The Struggle Against Idolatry and False Worship

One of the perennial temptations of God’s people throughout history has been the seduction to peacefully coexist with idolatry. In the battle for lives and souls, Christians have not been obedient to the Lord in thoroughly driving out His enemies and their false worship from the land. Like ancient Israel in its divine conquests, we have left intact things which the Lord has said are to be devoted to destruction. 

Covenantal Warnings in Scripture

The covenantal warnings of Scripture ought to be for us a relevant reminder in the present cultural climate:

You shall make no covenant with them and their gods. They shall not dwell in your land, lest they make you sin against me; for if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you.” 

Exodus 23:32–33

Similar warnings are reiterated in the conquests of the generation that followed (Joshua 23:12-13). We may trace the reason for these admonitions back to the very source of law Himself. 

It was Yahweh’s command that His people were to love, revere and obey Him alone as the Redeemer who delivered them from their bitter bondage and bore them up on eagle’s wings as Savior (Exodus 20:1). 

They were not to worship any other so-called gods (Exodus 20:2) but treat Him alone as Holy. In so doing, they were themselves to be set apart from the nations, uncorrupted by the attitudes, thinking and practices of those that had defiled the land (Leviticus 18:21, 25).

The History of Israel’s Compromise and Its Consequences

Led by Joshua, the nation of Israel defeated many kingdoms because the mighty hand of the Lord was with them to strike terror into the hearts of their enemies. 

But as Joshua became advanced in years, we find that compromise became more common and the people’s obedience became less than thorough (Joshua 17:13). Just as God warned, the nations became a snare to His people, ultimately leading their hearts after other gods.

The Problem with Christian Conservatism Today

Christians and conservatives are plagued by the same problem today. Historically, we have been bad at the art of pursuit in the warfare we wage against our adversaries. In military terms, pursuit is what happens when the enemy has been given into one’s hands and all that remains is to subdue them in order to finish the job. 

The gaping problem with “Christian conservatism” today is that it struggles to be offensive. This is largely due to its primary objective: to conserve rather than advance and take ground from the enemy. 

As it turns out, focusing on merely maintaining the status quo has led to the loss of more territory as God’s people capitulate, little by little, to the encroachment of idolatry in our land. We have been content to play defense, but never move forward and seize the victory. 

The Spiritual Nature of Cultural Warfare

Faithful Christians involved with effecting change in the culture know that their battle is spiritual (Ephesians 6:10-11, 2 Corinthians 10:5). They wage their warfare through the Word of God and the shield of faith because the struggle is for the hearts of men and their very souls. 

However, as we see with the issue of abortion, this spiritual conflict has physical ramifications. Lives are always at stake, and more are being taken every day. Urgency is the order of the day.

The Persistence of Abortion and the Failure to Drive It Out

Child sacrifice, however restricted it has become, has not been outlawed in any state of the union. It is still allowed to persist because we will not utterly and thoroughly drive it out.

What accounts for this? In a Post-Roe nation, the only thing stopping Republican-controlled, GOP-led legislatures from making abortion illegal for everyone is their lack of desire to fully rid their communities of the barbaric practice altogether. 

There is a pernicious assumption that because child murder has been driven out of the clinics, God’s demand of justice for the unborn has been met. With the enemy of abortion on the ropes in red states, the tendency has been to draw back and be satisfied with a “victory” that allows abortion-minded mothers to kill from the comfort of their own homes.

The Need for Personal Holiness and Repentance

Lawlessness is allowed to continue. The task of expelling darkness from the land remains unfinished because those who profess to be playing for our team will not chase down the Dragon and drive a sword through his skull. 

Christians for life need to pursue the judicial end of abortion with the same tenacity that Christ commands in the killing of our own sin. We are not to give the evil in our members any quarter, but attack and subdue it with holy violence to the Glory of God before it strangles us. 

