“Where's the Fight?”
Where’s The Fight?
Alton W. Fonville
Changes have taken place. A few years back, “where’s the fight” was a phrase that meant excitement and people gathered around. An activity was taking place which meant opponents were “settling their differences.” This was the case in the world around us and also in the Lord’s church. But, things have changed. The “fight” has almost ceased to exist among far too many of the Lord’s church.
Headlines on some of the papers throughout the brotherhood give the shameful details: “Nations largest church of Christ adding instrumental service and serving the Lord’s Supper on Saturday night.” “Leaders say there was little opposition to the announcement.” Brethren, where’s the fight which we entered when we took that “oath of office” to serve the Lord, and became a member of His army?Certainly, it is not a physical fight and our weapons are not physical. False doctrines and practices, principalities, spiritual wickedness and rulers of the darkness of this world are the things mentioned specifically by Paul, and for which he fought his “good fight of faith.” He was literally a prisoner in bonds for his constant fight against these things, and he warned everyone night and day with tears, about being constant in this fight, and using him as an example to follow (Ephesians and Philippians).
At one time not too many years back, the church of Christ was known as a “fighter.” Members were known as “people of the Book” — “walking Bibles.”The church was growing faster then than at any other time in recent history, but, we have changed and the “fight” is not in us now. We wonder what has happened and where is that fight. It does not take too long to find the answers. The Book has been replaced with words which were not so harsh and the desire to please ourselves and be entertained and to be at peace with the world, being thought of as a “group which fits in with the world” has nearly done away with that fighting spirit which Jesus Christ and the apostles wanted the Christian to have.
How does that fit with the scriptures and its teaching? Let that “inspired word” from God speak to mine and your hearts. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (I John 2:15). “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. ... And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me” (Matt. 10:34,36,37). “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Rom. 12:2). “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus...he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:5,8). “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things)” (Phil. 3:17-19).
Those words from Almighty God have been perverted, twisted, smoothed down, forgotten willingly and otherwise neglected to the loss of our fighting spirit which each Christian should have. We have “loved this world and its pleasures more than God.” We have not humbled ourselves as servants of Christ — but to our own bellies. We have traded God’s word for “smooth sayings” and loved to have it so. We have become “friends” with this world and an enemy to God. We sit idly by and let the “chaste virgin” become a spotted and blemished “social club” which fits in with this sin-sick world. We refuse to fight the good fight of faith. It is readily admitted that when we take a stand on the side of truth, we will be criticized. But at least we know we stand with good company, “for so persecuted they the prophets that were before you” (Matt. 5:12b).And, should it be our lot to stand alone, or at best with the minority, and should the host of the armies of darkness assail us, we can be assured that in the final analysis, when all has been said and done, and we stand before the Captain of our army, we will hear the sweet words, “Enter thou into the joys of thy Lord.” It will have been a well fought battle, and the victory shall be ours to enjoy for all eternity.
“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (I Cor. 15:58).