A Counselor Reflects on Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

“Christianity agrees with Dualism that this universe is at war. But it does not think it is a war between independent powers. It thinks that it is a civil war, a rebellion, and that we are living in a part of the universe occupied by the rebel (p. 43).” Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

What do you see when you walk out your front door? What do you hear when you watch a debate on television? What do you feel when your conscience prompts you that something was not handled correctly? How we interpret those moments is profoundly important.

C.S. Lewis is reminding us that we are not neutral observers, but inhabitants of a world in civil war who must pledge allegiance to one side or the other. Too often because of the ease of our day-to-day living we think we can just “root” for the right team and be OK. We go to church each Sunday to “check the score” and show our team spirit, but that is about all. We are not unlike the person who watches Sports Center in the morning and wears the team colors on Saturday.

That lifestyle radically misinterprets who we are and where we live. We are soldiers in a war, not fans watching a game. Either we are advancing the cause or we are allowing the cause of the Enemy to be advanced. This is even more true because we are living in “Enemy occupied territory” as Lewis says. If we were “back home” on neutral soil, we could just do our job and let things be normal.

The number one strategy of the Enemy is to lure “the good guys” into a false sense of security in his territory. As long as they comfortably do nothing, his agenda advances. When we do this we inadvertently contribute to the Enemy’s cause. The Enemy can point to all the “good guys” who seem perfectly comfortable under his governance to legitimize his agenda.

Think of it this way. There are two ways (at least) to win a war. First, you can have superior strength and strategy. These advantages would allow you to make a direct frontal assault on your adversary and vanquish them in hand-to-hand combat. However, we know (and Satan knows) this strategy is unavailable to him. Calvary and the empty tomb were the death of that approach.

Second, you can attempt to weaken or distract your enemy in some way that brings their strength and strategy back down to your level. We see this in the cute high school sports videos on youtube when the weaker team does something silly (backflips or barking like a dog) to distract their opponent from scoring the winning points.

That is the only approach available to Satan. He has lost when we fight in Christ’s strength and victory. The only “effective” approach is to distract; make Christians feel “at home” in a place that is not their home so they will invest themselves in what is not God’s kingdom.

When we succumb to this strategy we begin to fight about things that don’t matter, worry about things that won’t last, and collect things that enslave us. We begin to do the Enemy’s work for him, because we have forgotten where we are living.