Basic Training

Before taking up the battle in any manner we must commit ourselves to some absolute requirements.  We could call it “basic training” or “fundamental building blocks,” but, however it’s described, none of us can hope to operate in this cosmic endeavor without it.

Prayer must be a constant[1]—not just the occasional invocation or blessing or solicitation for bail-out when in trouble—every action, every plan, every endeavor needs to be virtually bathed in prayer.  We’ll be needing forgiveness, guidance, vision, and especially the wherewithal to endure in the face of persecution and hardship.

The Scriptures[2] are our standard, i.e. the whole counsel of God, the consistent Truth of the Word.  We must be serious students of the Bible, and particularly open to the correction it offers to our personal inclinations.

So, self-examination and self-censure must precede every tactic.[3]  Few of us enjoy looking at ourselves in the bathroom mirror while wearing a bathing suit!  Unpleasant as it may be, we need to look into a moral/spiritual mirror at ourselves and be mindful of the serious issues posed by those outside the household of faith.  Our objective is to attack sin itself, not people.

And, our conduct must be as dissimilar as we can possibly make it from the apparent worldly standards of contemporary politics and sharp business practices.  To “love the sinner but hate the sin”[4] is difficult and may be complicated until we remind ourselves of our own absolute dependence on God’s matchless grace toward us.[5]

[1]1 Thessalonians 5:17

[2] Note, for example, Psalm 119:105 and 2 Timothy 3:16.

[3]Matthew 7:3-5

[4]Not found in the Scriptures but attributed to St. Augustine of Hippo

[5]E.g. Romans 5:8

 

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