The Irish Elk is now extinct. Many modern folk shrug nonchalantly at such news, for such tidings mean very little to them. But to those who know what the Irish Elk once was, its extinction is a tragedy. The Irish Elk was once a picture of majesty. Its head reached heights over ten feet tall with a rack of antlers which sprawled twelve feet in diameter and an additional five feet upwards into the ancient skies. That’s fifteen feet of pure and utter awe.
Ellerslie’s campus is forty-five minutes from beautiful Estes Park, Colorado, where it is common to view elk herds grazing. I’ve grown up around elk, but not Irish Elk. Elk are impressive creatures, with a hint of majesty on their brow. And if I didn’t know about the Irish Elk, I wouldn’t complain about the bull elks in Estes Park (literally one-fourth the size of the Irish variety) and their tiny racks of antlers. But I do know about the Irish Elk, and thusly I have a vision of what an elk truly ought to be.
I’d like to draw a parallel between the Irish Elk and triumphant Christianity. Both roamed the earth in history past and both seem to have gone extinct in our modern day. Oh, we still have a less triumphant version of Christianity that can be observed today; however, it would seem that this modern species stands less than one-fourth the size of its mighty ancestor. It’s Christianity minus the majesty.
And yet, before we bemoan the loss, it’s important to note that there is a stirring within the ranks of the Christian soldiers of our day. It’s a desire to see the rack of glory return. It’s a yearning to see the ancient heavenly majesty thunder, once again, upon the stage of time.
In an age where spiritual mediocrity is accepted and even applauded within the corridors of the Christian faith, moral lassitude is overlooked, and the post-modern silt of the Emergent Church is tacitly exonerated in our midst—there is a need for lion-hearted believers to emerge. Or should I say, “Irish Elk” Christians to rise up.
All one must do is read the Bible to see how far we are from the stature of our Cross-purchased ancestry. But how do we get from where we are to where we ought to be? There is a very simple solution. There must be more of Jesus in our lives, in our families, and in our churches. More time given to Him in prayer and pursuit, more of our souls opened up for Him to rule and control. He is majesty. And for majesty to return, He must be given the pre-eminence in all things (Col. 1:18).
Ellerslie is a training environment where this very thing is happening. “The Return of the Irish Elk” is not merely a humorous unofficial motto amongst our students and faculty; it’s a very serious articulation of an actual, real-world event being witnessed by each and every person on our campus. It is a moment-by-moment yearning in our souls for the return of Christianity as it ought to be.
There is a need in this day for souls polished pure by the fire of God, hearts built courageous by the training of the Spirit, and minds tempered and harnessed by the unchanging Truth of Scripture. After all, who will stand when all others subside into a seated silence? Who will fight for Truth when all others have determined fighting for Truth to be harmful and incorrect?
The time has come for the Church to regain its ancient rack of glory and to rise up and remove the spit from the face of Jesus Christ. The return of the Irish Elk Christian is at hand.
So, who’s with us?
Eric W. Ludy
President, Ellerslie Mission Society