How do you best kill the Taliban?
Upstream, that’s how.
Let’s see if I can explain.
For nearly two decades, we engaged the Taliban on the battlefield with stunning success. In virtually every engagement, coalition troops prevail. Usually, it’s a slaughter. I can think of only a handful of tactical engagements won by the Taliban.
Yet, they stand poised to eject us from Afghanistan with control over large swaths of the countryside. Outside the capital and the few cities, the Taliban are the power-brokers.
After 19 years and over 2,000 American soldiers dead, the United States finds itself embroiled in a strategic quagmire from which we may not extract ourselves or the whole thing likely falls apart.
Each year, we bleed out just a little bit more.
How could this be?
Checkers. We’re playing checkers.
Just like the church.
Don’t get me wrong.
Checkers is a fun game, valuable to an extent. When your opponent plays chess though…
Pro-life advocates declared February 23rd of this year, a Day of Mourning. In response to the recent and radical New York abortion law, the website instructs us to wear black, not shop, close businesses, and repent for abortion. Albany, New York will host a rally/meeting/worship service with a host of notable pro-life speakers.
On January 18th, tens of thousands of pro-life warriors braved the cold streets of our nation’s capital in protest of the evil of abortion. This is the 46th annual iteration. Vice President Mike Pence and a host of conservative leaders attended this year’s event. President Trump attended last year.
Though large and dramatic, these are tactical engagements. Like any tactical engagement, if not supported by sound strategy, the engagement fails to yield long-term results.
And, in a way, these are the large-scale equivalent of me arguing with my pro-choice cousin on social media.
I’m not too sure about their productivity, even on the tactical level. I acknowledge the efficacy of compelling our political leaders to pen pro-life legislation and nominate pro-life judicial members.
But this is about hearts and minds, like any counter-insurgency.
Has a single heart or mind been changed by demonstrations?
Building pregnancy centers is a step toward strategy, toward chess. What if, next to every single Planned Parenthood, was a crisis pregnancy center that offered every service, but abortion? Once a woman views her baby on an ultrasound, once she sees it’s personhood, she is much less likely to go through with an abortion.
Our city has a crisis pregnancy center with a great ministry.
Okay, now we’re getting somewhere. Parcheesi maybe.
What if we could tell every woman in a crisis pregnancy, “Don’t abort, please. We’ll raise your child in a loving home.” I choose to believe that most women do not want to have an abortion, but in many cases, feel they do not have an option.
The church ought to be elbowing one another out of the way to adopt available children. The existence of unwanted children is itself, an indictment of the church.
We never get this far. It’s too hard, requires too much of us.
We’re stuck in confronting the issue head-on with protests and marches and rallies and moaning and arguing on social media, slandering those who live blinded by their sin.
Meanwhile, the enemy busily destroys the nuclear family, drives a wedge between men and women, even going so far as to destroy the very idea of men and women, blurring the lines until the are unrecognizable.
And his agents of destruction are legions of unwitting men who stand idle as their sons grow into godlessness.
But, what if we played chess?
Like with the Taliban.
I’ll not deny the efficacy of shooting the Taliban in the face wherever you can.
We can build the world’s most sophisticated military machine to ensure that the trigger-puller is in the exact right place at the exact right time to squeeze the trigger and propel the 7.62 round into the skull of said Taliban.
The problem…he’s got brothers, and a father, and uncles, and friends…i.e. the Taliban.
Let’s work upstream.
What if he was never there in the first place? Let us dispatch him before he ever sets foot on the battlefield, perhaps walking out his door in the morning, or sleeping in his bed at night.
Let’s give him options, an education. Let us dangle the allure of financial prosperity before him, the hope of a better future for him and his family, a desire common to all men.
Further upstream, let us raze the Pakistani madrassa that taught him the Koran and to hate America. Let us coerce Pakistan to raze all their madrassas. Imprison the fundamental clerics. What if we westernized his homeland to the greatest extent possible, immersing him in the seductiveness of secularism, confusing him, undermining his Islamic faith which drives his zeal.
What if we fervently prayed for the Gospel to penetrate Muslim lands and for the Lord to raise up missionaries to go, and to make disciples? What if we went ourselves?
Abortion and Chess
Abortion will never end as godlessness proliferates.
Revival is the answer to abortion and I’m not talking a scheduled tent revival with open-air preaching. I’m talking real revival found in the serious commitment of men making disciples of their sons.
You want to end abortion?
Men, let us teach our sons to follow the Lord Jesus Christ.
It’s that simple.
Do the other things. Protest. Legislate. Inform. Rally. Resist. Build. Adopt. All of it. But apart from the engagement of godly men discipling their sons, these are but band-aids on a gushing hemorrhage.
Abortion is a symptom. Treating symptoms is okay as long as we treat the source of the illness. The source of the illness is godlessness, and as each generation becomes increasingly godless, abortion will proliferate.
Consider a generation of young men, of young Christ-followers and what the Lord would accomplish through them.
These young men would cherish and esteem young women. They would honor them and respect them. They would reject the overt sexualization of our culture and the insidious but prevalent view that a woman’s worth is in her sexuality and her looks. They would lift this burden from young women.
These young disciples would not pressure them into sex outside the covenant of marriage. They would value them as people, as sisters in Christ, as perhaps a future mate and wife.
But you know what, it will still happen. Christ-followers still fall into sin. There will still be unplanned and unwanted pregnancy. Yet, these young men, as Christians living a life of repentance, would seek out the Lord’s forgiveness and the woman’s as well and then seek to make things right.
Young disciples would not abandon a young lady to her pregnancy and vulnerability. Young disciples would not force her into a position of having to make a dreadful but seemingly necessary choice. “I’m here,” they’ll say. “I’m scared too, but let us rejoice at life. It didn’t happen how we planned, but it happened and so we’ll embrace it. Hallelujah, I get to father.”
And still sin happens. As their brothers wrestle with the flesh and maybe do abandon a woman in her time of need, they would come alongside and say, “we will support you as you need or, if necessary, we will love this child and raise them as a son or a daughter.”
Godly young men would push back against the rampant godlessness and how, by living according to the dictates of Christ, as disciples themselves. They would commit their lives to being disciples and themselves, to making disciples, of their own sons at first and then all the nations.
As they push back the darkness, as revival engulfs the nation, abortion would necessarily wane.
Men, make disciples of your sons.
Kings to you, Satan.
Author - Founder
Soldier, Pastor, Author – Bradford stays busy, with his wife Ami, raising their 9 children, serving the nation, pastoring, preaching, and writing books (#3 is due out October ’17).
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