17 May 2013

The Warrior and the Poet Part III


So. Which inspires us more, the warrior, or the poet?

 The answer is neither.
You see, people aren’t inspired by poets who have been through nothing. Neither are people inspired by warriors who have not conquered the battles they are given. The two stories I told you were neither the story of a poet or a warrior--they were only two different types of a third kind of man: the warrior-poet.

And he is the heart of inspiration.

But let me clear something up. Being a warrior doesn’t necessarily mean someone who literally fights with swords or spears. It’s someone who conquers their personal struggles. Spartacus was just as much a warrior as Helen Keller was, they were just two different wars at two different times.
Likewise, being a poet isn’t necessarily someone who writes lines and verses. It’s about awakening the spirit of exploration inside all of us. It’s a picture of you and me, coming home and gathering our friends together, urging them and exhorting them “You guys, you will not believe the things we’ve seen! You have got to come and see it for yourself!”

The warrior poet doesn’t have to be one person, but the ideas are inseparable. It is the relationship of these two worlds coming together: experiencing and thinking, story and telling, warrior and poet. If you haven’t been a true warrior, you’ll never become poetry, and if you don’t have the spirit of a warrior in you, you can’t be a true poet. Joan of Arc was a warrior who became poetry. When David defeated Goliath, he used his experience to become the poet who wrote the Psalms.

The character Samwise Gamgee said it best in Tolkien’s “The Two Towers”:
“I used to think that [adventures] were things the folk of stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them. But that’s not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in mind. Folk seem to have been just landed in them. But I expect they had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. And if they had, we shouldn’t know, because they’d have even forgotten. We hear about those that just went on – and not all to a good end, at least not what folk inside a story and not outside it call a good end. You know, coming home, and finding things all right, though not quite the same.”

You know, the whole reason why the warrior-poet inspires us is because our Savior was a warrior-poet.

 No one has ever lived a perfect life… except for Him.

No one was supposed to save us… but He did.

Jesus Christ died for us.

And He came back again.

God’s going to give each one of us a battle to fight. You’re not supposed to win it, but you can. This is what inspires the human soul: the Warrior-Poet who went there and back again.

Poet: someone who writes.
Warrior: someone who fights.

 Friends, you have to understand this. The world is beautiful. It’s worth fighting for. It’s worth writing about.   Would you lose your life just because life is so worth living? I would. I would do it again and again and again.  Because you can never begin to live until you dare to die.

-The Minstrel Boy


  1. I'm curious- where did you come up with the term warrior-poet?

    1. My friends have used the term before, although I'm not really sure where we got it from. I guess the sound of it has always appealed to me though. I posted the song "The Minstrel Boy" a while ago which say "'Land of Song!' cried the warrior-bard". It was also used in Braveheart, although I didn't know that till after I wrote the speech.

  2. It is curious to me that Jesus didn't actually fight. rather than making a stand in this world, he expressed that the world's systems were meaningless to him. It looks to me like he gave up his power, he became weak, and then they killed him.

    1. You're right, but He conquered. He conquered death, and He conquered Satan. The battle against Hell was lost when Jesus sacrificed Himself. That's what a warrior does.

    2. for a follower of Jesus is there anything left then to conquer? If so, I'd argue that it is nothing in this world. Maybe ourselves so that we too can become weak.

    3. Yes, there is. Satan is still active "like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour". Jesus says in John that "in this world you will have trouble" He's pretty much guaranteeing us that we will have trouble. But then He says "take heart! I've overcome the world." Paul says that God is going to give us trials and temptations, but never beyond what we are able to handle. We are weak, but in Him we are made strong. "His strength is made perfect in our weakness." It's impossible to have the Holy Spirit in you and still be weak. Ephesians 6:12 says "For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." I think it's pretty clear that there is still a war going on that we are called to participate in.

      Of course that brings up the predestination/free will debate, who's doing the work, God or us. The Holy Spirit does empower you to do the work, but it's you who does the work. It's interesting that in Romans 4:1--5 it says that we are justified by faith, not work, quoting the verse in Genesis, "abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness". But then in James, it appears to be saying the opposite: "Was not Abraham justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected." James quotes the exact same passage in Genesis. In verse 26 it says "For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead."

      I don't think that's a contradiction. I've seen people take sides on either verses, which I think is stupid, because 2 Peter says that nothing in scripture is a matter of one's on interpretation. If that's what it says, then they're both true. It doesn't make sense to me, but I think it doesn't matter if it makes sense as long as it's true.

  3. We live in a world where how much money one has is closely related to how much power one has. If one takes Jesus' words seriously we would sell all we have and give to the poor (Luke 12:33). That would not leave one with much power on this earth. If there is something to be overcome, it is my greed, my desire for comfort, and my laziness that keeps me from helping those who are suffering and dying. The unseen forces tell us that we deserve to be happy, Jesus calls us to deny ourselves. That sounds like embracing weakness if you ask me.

    Perhaps though the weakness of God is stronger than the strongest of men. Humans use their power to control other, to rule over them and get what they want. Jesus, in weakness compels others to forsake their comfort to feed those in need.

    1. Embracing weakness? I thought we were supposed to be embracing Christ. Is Christ weakness? Are we still weak when we have the power of Christ in us? Does that make sense? We know that having power *on this earth* is an illusion in the first place, and God's command to Joshua wasn't to be weak and powerless. It was being strong and courageous. In fact He said it at least five times in Joshua 1, "for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Paul says "if God is for us, that who can be against us?" Even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, _we shall fear no evil_, for You are with me.

