When two moral atmospheres are at war
Stand Firm2 Thessalonians 2:15
To this He called you through our gospel, so that you may share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brothers, stand firm and cling to the traditions we taught you, whether by speech or by letter. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who by grace has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope,…
This Advent is no exception to the previous last few year’s of Advents. At no time more than at the present have the traditions, both scriptural and of heritage, been under attack by an opposing and insidious ideology and mindset. These two opposing visions are in conflict, like two worlds colliding with each other. Chesterton saw the beginnings of what is happening in our day in his day and described such as a war of gods and demons acted out on the “national home”.
Though it may seem we are participants in an overwhelming battle, one that Tolkien characterized as ‘the long defeat‘, nevertheless, as Chesterton did, I urge us all to fight on with every spiritual weapon we have been given (2 Corinthians 10:5) to preserve the truth, our cultural heritage and healthy spiritual traditions. There is so much attached to even the lower forms of worship as Chesterton calls them, that we hardly know what it is we may be losing by letting them be trampled underfoot and destroyed all in the name of “progress” or “better health” or “building back better”. Our culture and heritage are under attack because these who want power also want control and total ownership of this earth and to replace who and what we are and the easiest way to do that is to dismantle the culture and break our faith in Christ and the kingdom to come as the answer. Those two things, our home and our faith, are inextricably tied together by great spiritual things acted out in small ways.
Don’t give in. Hold fast.
Jesus said: But hold fast what you have till I come (Revelation 2:25). Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crownRevelation 3:11
Chesterton did not mince words: he rightfully recognized that we are in the midst of a religious war, a war we cannot afford to lose for it means the soul of every citizen of the earth; it means our own soul.
“A man does not want his national home destroyed or even changed, because he cannot even remember all the good things that go with it; just as he does not want his house burnt down, because he can hardly count all the things he would miss. Therefore he fights for what sounds like a hazy abstraction, but is really a house. But the negative side of it is quite as noble as well as quite as strong. Men fight hardest when they feel that the foe is at once an old enemy and an eternal stranger, that his atmosphere is alien and antagonistic…If we say it is a difference of religion, people will drift into dreary bickerings about sects and dogmas. We will pity them and say it is a difference about death and daylight; a difference that does really come like a dark shadow between our eyes and the day. Men can think of this difference even at the point of death; for it is a difference about the meaning of life.
. . .There is a religious war when two worlds meet; that is when two visions of the world meet; or in more modern language when two moral atmospheres meet. What is the one man’s breath is the other man’s poison; and it is vain to talk of giving a pestilence a place in the sun.
—G.K. Chesterton, The War of the Gods and Demons,The Everlasting Man, 1925