It seems to be a common idea these days. We ought to avoid conflict. The mentality of earlier America, for instance, when "Live free or die" was an actual motto and people thought that fighting for freedom was noble is no longer "in". We prefer now a "kinder, gentler" perspective. Do not take up arms. Do not go to war. There isn't anything worth fighting about, at least not seriously. Well, at least not Christians. Christians are not supposed to fight. You know, like the Bible says: "Wrestle not."

Except that's not what it says. Here's what it actually says.

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:10-12)

Well, now, that's not quite the same thing, is it?

Of course, no one has ever told me, "The Bible says to wrestle not", but they have told me that we're not supposed to fight. And by "fight" they don't mean "put up your dukes". They mean that we're supposed to not dispute over doctrine, not disagree over what God says, not defend the faith, not take a stand against evil. The Bible, on the other hand, argues that we are in the fight of our lives, not against people, but against "the rulers of the darkness of this world." We might say that there is a conspiracy of evil going on and they'll tell us, "You're just being paranoid", but Scripture says it's true ... and it's not the evil people. It's "the rulers of the darkness of this world." "Things aren't getting worse," they tell me, yet God's Word warns of "spiritual wickedness in high places." They are "saying, 'Peace, peace' when there is no peace."

So am I trying to be confrontational? Yes, I am. Am I determined to be armed? Yes, I am. Will I "wrestle not"? No, that's not an option. There is a conspiracy of evil in which many of the people who complain when I use that kind of language are only unwitting pawns. Too many Christians have forgotten that we're in a real fight. "Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm." (Ephesians 6:13) Them's fightin' words.