THE BACKPAGE: WHO WILL WAVE THE FLAG LIKE "THE PATRIOT?"

This past week, a friend recommended I watch “The Patriot.” At the same time, I started a discipleship group with a few of the guys on the soccer team that I coach. We’re using “Wild at Heart” as the core of our discovery times together and, lo and behold, Eldredge too recommended “The Patriot.” So a couple of nights ago, I sat down to digest it. Yikes — there were some bloody parts (but then, it’s set in a bloody war time). And I can’t say I agree with every last value that it advances. But the scene that stands out to me the most was that well-known snippet where Benjamin Martin, the hero of the story, runs “upstream” against the tide of retreating forces, finally grabbing the flag from a scared soldier. Martin tries to turn back the tide, eventually by standing up on some high steps and waving the flag in a figure-eight pattern, all-the-while yelling “Attack! Don’t give up!” Eventually, the troops pick up the cry and, before you know it, they actually *charge* toward the enemy. Without giving away the end, I’ll just say, Mel Gibson’s character is fairly persuasive.

Which brings me to my point: Who will pick up the flag and wave it today, helping us advance all the more against the kingdom of darkness. During the 90s, one might make a case for Luis Bush being such a flag- waver. Through his efforts and those working alongside him, perhaps *hundreds* of people groups were engaged in evangelism and church- planting. Never mind that we didn’t quite accomplish his lofty goals. The truth is, we made progress.

But today is 2008. Who will pick up the torch today. Who will run upstream against retreating forces of “global economic slowdown,” “tolerance of diversity,” and growing legends of universality? Who will help by waving the flag to draw toward the unreached? Those are the questions that must haunt our souls as we face continued overwhelming odds in the battle.

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Thank you!!! Doug

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