There are two major lessons that we need to take from the edict of Mordecai, the message sent throughout the region of exile to all of the Jews that told them that they were allowed to fight back against those who were given permission to take their lives.
And the first lesson is this: you are allowed to fight back against a world that is trying to take your life.
Too many Christians are sitting idly by while the culture around us seeks to systematically destroy the things that we hold dear, the very life of the Christian faith. And it's because we've been told that culture has been given the authority to do these things, that the world approves of what culture is doing to the church. Much like Haman's edict, signed with the king's ring, we believe we are nothing more than sitting ducks, waiting on culture to take its final strike.
We're talking here about things like the cultural ethic, yes. Things like changing the fundamental definition of marriage or what we consider acceptable as lifestyle choices. We're also talking about other things, though. Like the world's insistence that Christianity be part of an "interfaith" reality, where we stand alongside persons of other faiths and affirm them. Even though the Bible is full of God telling His people exactly not to do this.
Or here's another one: the de-sanctification of Sunday. Man, this one has really taken hold. The world has started scheduling all kinds of things on Sunday mornings and then telling you they are really non-optional. For adults, we're talking about work shifts where if you won't give up your worship time to stock shelves or run a cash register, you lose your job. Period. Or we're talking about kids' sports leagues. Your little sugar blossom loves to play whatever the sport is and you want him or her to have every opportunity to do so, so you give up entire lengthy travel seasons of Sunday worship to spend them at the ball field.
Hey, this is just the direction that the world is going, we say. We have to get on board or get left behind. We have to accept that culture has so loosened itself from the Christian foundation of the way of life that this stuff is just par for the course now. And it's been authorized by the world at large. Our world has been given the authority to do this to our Sundays, to our culture, to our ethic, so...who are we to fight back?
We're the people of God, that's who.
Listen, we don't have to put up with this. We don't have to buy into it. We don't have to sit idly by and let the culture come washing over us in a wave and sweep us out to its seas.
We are allowed to take a stand on the things that are important to us, the things that are important to God. We are allowed to defend our lives. We are allowed to fight back.
We are allowed to love someone whose lifestyle we cannot possibly affirm. We are allowed to love someone who worships differently than us without affirming their worship. We are allowed to declare, even publicly, that our faith is fundamentally different than these other faiths and that we are not here to pretend that our God is the same as all of the other gods this world wants to worship. We are allowed to stake a claim to our Sunday mornings and tell this world that they are non-negotiable.
And no, it doesn't always come easy. No, it doesn't mean it won't cost us something. Yes, we might lose our job or our kid might not be able to play on that team or some of our friends might turn their backs on us or whatever. It may come with a cost.
But the question is - what cost are you paying already? Because I'm telling you, living without a fight in a world that's been given the authority to run us over is costing us something. And it's a price we should not be so comfortable paying.