The following is a transcript of a conversation between Russell Moore, author of Onward and president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), and Daniel Patterson, chief of staff ERLC, on whether or not Christians are at war right now. This video will help you to understand what war Christians are actually facing and how the gospel shapes our engagement.
Daniel Patterson: Are Christians at war right now? You hear a lot about the culture of war. How would you describe – is a Christian at war right now? And if so, what kind?
Russell Moore: Well, a Christian is always at war on this side of resurrection. But we’re not at war with people. It’s not a war with flesh and blood, Paul says (Eph. 6:12), but with principalities and powers in heavenly places. There is a battle that is going on, the Scripture says, with demonic powers. And so the question is, how do we respond to those demonic powers?
Demonic powers aren’t as easily fought as the people we culture war with are. You don’t vaporize the principalities and powers with arguments. You don’t outvote the principalities and powers. The devil doesn’t fear any of those things. The devil fears the Gospel.
And so if we’re going to fight that war, we have to be anchored and defined by the Gospel of the kingdom. And that changes the way that we relate with our opponents, which is the word that I would rather use when it comes to the human beings that we disagree with, because they may be our opponents on this issue or that issue or maybe an entire range of issues, but they’re created in the image of God and they are potentially at least our future brothers and sisters in Christ. And maybe even potentially the future leaders of the church. So we need to keep that in mind as we’re arguing.