Catacomb Resident Blog

Just Allies

16 March 2022

Let's pretend for a moment that you are utterly certain God wants you involved in some kind of activist endeavor. It won't matter what sort of thing it is; this is not about strategy and rules of engagement, but the nature of things.

What matters most is that you understand and embrace the biblical approach to resistance. There is a wholly different frame of reference that is often demonstrated but seldom explained in the Bible. Rather, we get the explanations from other literature scattered around the Ancient Near East.

First, let's gather the threads of context. You are a servant of the Covenant, and you represent your tribe. Your motivation is always Covenant first, and tribe second. This requires you to think on at least two different levels. Sometimes obeying the Covenant could disappoint your tribe. That's because the Covenant includes a priori that you will obey your convictions first and always. However, it also means that everything is personal. God is the first Person to whom you owe allegiance. Your allegiance to Him naturally results in a strong allegiance to your tribe.

If your activism is not rooted in the tribe itself, then you are working with allies, not family. That restrains your level of commitment to the activity at hand. Your convictions will tell you that family can make stronger claims on your resources than allies could. You'll figure it out, but give it some thought before you get involved.

Second, the Bible teaches a polarization in many places that Westerners do not recognize. If God calls you to activism, it's because the threat to your shalom is real. Your opposition is the enemy. It's a matter of role in context; it's not a question of whether the enemy is inherently evil. Your actions might not threaten life and limb, but never forget that your enemy is your enemy until they vacate the stance that threatens your peace with God. Their actions have already threatened your divine commission, or you would not feel led to act. It's nothing personal, but they have stepped into the kill-zone.

Third, never forget the vast gulf of understanding and expectations between those of the Covenant and those of human political systems. Never allow the two to merge in your mind. If you go into this thinking that the other side is somehow limited by rules and laws, you are already too stupid to get involved. Human systems leave the door wide open for some humans to break every rule. They will never, ever play fair. This is not a sporting competition or video game with hard limits. What seems logical and reasonable will become the basis for propaganda aimed at restraining your tactics. Your convictions are the only limit on your choices, not human laws and rules.

You must operate by your own convictions filtered by the Covenant Law Code. Up to a point, you will naturally tend to go along with your allies and their rules, but that's merely provisional, and you should tell them so. When your enemies start to cross those red lines, and your allies start to panic, you will be pretty much on your own.

Given the high probability that your enemy will be some government, always expect their forces to break their own rules. Never be surprised when they cross those red lines; never get sucked into the idea that this is just awful and you need to vent. They were planning to break the rules before they faced your activism. The probabilities that you will be acting against honorable people is less than zero, in the sense that you'd have to be stupid to imagine it.

The only question is to decide what tactics you are willing to use, and why. You need to be aware of Covenant boundaries in all contexts. Sometimes the whole strategy is simply to embarrass the folks in government. That's a worthy goal, given that it lays the groundwork for changing public perception. Sometimes your real enemy is not people, nor even systems, but the massive deception that holds people in chains. Work that out before you start.

It's totally unnecessary to go berserk. You need not froth at the mouth against your enemy troops. You can be totally calm and friendly, even as you smile and take their lives. The anger of the flesh cannot accomplish the glory of God. What fires your passion is your commitment to divine justice, and that's all you need. Whether your enemy lives or dies is not an issue.

Many secular strategists talk about how your activism needs a vision of what victory looks like. But the Bible understands victory differently. For us, obedience in trying is the victory. The earthly outcomes mean nothing in the long term. Our victory is the conquest of our own fleshly nature, and nothing more. Thus, our opposition to something or someone is actually symbolic, not the real issue itself. If someone stands in the kill-zone, they get hit in one way or another. They have intruded upon the grounds of opposing the Lord in your life. If He moves you to act in His name, then His reputation is the issue.

Because the Covenant teaches us this is the way, we often end up on fringes of anything we do with activism. Unless you can convince your allies to operate this way, you'll be something like Special Ops with a secret mission that the rest don't know about. Whether you still engage in the mainstream actions has no bearing on that. In the first place, the nature of your involvement is infiltration for the glory of the Lord. It's virtually guaranteed their concerns are something more mundane than the Father's glory.

Our shalom doesn't depend on changing any human system. We get involved for entirely mystical motives. We answer the practical questions from a different position. We don't consider human life as sacred, and so whether we or the enemy dies isn't much of a consideration in some contexts. We don't hesitate to sacrifice life on either side. Human mortality is merely a symbol for much more important things; there's more than one way to bring death into the picture. The tactics we espouse depend on the context.

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