Friday, August 30, 2019

What Are You Fighting For?

      If you asked a Northern Congressman why he believed the Civil War should be fought, he would surely answer, "to restore and uphold the Union."  If you asked any Abolitionist why the war was being fought, they would loudly answer, "to free the slaves of course!"  And I am sure that a few unscrupulous business men would cynically respond with their stilted logic, "because wars are good for business and spark the economy."

The South would have their own versions of why they were fighting the War.  The Confederate Government would undoubtedly say the war was being fought to preserve individual States Rights.  If you asked a Plantation owner, his reply would be, "to protect our economy from ruin."  If you asked General Robert E. Lee, why he resigned from the Federal Army to fight for the Confederate Cause, with misplaced loyalty he would nobly say, "I am honor bound to defend the sacred soil of Virginia."  Lastly, among the common folk of the South, the reason was as simple as this, to keep their culture and way of life without Yankee interference.

In 1862, a young, undernourished rebel soldier was captured in the wilderness of Tennessee.  Most of the fighting men of the Confederate Army at that time were young, poor and probably did not even own slaves. Like most soldiers of the Civil War, there was a good chance it was this young man's first time to be away from home as well.  Most people of early America had not even ventured more than fifty miles from home their entire lives.  But here, in the woods of Tennessee, was found a young hungry soldier, fighting for a cause he probably did not fully understand.  When asked by his inquiring Northern captors why he was fighting this war? He calmly replied, "I am fighting because you are down here." It was a perfect reply, I'm sure, by his reckoning.

Why do we fight for the cause of Christ?  Why do we enter the spiritual battle to proclaim and live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ?  Surely our lives would be less complicated if we did not choose sides, and quietly kept our Christian message and convictions to ourselves.  Do the Scriptures not warn us, that to make a stand for Christ can mean ridicule, hardships, and even death?  Did not Jesus tell us, "I send you out as sheep among wolves."  Matthew 10:16

Did not Paul say the same? "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution,...or peril, or sword... For thy sake we are killed all day long, we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter."  Romans 8:35, 36
Just as the Civil War separated North from South, and brother from brother, to choose for Christ, may require the same. Some of the saddest words of Jesus are these, "And a man's foe shall be they of his own household."   Matthew 10:36

 So why do we battle for the Lord?  Actually, our reasons are not that much different from those who fought in the Civil war.  Like the North, we fight so lost men and women can be set free, and back in Union with their Creator again.  We boldly speak out, to hopefully inspire action in others, and rekindle a spark in our timid brothers again.  And like the South, we fearlessly proclaim the Gospel, because it is our right to do so. We speak because we will not let the Forces of Darkness keep us quiet, or interfere with what His Word has said is the right way to live. We battle because we see it as our sacred duty to honor the Lord.
 And lastly, we have joined the fight, a journey that has taken many of us to places far from home, as well as seeking the lost right here in my country, my town, my world.  That's why Christ came here, and that's good enough reason for me.  "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save those who are lost."  Luke 19:10

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