Why? Because small compromises over long periods of time will harden our hearts to its heinousness (Hebrews 3:12-13) and inevitably lead to the destruction of our souls. Likewise, failure to thoroughly drive out the demonic practice of baby murder in all its hideous forms will destroy the soul of our nation. 

This is what we are witnessing today in the form of publicly celebrated idolatry that exists under the full protection of the law. Evil cannot be defeated by compromise. It must be met head-on by the truth and completely pulled up at the root. 

Likewise, every Christian must maintain personal holiness in the fear of the Lord. When God allowed His people to be routed by their enemies, it wasn’t because He was unable to give them the victory. We are explicitly given the reason:

Israel has sinned; they have transgressed my covenant that I commanded them; they have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen and lied and put them among their own belongings. Therefore the people of Israel cannot stand before their enemies. They turn their backs before their enemies, because they have become devoted for destruction. I will be with you no more, unless you destroy the devoted things from among you.

Joshua 7:11–12

Until we mortify the secret sin in our members, confessing, repenting, and being cleansed of the wickedness in our own hearts, we will only taste defeat. If we harbor iniquity and a love for the things of this world that God says are to be put to death, we will be chased out of the land by our enemies. 

The grace of God must restore us to the joy of salvation. Then we will be able to teach transgressors His ways (Psalm 51:13). The only way to defeat lawlessness in the public square is to first defeat it in ourselves, in our families, and in our churches. Judgment begins at the house of God. 

We cannot stand before our enemies while keeping back for ourselves the things devoted to destruction. 

If we want the world to receive the righteousness of God, we must first appropriate it ourselves by grace, through faith, working in love, carried out by the fruit of obedience to the command of the Gospel.

The Importance of Righteousness and Urgency in Combatting Evil

Both the call to kill personal sin and the duty of driving out public lawlessness ought to be empowered by the same level of urgency. Abortion is a work of the devil and must be destroyed by all those who practice righteousness (1 John 3:7-8). 

This is a call to be completely intolerant of the murder of innocents in any capacity. To allow evil in moderation is to deviate from the standard of obedience laid down in God’s Word. Let us praise God for any progress that he has brought about in His providence. 

However, let us also remember that as the Lord promises to drive out our enemies little by little, our duty is not partial obedience (which is disobedience) to what he has revealed. 

We trust that while progress may be little by little, our duty to a culture of death is the proclamation of unconditional fealty to the Lordship of Christ and His standard of complete protection for children in the womb. 

The Call for Total Expulsion of Abortion from the Land

For the people of God, obedience looks like applying the demands of His Word to the issue of abortion. It looks like settling for nothing less than its total expulsion from the land without delay. 

Just as personal sin is not to be trifled with in the life of the believer, so national sin is not to be trifled with, lest it culminate in our national dispossession. 

The Danger of Complacency in the Face of Evil

The ever-increasing moral decline of our day testifies that “the complacency of fools destroys them” (Proverbs 1:32). 

When men become complacent in the face of evil, the ease with which they become accustomed shall be the very thing that slays them. 

Convincing themselves they have done enough, they are puffed up with the kind of pride that brings false security and signals peace to others when there is none. Make no mistake: now is not the time to relax, hang up our armor, and celebrate. 

The Ongoing Temporal Battle for Lives and Souls

From God’s perspective, the battle is over. With His death, resurrection, ascension and enthronement, Jesus Christ has secured the victory and His enemies are now on the run. 

In a temporal sense, the conquest for lives and souls has only begun. It remains for the Church to press the pursuit, entering the inheritance we have been promised. 

We will not accomplish this glorious honor without giving chase to those still standing on ground that the Lord has claimed by His blood (Colossians 1:19-20).

Strategies and Tools for Pursuing the War Against Abortion

Courage, discipline and effective mobilization will be needed to finish the job. The tools of pursuit in the war against abortion, as with Christian evangelization in general, are the consistent proposition and distribution of the truth through the variously available mediums. 

Our message is to be brought into conflict with the idolatry of our day in a lovingly aggressive manner until it is utterly and thoroughly driven back to hell from whence it came.