Pastor Sean Palmer continued our series drawing from scripture and the unique insight of writer C.S. Lewis to approach the reality of evil. Do we believe that we live in an enchanted world in which there exist dark forces at work, and how will we embrace our call to be a vital part of the "resistance", committed to standing against evil in our midst?
One of the things that surprised me when I first read the New Testament seriously was that it talked so much about a Dark Power in the universe a mighty evil spirit who was held to be the Power behind death and disease, and sin. The difference is that Christianity thinks this Dark Power was created by God, and was good when he was created, and went wrong. Christianity agrees with Dualism that this universe is at war. But it does not think this is a war between independent powers. It thinks it is a civil war, a rebellion, and that we are living part of the universe occupied by the rebel. Enemy-occupied territory that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage. When you go to church you are really listening-in to the secret wireless from our friends: that is why the enemy is so anxious to prevent us from going. He does it by playing on our conceit and laziness and intellectual snobbery. I know someone will ask me, â€˜Do you really mean, at this time of day, to re-introduce our old friend the devil hoofs and horns and all. Well, what the time of day has to do with it I do not know. And I am not particular about the hoofs and horns. But in other respects my answer is Yes, I do. I do not claim to know anything about his personal appearance. If anybody really wants to know him better I would say to that person. Don’t worry. If you really want to, you will. Whether you’ll like it when you do is another question.
— C.S. Lewis
The Resistance consisted, day after day, of small efforts to calculate their actions abetting escapes, circulating mimeographed news, hiding fugitives, obtaining money or needed documents, engaging in various forms of noncooperation with the occupying authorities or the quisling bureaucrats, wearing armbands, disrupting official communications in terms of odds against the Nazi efficiency and power and violence and vindictiveness would seem to render their witness ridiculous. The risks for them of persecution, arrest, torture, confinement, death were so disproportionate to any concrete results that could practically be expected. Yet these persons persevered in their audacious, extemporaneous, fragile, puny, foolish Resistance.
— William Stringfellow
For Christianity is a fighting religion. It thinks God made the world-that space and time, heat and cold, and all the colours and tastes, and all the animals and vegetables, are things that God "made up out of His head" as a man makes up a story. But it also thinks that a great many things have gone wrong with the world that God made and that God insists, and insists very loudly, on our putting them right again.
— C.S. Lewis
Song of Hope (Heaven Come Down)
We Will Feast
In Christ Alone
How Deep The Father's Love For Us
Send Out Your Light (Psalm 43)