Fighting in the Shadow of Short Term Loss

“The ceaseless body blows delivered with increasing power by the allied forces left the German Army breathless and helpless but it is fair to acknowledge that they retreated fighting for every kilometer that they ultimately had to concede. It was not a chase and hardly a pursuit. Chased, decimated, despairing, the German soldiers fought on making us pay a heavy price for every mile we wrestled from them. Throughout the whole war, the Germans had shown themselves doughty fighters but there was nothing finer in their record than the pluck with which they continued to withstand us in the hour of their defeat. They could not but know that they were beaten. At home, their families were starving. Yet in the month of October — the last whole month of the war — The British forces in France suffered 120,000 battle casualties as evidence of the resistance they encountered. Between July 1 and the cessation of hostilities (11-11-18) the British battle casualties from fighting a beaten foe, and a foe who knew he was beaten was on every front totaled 430,000 in killed, wounded, prisoners, and missing. During practically the same period the French lost 531,000 men and the Americans over 200,000. Let us give due honor to a brave people with whom we have had but one deadly quarrel. They fought to the end with desperate valor.”

Llyod George 
Memoirs

The reason I post this here is that, by way of metaphor, the Church known by Christ is now in the same place as the German Army was in July of 1918. Short term we are a beaten foe and we would wage war better if we just came to terms as being, in the short term, a beaten foe. Acknowledging such would go a long way towards eliminating disappointment and give us reasonable expectations. Acknowledging such would deliver us from such a thirst for visible victory that we inch towards calling defeat “victory” because we are so desperate for a visible victory. Acknowledging such would cause us to place our hope in God as opposed to voting patterns, political promises, or social activism.

This is not a call for pessimism, though doubtless, that is what it will be cast as by those who have no ability to fight on when short-term victory is not on the horizon. Instead, this is a call for optimistic post-millennial realism. We work towards the future regardless of what God’s good providence has given us in the present. We work with the expectation that our current labors will, while not bringing instant victory, put us and our seed on a trajectory of future victory.

We still soldier on and fight back and resist with all our might for our great Liege-Lord Jesus Christ. We can still, sticking with the metaphor, inflict casualties and we should pray we are given opportunities to do so. If the Germans of WW I could be brave and fight on in the knowledge of a certain defeat we few — we happy few — can continue to be brave and fight on in the knowledge that we are preparing the ground for future victory. That is victory enough.

Always faithful.

Author: jetbrane

I am a Pastor of a small Church in Mid-Michigan who delights in my family, my congregation and my calling. I am postmillennial in my eschatology. Paedo-Calvinist Covenantal in my Christianity Reformed in my Soteriology Presuppositional in my apologetics Kinist in my family theology Agrarian in my regional community social order belief Christianity creates culture and so Christendom in my national social order belief Mythic-Poetic / Grammatical Historical in my Hermeneutic Pre-modern, Medieval, & Feudal before Enlightenment, modernity, & postmodern Reconstructionist / Theonomic in my Worldview One part paleo-conservative / one part micro Libertarian in my politics Systematic and Biblical theology need one another but Systematics has pride of place Some of my favorite authors, Augustine, Turretin, Calvin, Tolkien, Chesterton, Nock, Tozer, Dabney, Bavinck, Wodehouse, Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Schaeffer, C. Van Til, H. Van Til, G. H. Clark, C. Dawson, H. Berman, R. Nash, C. G. Singer, R. Kipling, G. North, J. Edwards, S. Foote, F. Hayek, O. Guiness, J. Witte, M. Rothbard, Clyde Wilson, Mencken, Lasch, Postman, Gatto, T. Boston, Thomas Brooks, Terry Brooks, C. Hodge, J. Calhoun, Llyod-Jones, T. Sowell, A. McClaren, M. Muggeridge, C. F. H. Henry, F. Swarz, M. Henry, G. Marten, P. Schaff, T. S. Elliott, K. Van Hoozer, K. Gentry, etc. My passion is to write in such a way that the Lord Christ might be pleased. It is my hope that people will be challenged to reconsider what are considered the givens of the current culture . Your biggest help to me dear reader will be to often remind me that God is Sovereign and that all that is, is because it pleases him.

3 thoughts on “Fighting in the Shadow of Short Term Loss”

  1. My question is why are you so fatal about the future? Too often we tend to look at the world through our own culture as opposed to what is actually happening around the world with regard to missions and the growth of Christianity. In many ways this sounds like Samuel Huntington’s gloom and doom. As Penn State professor Philip Jenkins writes in The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity, predictions like Huntingtons betray an ignorance of the explosive growth of Christianity outside of the West. By the middle of this century, there will be three billion Christians in the world — one and a half times the number of Muslims. In fact, by 2050 there will be nearly as many Pentecostal Christians in the world as there are Muslims today. The X factor in all this is the role God plays in our future. We experienced two major Great Awakenings that turned things around for America so a third is not out of the question. However, what ever happens in America does not stop God’s plan for the rest of the world. Our attitude should never be affected by our perception of reality but by the last command God gave us. He instructed us to disciple the nations until he returns. We work like postmils because we are obedient to his command – not because of our eschatological perceptions or that of Tim LaHaye, John Mac Arthur or John Hagee.

    1. Hector,

      1.) If you read the article you would have read that I think our long-term future is victory though in the short term we are living in decline.

      2.) I have repeatedly said that I don’t buy into Jenkins work. Much of the explosive growth of Christianity in third world countries is only barely Christianity at best. At worst it might be compared to the Nestorianism that had so much impact on early China during the first few centuries.

      3.) You will marvel not that in my estimation most Pentecostals like most Muslims must be born again.

      4.) You will not notice in what I wrote, that I wrote nothing that contradicted the idea of discipling the nations now. You appear to have simply misread my post.

      5.) I never denied the necessity to work like a postmill. Indeed, my whole post was geared to how to work like a postmil in a deteriorating culture and social order.

      6.) My views are so far removed from LaHaye, Mac Arthur or Hagee that to be compared to them sounds like part of a poorly constructed stand up comedy routine.

      7.) Read Sylvanius contra Augustine in their takes of the looming fall of Rome. I am more inclined to think as Sylvanius demonstrated in his writings.

      Thank you for being a reader at Iron Ink Hector. We are glad for all our traffic.

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