How to Engage the Battle of This Age

Is it possible that God calls pastors and churches to engage openly in matters of social justice, a manifestation of the spiritual warfare evident in this present age? The question is rhetorical! But there is one underlying principle that must govern how every pastor, every church and every believer must carry out the battle. Its application will vary in large ways and even in seemingly contradictory ways, but it sets the parameters of our conduct in this age of Grace. The Apostle Paul puts it this way:

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10:4 NIV

I must confess to liking better how this sounds in the old King James:

4For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds. 2 Corinthians 10:4 KJV

It is striking to realize the specific issues of social justice to which Jesus Christ, the apostles and especially the apostle Paul did not speak during their earthly ministry, at least in so far as Scripture records. And yet, it was in the teaching of broader biblical principles laid down by them, that ultimately birthed the abolitionist movement in Great Britain and the United States, and subsequently established the elevation of women’s rights.

I have on a personal level made the decision to avoid engaging in contentious politically charged endorsements and debates on Face Book and in my Hidden Arrows blog, and to remain focused on the Gospel of Christ. That said, God surely calls some to engage publicly in the great social issues of our day. And if God should call you to that, you must! But, in the final analysis, whatever we do, we must remember in the wearing of the Gospel armor, to put on the shoes of the Gospel of the Preparation of Peace which is the Good News of reconciliation of sinners toward God made possible in Christ Jesus.

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Ed has had over 30 years of ministry experience, sixteen of them at Greenwoods Community Church in the southern Berkshires of Massachusetts. More recently he has fulfilled an extended transitional interim assignment for the Alliance Southeast of the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Leesburg, Florida. In addition, Ed has had nearly 13 years of experience in the field of geriatric healthcare. Ed’s is happily married to Lynn, having recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. Lynn is a true partner in ministry, having served Greenwoods Community Church as its Children's Ministry Coordinator for over ten years. She is a decorator, colorist, instructor in furniture painting, and an artist in her own right. For over 20 years she had her own business, Whimsical Brushes, teaching and traveling throughout the Northeast. Lynn is also active as a women’s outreach speaker for Stonecroft Ministries in Florida. God has given Ed a burden to be a mentor pastor, developing leaders for the church in the 21st Century. One way in which he is fulfilling that calling is through Rockbridge Seminary, where he serves as an adjunct professor of Spiritual Formation. Ed has earned degrees from Cairn University (B.S. 1971), Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M. 1979), and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (D.Min. 2007). He has published several articles on the Spiritual Heritage of Litchfield County, Connecticut, and led several tours of sites associated with the Village Revivals that spawned the Second Great Awakening in New England. In his spare time, you are likely to find Ed at the piano or pecking out a blog on his blog page

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