Resistance is never futile if one understands resistance as opposition to isolation. Events in Egypt, Yemen, Iran, Tunisia and Jordan have recently shown what happens when citizens recognize their isolation. Citizens in those nations finally discovered that, to be significant, they would have to live in a certain kind of nation. That nation would have to recognize civil rights, private property, personal privacy, et al. In short, the governments of significant nations must be democratic.
Since 1972, some 86 autocratic governments have fallen, world wide. Not all of them have been replaced by any form of democracy, which only means they will have to change some more. Almost none of them shifted immediately to Western style democracy. Their citizens did decide to change what they were. The historic trend is toward more democracy, not less, and it would behoove geo-political leaders to understand this fact.
If Egypt can be free, who can be held in thrall?
Only those willing to be held.
So, resistance is an admirable trait. Resistance is active opposition to isolation. Resistance is the final end of isolation. Communication with free persons is the beginning of communion with liberty.
To resist is to engage. A Resistance Fighter engages his enemy in the most deliberate way. He may do so because other opportunities are closed to him or because he exhausts all other avenues of engagement without positive result or because he sees a remarkable chance to advance his cause several steps at a time. Regardless, when he engages the enemy he seeks the end of isolation put on him by authoritarian powers.
Resistance is as vital in peace time as in war. In fact, resistance may preclude the outbreak of larg-scale blood-letting. Men imprisoned for political reasons may be quiet or shrill in response to their captivity. Mistrust and argumentation amount to a form of imprisonment for the man without power to change his circumstances.
No one should incite the easily excitable, the immature man or the deranged. Nor should anyone decry the patriot's call.
The Resistance Fighter must decide if he resists out of fear of what happens to him or dread of what might happen to him, or if he resists because he is a committed revolutionary. Too many decisions (in religious life in particular) are made on the basis of fear fo what might happen to us if we do not act in accord with a particular band.
Certainly, fear is a prime motivator. Fear should be circumstantial, however, and so felt briefly. Religion based on guilt and fear is unhealthy and unwholesome. It never matures. Fear may make us start but cannot (should not) guide us on our way. Certainly, fear and guilt cannot bring us home.
Deeper thought will banish fear. The end of fear enables us to move with purpose. The revolutionary moves with purpose. His success will depend on the purity of his purpose and its benefit for the greater body. A purposeful revolutionary cannot be a person on a mission minus a conscience. This is the most hateful of men. We have had too many of them in leadership over the last three decades.
If a person resists under oppressive circumstances the very level of oppression marks his resistance as heroic. If he risks his life or sacrifices his career or foregoes personal comforts, he is more noble than the conscience free sunshine patriot who will fight to the last drop of another man's blood, so long as he may be safe and comfortable behind the lines. Nobility of cause does not mean all who rally to the flag are admirable.
The man who cares deeply about the fate of others is godly. The one who thinks of others without thought of personal return is Christ-like. This should be on the job description of the next pastor of your church or the leader of your convention of congregations. It is not corny or romantic. This description is Biblical. If you sneer at it, you brand yourself.
The Resistance Fighter can never act as if he has no social responsibility. He may not pander to local prejudice and then judge himself a prophet. In fact, he must oppose his local culture in language crystal clear. He must report daily to his own conscience, which he must continually cultivate. He may not always be right but he will always be noble.
Opinions here are mine alone.