Onward Christian Commandos

One of the most stirring anthems of all times is “Onward Christian Soldiers”, it brings to mind an army of saints marching in unison, singing praises as the go forth in the name of Christ – sadly though the picture in my head has them all wearing long white robes and not a weapon to be seen – a bunch of hippie peace freaks – powerless to fight.  And yet the hymn says they are marching as to war!  Yes there is a war – but we know the outcome already – we will win the war but it is the battles along the way that have yet to be decided.

The SAS are often called to go into battle before any other force.  They are dropped behind enemy lines in small groups to prepare the way.  Much of their success in hostile territory has been through the use of their “Hearts & Minds” approach and it is something we can learn from as we fight to bring Christ to more and more people.  These commandos get to know the people who are living under tyrants and despots – people who are living in a world without hope – people who are waiting for a saviour.  The commandos help them through simple things, digging wells, improving harvests, improving health – the people rejoice in the hope that they now have and turn against the falsehoods they live under.

The SAS do not go in as a large body waving banners declaring they stand against the tyrants – this would only instil fear, loathing and suspicion.  They do not go in making a lot of noise about what they are fighting against – this would only cause fear and rejection.  They go in and prepare a way for goodness to follow – much as John the Baptist did, preparing a path in the wilderness.

As Christians we must get alongside those who live under the oppression of falseness, those who live without hope – we must perform acts of service to show that we are there to help and establish confidence and trust with those we meet.  By winning their hearts and minds we can lead them away from their circumstances into a world of hope.  In recent times here in Australia we have seen the rise of organisations claiming to be anti this and anti that – sure we need to take a stand against the spread of Islam, the branding of Halal food (funding from certification pays Imans etc) and many other things, but we need to do this in a way that brings honour.  Christ taught us to love our neighbours, He did not teach us to promote division and hatred through belonging to groups that are anti.  He taught us to get alongside people – to accept, to love and then to lead them to a better life.  He taught us to win their Hearts and Minds – just as the SAS does.

So let’s move on from being a horde planning to overcome through sheer numbers – let’s be like commandos, going in to the wilderness, behind enemy lines – preparing the way for Christs love to triumph by speaking into the lives of individuals – preparing their minds to receive the Word and their hearts to receive the love.

 

Matthew 22:36-40
X “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”  Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’

This is the first and greatest commandment.  A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

Christian Motorcyclists Association of Australia

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