Then the Holy Spirit led me to this passage in 2nd Timothy and it has made me reevaluate how to handle this. You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. ~2 Timothy 2:3-4. Make no mistake, we are at war, but it is not against who you might think. We are not at war against the government or big business, not against racists or intolerance; our war is not against 'people' at all!
The best way I can think to explain it is this, think about the Keanu Reeves classic The Matrix. If you have not seen this movie you need to go and see this movie. It is one of the best allegories for spiritual warfare I have ever seen. In it, people are living their lives either for good of for ill; some are working in offices and others are criminals. It is our world with churches and media outlets and night clubs but underneath there is something else. There is a war happening all around them and they don't even know it, a war about the truth. The truth is, what they are experiencing as reality is not truly real and is currently under the control of a force that sees them as little more than a means to an end. Mankind enslaved to this force. The people in the matrix are not the enemy, they are blind to the real fight and who the protagonists are fighting against. This is spiritual warfare in a nutshell. Seriously, I could write all day about how you can find similarities between Christian spiritual warfare and this movie series but I think I will save that for another time. We are not at war with people but with a worse more devious enemy and our fight is not in the physical but in the spiritual.
My point here takes us back to 2nd Timothy: No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life I have opinions and feeling about today's media and 'social justice' issues, ohhhh do I have opinions! But for me to get in there and sling stones about these issues not only splatters me with the same mud, but pulls my focus from what is important and puts it on what is of this world. The earth is temporary and in the grandness of the universe my short hundred years or less is an infinitesimal speck; the kingdom of God however is infinite and spectacular. That is where my focus needs to be, on growing God's kingdom, and I do that not by fighting people. You want to identify as a rainbow unicorn? Go right ahead, but I can only pray that by watching me and seeing the way I live my life, accepting, loving, compassionate and deeply deeply in love with my God that you will become curious and follow this white rabbit to the truth, Jesus Christ.
When followers of Jesus get wrapped up in fighting for our earthly 'rights' and see ourselves as better then others we become just another voice yelling into the abyss. We become no better then the plethora of special interest groups that clamor for attention, neutering our credibility and our ability to effect growth for the kingdom of God. We knew persecution in this world was part of the package deal, Peter tells us: Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. (1 Peter 4:12-14) We as followers of Christ experience persecution and suffering all over the world, is it fair? No. Is it right? No. Does it deny us what others receive freely? Yes. Should we be surprised? No. But we need to be beyond these things, looking to God instead of what is fair.
I hope you do not find this message today discouraging, we do not live for God so this life will be easier, but because we love Him and want to be with Him in the next. Remember, you are loved, your are cherished and you are perfect. God bless.