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Recently Jmac stirred the pot and created some controversy by saying, “We don’t win down here, we lose!”

In a lot of ways I agree with him. Mark this day down in history because I don’t always agree with MacArthur, but I think he really nailed it here. I also believe there is a lot of Biblical precedent that supports what he is saying. The last shall go first, the meek shall inherit the Earth. Our Savior Himself did not ride into victory to conquer the Romans and “win.” By earthly measures, it doesn’t look like a “win.”

Jmac says “we lose on this battlefield,” key words being “this battlefield.” The war itself has already been won.

In faith we are called to pour ourselves out, to use everything we have been given, with little or no earthly reward, without reaping the glory, without the victory. Hopefully we “lose” everything. Things like pride, envy, wrath, idols……

These words also needed to be said because in the Western world we are just obsessed with “winning,” to the point of having nearly lost all perspective. There are men invading women’s sports right now in part because the primary goal is “winning.” Forget sportsmanship, forget opportunity, it’s all about the winning.

Politics no longer resemble any kind of cooperative human venture either, it’s all about winners and losers and owning the other side. I don’t know how anyone sensible could claim all this “political winning” is benefiting anyone.

In marriage there are quite a few so called Christian teachings about who gets to be the “tie breaker,” the winner, the boss. Let me tell you, if you think the goal of marriage is to win, to figure how who is the more powerful “tie breaker,” that’s the fastest path to divorce. If you don’t divorce, at the very least you will completely destroy another person, the one you claim to love. I’m horrified that “who gets to be the tie breaker” is even a part of the discussion. Love doesn’t care about “winning” it wants to lift up, elevate another, serve, cooperate, listen, sacrifice. Husbands are supposed to love their wives like Christ loved the church. In an earthly sense, in a worldly definition, there was no “winning” going on there. Jesus simply poured Himself out and laid down His life.

Victory looks a whole lot different in the spiritual realm than it does in the worldly world.

I need to put in a good word for the objectors however, for those upset about what Jmac said. They aren’t totally wrong. They also make a valid point about how MacArthur really fought against covid lock downs with the intention of winning. And he did win! He has also certainly accumulated some wealth along the path of all this “Christian losing.” So we do have a case of, “do as I say, not as I do.”

Also, if the battle is already lost, then why bother? Why do we do the things we do, serve others, try to make the world a better place? I think that’s where the strong meat of faith comes in, the understanding that we will lose, but we fight on anyway. Some things are just worth fighting for, even when losing the battle is guaranteed. In fact, what we chose to fight for even knowing it will cost us everything and result in no worldly victory helps to demonstrate what we truly value, what genuinely has worth and value to us.

This is what we mean when we say, “some people are so heavenly minded they do no earthly good.” So now nobody has to speak up about injustice because the world is not my home?! There are numerous examples of people using faith as a form of avoidance, as a way of never having to participate in the dreaded, “social justice.” I realize those words are packed with political biases, but just same, we are supposed to be caring about the well being of our fellow human beings and what our neighborhoods and nations look like!

Also, while the world is indeed full of suffering and sorrow, we are not commanded to live in a “vale of tears,” lamenting the delay of the return of the Lord. We have been granted some authority over our own circumstance! At least make your bed, take out the garbage, and go spread some good cheer.

Ultimately I suppose this is a eschatological debate which is why I keep stamping my foot and proclaiming, abiding panism. That’s where you just abide in the Lord and trust that it will all pan out.