WPC Pulse - October 2015
Defiant in Your Name
by Ruth Bates, MD
On a recent road trip, I discovered a new mental anthem – or at least a song that I’ve not been able to get out of my head for the last three weeks straight. Somehow it touched a cord and expressed something deep that I’d almost thought multiple times but never had the words to say (or at least never in a cool form that rhymed, which sometimes makes all the difference).
For some background, I’ve been thinking a lot recently about lies, silent lies, cultural lies, subconscious lies that worm their way into the core of our being without stopping to knock at our mental front door. Our secular work is filled with them –from the media, from Hollywood, from Facebook – but like virus-infected computers, we sometimes don’t even recognize the lie until we notice ourselves behaving just that little bit differently...opting to stay silent when truth is needed, smoothing the rough edge off some deeply held belief or tidying up a less popular attribute of God before bringing Him out in public. Even if we resist, the struggle can leave us feeling drained and defeated.
It was around this point in my musings that I came across “More Than a Conqueror” by Rend Collective and it was like taking a cold shower in Truth. I recommend bellowing it at 70 mph with the car radio on full blast for maximal effect (I had to keep myself awake somehow), but, short of that, the words that struck me most particularly were...
“We will not bow to sin or to shame; We are defiant in Your Name
You are the fire that cannot be tamed; You are the power in our veins
Our Lord, Our Conqueror.”
Like Daniel in the Old Testament, our culture tells us to bow in the presence of all sorts of things, pagan things, untrue things, upside-down things. Our culture tells us that the only way to be compassionate is to end life, the only way to be loving is to applaud other people’s soul-suicide, the only way to be tolerant is to shut up, the only way to be enlightened is to celebrate darkness and the only way to be progressive is to cease asking what exactly we are progressing towards. These are not just distortions, not just shades of truth, they are blatant lies. And while we need to be able to address them with grace, nuance and sensitivity, we need the sanctified clarity of mind to recognize them for the lies they most certainly are. And to do so unashamed. We know the God of the Universe, and He is not to be trifled with.
There are many qualities essential for the Christian life, but sometimes I think the one we’re running short on is guts. Or fortitude, as they used to call it. We need to re-discover the sanctified guts to yell (at least inwardly) with David, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (1 Samuel 17:26b, NIV 2011). “Not bowing” to our culture’s tissue-paper lies has its risks, but ultimate defeat is not possible. We can be gracious, measured, thoughtful and wise, but ultimately we are defiant in His name. Our Lord...He is Conqueror.