Night-Whisper | DARE
Then Abimelech went up to Mount Zalmon, he and all the people who were with him. And Abimelech took an ax in his hand and cut down a bough from the trees, and took it and laid it on his shoulder; then he said to the people who were with him, “What you have seen me do, make haste and do as I have done.” NKJV.
In Britain, its peoples live on layers of history, the dirt beneath their feet being littered with the legacy of evidences of former conquests, fantastic failures, and the rise and fall of Kingdoms and all their related creatures. When Mohamed’s body began its decomposition in the sands of Medina, Christianity had already shaped these islands for centuries.
At the time of my writing, I have occupied more than forty different addresses. My own learning structure has been nomadic, peripatetic, didactic, exegetic, and in some ways monastic, though the hair style would never suit me!
In an ever so slivery and slightly similar way, seventh century central Britain was peppered with monastic missionaries, all thrust into the same nomadic, peripatetic, didactic, and exegetic lifestyle, and all pushing back the powers of Saxon paganism, who, in a broken and warring tribalism, sought local stability, wider legitimacy, and power for their small kingdoms and expanding borders, through royal patronage, marriage, war, and by all and every other means which was necessary to join the religious and political elites of the time. The double use of the marriage bed and the woven thread of convenient conversion seemed to be the glue that held everything together. Nothing has changed, especially in the elite households of our lands, even if they are now mostly Arabic or Russian.
In the plague ravaged central Britain of the 660’s, so the legend goes, the ‘Wolfman’ Saxon King of Mercia, ‘Wulfhere,’ was already aware of Christianity via monks which were received by his battlefield slain father ‘Penda,’ who, had invited these monastic missionaries from Lindisfarne just a decade previously. Apparently, King Wulfhere had professed conversion to Christianity for the convenience of marrying a ‘Christian’ princess, only to then revert to paganism once he had wedded and bedded her. Many men in Britain have done the same over the centuries even to this present day.
Now then, King Wulfhere’s two sons: ‘Ruffin’ and ‘Wulfad,’ had met the monastic missionary, St Chad, when he stayed their hand from killing a white stag when on a hunting trip. Subsequently, impressed by him and his Christian spirituality, they had secretly visited him in his hermitage cave for instruction in the Gospel and the ways of God and in the so doing, had been thoroughly, though secretly, born again
so the story goes, their father King Wulfhere’s pagan warlord, general ‘Werebode,’ had been recently rebuffed in a marriage proposal to another Christian princess, and now being insane with revenge upon the new religion and its followers, had ‘snitched’ on the King’s kids quiet conversion to Christianity and deceitfully added to that fact that they plotted, like Absalom of old, to do away with the King in violent revolution. Upon hearing these lies, the wolf-man king then bears his fangs, and in a mad rage murders his two converted sons, Rufus and Wulfad. Their Christian mother, full of woe, then interns their bodies and in the Saxon way, and sights their memorial with standing stone. Today, I had lunch in the former capital city of the Kingdom of Mercia, and of the wolf-man King himself, it is the mid-Staffordshire market town of ‘Stone.’ Rufus and Wulfad are still remembered there, even some 1400 years after their martyrdom.
I have three things for your consideration tonight.
First, please note that these ‘Games of Thrones’ have been around for a long time. The rulers of the darkness of this age have been vying for the possession of peoples, lands and power for millennia. Light and all its spiritual forces, even through plague and all manner of persecution, have pushed back the icy walls of this dark death and reclaimed the lost peoples of the cold land of the North for their Lord for a long, long time. Dare we say, that in these islands that we Christians have a blood right of possession based both on the sacrifice of Christ and the blood of His missionaries? It is not only worth thinking about but also claiming such rights in our prayers of conquest and repossession. (I do hope that sounds militant.)
Secondly, also note that Satan, the great wolf-king himself, has always eaten those children lost to him. Those other members of his wolf-pack, whether it is paganism or other false religion, will always tear to pieces the truth of the Gospel. Right now, in 2015, ‘The Game of Thrones’ is being played once more as Islam, through the reading of the Koran is being proposed to be read in future ‘Christian’ coronation ceremonies, and a possible coming British king, a self-declared defender of the ‘faiths,’ and a supposedly self-taught speaker of Arabic, even now waxes eloquent about the great Mosque of planet earth. Yes, in these islands at the moment, not only do we contend with the resurfacing of the wolf-tooth of Saxon paganism, but another canine of anti-Christian teaching called Islam is snarling on our streets, and laying claim to territory in high finance, prestigious property and the old long corridors of power. Already the awoken are saying: “My, what big teeth you have grandma….” ”
Thirdly, note that the battle between light and dark rages on and note that there is a need for more missionary men of steel to put themselves in the place of plague and persecution that Christ might be glorified once more.
Finally, it is of note that the ‘Venerable Bede’ records that St Chad had a man appear at the doors of the house of ‘Lastingham,’ the home of these early missionaries, whose name was called Owin (Owen). Now, this man was no one special, just a former servant of an East Anglian princess who had apparently renounced the world, and as a sign of this, appeared at Lastingham in ragged clothes and carrying an ax. He became one of Chad’s closest associates. Might I suggest that it would appear that even in legends and fairy tales, all wolves with big teeth need to be slain by a man with an ax, and might I also suggest that the name of that ax is the ‘truth of God’s preached word.’
Let me ask you then: “How many ‘no one specials’ today are willing to renounce the world and turn up at God’s missionary door in the worthless rags of their own self-righteousness but carrying an ax?” I wonder, if the recovery of these lands to Christ, should that ever happen, will only be done with men wielding such axes of truth? I say again, it is time for the trees of the Lord to come against the walls of our now much darkened cities. It is a shame that they may need carrying like children upon the shoulders of more committed men.
Listen: But as one was cutting down a tree, the iron ax head fell into the water; and he cried out and said, “Alas, master! For it was borrowed.” (2 Kings 6:5 NKJV)
Pray: Father, raise to the surface the lost ax head of the proclaimed truth of your Word. Father, send us men who are willing to wield it. Father cut down Your fruitless trees and destroy them in the fire. Father, where necessary, remove your settled cedars and carry them on Your shoulders, and on the shoulder of missionary men into the coming battle. In Jesus name I ask it, amen and let it be so.