up, For Jesus!” – with their talk of duty, doctrine and danger – seem strident, provocative, alienating. One Christian humorist has proposed a tongue-in-cheek list of REVISED GOSPEL HYMNS for today’s modern churchgoers.
The old favorites can now be sung without guilt, conviction, or discomfort. The old hymns are are now made comfortable. Some of the titles include:
~ “Amazing Grace, How Interesting the Sound”
~ “Lord, Keep Us Loosely Connected to Your Word”
~ “Praise God from whom All Affirmations Flow”
~ “Pillow of Ages, Fluffed for Me”
~ “We Give Thee but Still Think We Own”
~ “What an Acquaintance We Have in Jesus”
~ “Blest Be the Tie that Doesn’t Cramp My Style”
~ “Standing on the Premises”
~ “Sweet Minute of Prayer”
~ “Blessed Insurance”
~ “Onward, Social Workers”
~ “Avoid the Good Fight”
~ “The Gold-Plated Cross”
~ and the all-time children’s favorite: “I Love Me“
We live in an age that craves a gospel for sissies. The world says: “All roads lead to God.” Christ says: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man cometh unto the Father but by Me.”
The world says: “Men and women have no assigned roles from God.” Christ says: “He who made them at the beginning made them male and female – each of you are blessed to be what I have made you to be.”
The world says: “You are the products of chance and the descendants of apes.” Christ says: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth – and each one of you. Therefore your life has meaning.”
The world says: “Agree to disagree. Doctrine doesn’t matter.” Christ says: “Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And beware of false prophets.”
The world says: “I teach my children to study hard, to floss, not to talk to strangers, to compete on the court. Who cares if Christ is a footnote, or they barely know the Bible?” Christ says: “Let the little children come to Me.” Contending for the faith starts at home, with the child on your lap, with the teen across the table.
Folks are fond of saying, “Old age ain’t for sissies!” Neither is the gospel!