Hans Island is a half square mile rock, essentially, in the Kennedy Channel north of Baffin Bay, just northwest of the Greenland coast. It lies directly on the border of the territorial waters of Greenland (which technically is still part of the kingdom of Denmark) and Canada. The two nations have argued for decades about who actually owns the island. In fact, they have been at “war” over it since 1984.
The nature of the “war” will explain the quotation marks. The Danes show up with their marine troops, knock over the Canadian flag, and have a party. Afterward, they leave schnapps behind for the Canadians, who invariably return, replace the Danish flag with their own, drink the schnapps, and leave Canadian Club whiskey for the Danes. And so on and so forth.
Some war, huh? I went to college with a few thousand folks, male and female alike, who would volunteer to be soldiers in that war. Unfortunately, I get the impression that some Christians think our war against Satan is characterized by the same level of conflict. Yes, we tear down the other flag and raise our own. But we never engage in real combat. We never risk anything we would hate to lose, including and especially our relationships with sin and sinners. There is no “enemy”; there is only “other.”
Spirit war is brutal, though not in a fleshly way (2 Corinthians 10:3). The “good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12) is strenuous. There are casualties. We need to be strong and well fortified if we are to survive and “stand firm” (Ephesians 6:10-11). Passively coexisting with evil accomplishes nothing — except, perhaps, to extinguish the light that is in us.
Ephesians 5:11-13, among other passages, emphasize the need for us to bring children of darkness into the light. We will almost always have to fight them to accomplish that (John 3:19-20). The sooner we come to grips with that, the sooner we can start wielding our sword in the way God has commanded.