Preparing for the Next War
Why Ireland Needs Answers
Too many generals prepare to win the battles of a previous generation. British armies from 1939 to 1941 used the tactics of 1918. As a result, UK forces were routed by the Wermacht in the Battle of France. Two years later, General Percival repeated the mistake in Malaya and Singapore. He failed to appreciate the importance of air-power, armour and a lightning advance. 120,000 soldiers surrendered to a much smaller Japanese force; millions of civilians were left defenceless before one of the most brutal and cruel forces unleashed on civilization, the Imperial Japanese Army.
In Ireland, evangelicals are still fighting the battles of 1859. We preach as if the world understands our subculture and shares our presuppositions. Yet the entertainment industry, the press, and even school curricula preach that facts are business of science, and all else is mere opinion. Attacking works-righteousness in sermons is redundant when generations have been raised on relativism and nihilism. People won’t see the need for salvation if “stuff happens” is their catchphrase, or if they view all moral judgment as an act of oppression. We can modernise our worship tunes and turn up the volume; but our message will remain incomprehensible.
A glance at the latest editorials, or a brief conversation with an unconverted friend, will reveal how post-Christian Ireland has become. Christianity is accepted as a pleasant and comforting pass-time; it is not viewed as a claim to absolute truth, a call to know Christ, or a command to obey the living God. We need to prepare to meet a culture can no longer comprehend the basic terms of the Gospel. The enemy is massing at our borders; we are retreating inside our cosy subculture. But instead of digging trenches we should be preparing to meet a blitzkrieg.