Short answer: In one sense, no. In another sense, maybe. In yet another sense, definitely yes.
Mark Citadel, at his blog, posts an excellent essay Parallel Blueprint to Victory. In it he points to the successful colonization of parts of Western Europe by Muslims who reject their host societies, and he urges Christians to learn from their success. This post is not an evaluation of Mr. Citadel’s entire essay, but a meditation on part of it: Are unbelievers our enemies?
Some quotes from Mr. Citadel:
The solution for us [traditionalists] is not much different from the solution that Muslim immigrants to Europe have exemplified.
We call this the ‘parallel society’. This is not the creation of a hermit kingdom, it is the creation of [an] entirely separate and hostile social system that runs alongside the main culture.
…this approach is much more openly hostile than the one which [Rod] Dreher espoused, and I would argue it is this aggressive nature that determines long-term stagnation or long-term victory.
Christians primarily need to start raising their children on two essential doctrines of this struggle.
1) You are Christian, you were born Christian, you will die Christian.
2) The world is not Christian. The world is your enemy.
[Emphasis in original.]
The key word for the present discussion is hostile. Since we are Christians, says Mr. Citadel, we should be hostile to those who are hostile to us. But to what extent are unbelievers our enemies?
In one sense, they are not. Scripture makes it clear that our ultimate battle is not with flesh and blood (mankind), but with Satan and his minions. See, e.g., Ephesians 6:12. All people are born dead in trespasses and sins and hostile to God (Ephesians 2:1), but God chooses some to be saved by giving them the gifts of repentance and faith in Christ. Those who remain hostile to God will remain hostile to God’s people, but our ultimate enemy is not the unbeliever.
In another sense, the unbeliever may be our enemy. In the not-so-distant past, all citizens of the Western nations recognized that theirs were Christian nations, and even the unbelievers (except, in some cases, for a tiny minority of revolutionaries) granted that Christianity had a right to rule. Unbelievers may have dropped out of the Christian society, but they did not work to destroy it.
No more. Atheism has girded itself for war. Unbelievers are now, speaking overall and with the existence of exceptions acknowledged, at war with Christendom. Since unbelievers in this sense have declared themselves to be our enemies, we are allowed to respond by acknowledging them to be our enemies. And they are not just our enemies in the spiritual sense. Whenever they forcibly legitimize social evils such as homosexuality, divorce, feminism, and mass immigration, they become our enemies in the practical sense.
Not all unbelievers support the liberal jihad against Christ. But enough of them do that we are justified in regarding the body of unbelievers as our enemies in this sense.
We Christians didn’t start the war but now that it has begun we are allowed to notice that we are under attack, and to respond.
And there is a third sense in which all unbelievers are our enemies. The Bible identifies the three basic enemies of the Christian as the world, the flesh, and the Devil. (See, e.g., Ephesians 2:1—3.) “The flesh” is our sinful nature. “The Devil” is not just Satan but all of his unholy minions. And “the world” is not planet earth, with its crust, mantle, core, rivers, mountains and seas. Here, “the world” means the non-Christian systems of the world: the philosophies, the movements and parties, and the governments that oppose Christ and his church. As one who rejects Christ, every unbeliever places himself within this vast meta-system that opposes Christ. And even when he is passive he still contributes to its advance.
So how should Christians respond to these facts? The obvious basic answer is that the Christian must defend himself against threats posed by unbelievers, even as he prays that they will come to Christ. And one of these threats is a temporal, a secular, a practical threat: that anti-Christian ways will permeate society and drag it down. Christians ought to notice these threats and defend themselves.
But there is a tradition of what might be called “culture-war pacifism” in many strains of Christianity. “Turn the other cheek” has often been misapplied to the culture wars that are always raging.
Evangelical Christians, for example, have generally opposed thinking of themselves as Christians by birth because they (rightly) see the Biblical teaching on a Christian identity as affirming that persons become Christian by repentance from sins and having faith in Jesus Christ. This being so, Evangelicals generally oppose anything that will tend to make people think that their Christianity is automatic, a part of their ethnic or national heritage. So they often oppose the culture wars.
[It is true that many Evangelicals are culture warriors. But the general thrust of historic Evangelicalism is to see kulturkampf as a distraction at best, and a sinful waste of resources at worst.]
But this is too narrow a view, my Evangelical brothers. Man is saved by faith alone, but he does not live by faith alone. Faith must undergird his life, but he must also take action. Although he can live in a hostile, non-Christian society, if God has so placed him, the Christian has no obligation to accept a social arrangement that is hostile to Christ. His duty to God is not just to have faith and to witness to other people. Since a society that obeys God’s laws is good, it is good for a man to support such a society, and to oppose anyone or anything that threatens this society.
A strong sense of having a Christian identity and the willingness to fight for what might loosely be called a “Christian society,” and not just faith in Christ for the forgiveness of our sins, is necessary for living well as Christians.