      Take Bethany Hamilton. Take Nick Vujicic. Take Beethoven. Joan of Arc. Gladys Alward. Martin Luther. Queen Esther. All of them were given impossible challenges and overcame them because of their undying faith in Jesus Christ. These are extreme examples, but God has given personal challenge and difficulty for every individual, in their specific place and time, to accomplish His purposes. Ezekiel says that if the watchman isn't ready to fight when the war comes, then he and his whole city is slaughtered.

  4. Yes, I would say Jesus is weakness. The very weakness of God.
    If God is for us, then we are living by a very different set of values. Was not God for Jesus? Yet I can tell you of many who were against him: the teachers of the law, the righteous, many of the Jews, Herod, some of his family I believe. Did they win? You (if I am understanding your position correctly) want to say "no" and look to the resurrection. Maybe that is so, but I look to Jesus who refused to play into their games. From their perspective he was weak. From a worldly perspective his followers will be seen as weak.

    I think I have articulated these thought better on my blog. I'd be interested in knowing your thoughts on this post: http://homemadeplaydough.blogspot.ca/2013/05/the-weakness-of-god-does-god-deny-power.html

    P.S. I don't think Queen Esther had undying faith in Jesus Christ

    1. Alright, but I'm not talking about the perspective of the world. The world is no measuring stick for deciding who is weak and who is strong. Jesus talks a lot about how if you are being commended by the world, you're doing something wrong. Many of the people I brought up (save Queen Esther, if you like) were failures from the world's perspective, at least in their own time. Joan of Arc was one of them. A warrior-poet is someone who conquers their God-given person struggles--it doesn't require the world's approval to emerge victorious.

      I don't agree that God is giving the power to us. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, He kicked them out of Eden. When the human race started going to hell, He destroyed it with a flood. When they started building Babel, He scattered them. When they built a golden calf, He instructed Moses to send his men into the crowd and slay them left and right. Not to mention the twelve plagues, turning Nebuchadnezzar into a cow, and toppling Solomon's kingdom when he became too great. If the Old Testament exists for nothing else, it's to show us who's master and who's servant in this relationship. And in Revelation, He's coming back to rain over Earth for a thousand years. Over us.

      As Paul writes, even the weakness of God is stronger than the strength of men. No matter how you look at it, God is stronger than men. What I'm asking is this: who triumphed at the cross: God or men?

  5. you have a point that I may not be able to hold my viewpoint and the Bible together without twisting things. I suppose then it makes sense to tell you that I hold my beliefs with open hand and books of the Bible seem to be slipping away. it looks to me like the Romans triumphed at the cross. Perhaps Jesus did too by not giving into to pressure to defend himself. did Jesus win by letting himself be killed? I don't know.

    Your second paragraph. I cannot argue against it biblically. all I can is that if that is God, I'm not sure I like him very much. I don't think I wanna be like him.

  6. Well, I'm sorry if you don't like Him, but I'm not making Him up. If you believe the words of the Bible, that is who He is. You don't have to accept it, but if you do, you should take in mind the words of Solomon: "Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God. For God is in heaven and you are on earth; therefor let your words be few" -Ecclesiastes 5:2

    Also, "For in many dreams and and in many words there is emptiness. Rather, fear God" -5:7

    The first thing there is to know about God is not that you should like Him. It's that you should fear Him. That He is God, and you are not. The blessed truth comes *after* that realization: that the most powerful being in the Universe loves you. And Romans 8:35--39 says:

    "Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written: For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.

    But in all these things we are *more than conquerors* through Him who loved us.

    For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creating thing, will be able to separated us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

  7. What then do you say to 1 John 4:18? are we really to fear God?

    Maybe there's a God, maybe he loves me, but if he loves me would he control me, or would he let me do my own thing, and destroy my life?

    1. I say that perfect love has nothing to do with casting out the fear in other people, but only the fear in yourself. If you love someone, you forget your own safety, because you are caring for the well-being of someone else. That doesn't make that someone else fearless, only you. God has no fear of us. But if you read Proverbs, the phrase "the fear of the LORD is the beginning of all wisdom" and the command to fear God is mentioned ten times to count. I take that as a really serious commandment.

      You're question seems to be contradiction to me. You said in your post that God is not a controlling being. If that's true, the answer is latter: we're all going to destroy ourselves. How is that loving?

    2. So are you saying that if we love God we won't be afraid of his punishment? or we won't be afraid if he hurts us?

      I think it is more loving for God to let us destroy ourselves than for God to destroy us in Hell. What do you think? Also, I am not convinced that we are all going to destroy ourselves.

  8. Exodus 20:5--6 says "I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments." God has no punishment in store for people who love Him.

    What's the difference between destroying ourselves and God condemning us to Hell? If we reject God, we've chosen Hell. So who's doing the condemning?

    This is your case, as I see it. A: God is a controlling being, so He forces us to love Him, B: God is not a controlling being, so we will all destroy our own lives.

    Both statements are wrong. The truth of predestination and free will isn't that simple. They have to work together, because that's the only way a relationship with God can possibly work. As for *how*, it's irrelevant in this life. The only relevant truth on this world is that we are commanded to love God and love the people He has made.

    1. I think a good and loving God would compel us to love him. No force, no sword, but not apathetic either.