Friday, August 10, 2007

Swords

Wouldn’t it be nice if Jesus had made it easier for us to know exactly what to think about each specific issue of politics and social engagement? Take pacifism, for example. Jesus taught us to turn the other cheek, love our enemies, and not to resist an evil person (Mt. 5:38-48). But John the Baptist allowed soldiers to stay in the army (Lk 3:14), and Jesus allowed his disciples to go armed (Mt. 26:51; Lk. 22:35-38; Jn. 18:10).

So what should we do? Should Christians ever fight, either in self-defense or in war? Should we oppose all military action or should we become involved in it ourselves? There’s plenty of truth in God’s Word to help us make these kinds of decisions, but it looks like God expects us to figure these kinds of things out for ourselves.

(c) Copyright 2007, A. Milton Stanley

3 comments:

R.I.P. Redeemed In Prayer said...

Well, with carrying the swords, it was very much a culture thing. They were walking from town to town, city to city. They didn't have street light or highways to keep the wild animals away. In this day and age we have cities that scare humans away! Certainly the wild life wouldn't come into our cities, at lease most of the time. In those days though they were camping out in the wild and walking around by the moonlight. They did need a sword for getting food and preventing attacks of animals.

Jesus did pick up the ear and put it back on the soldier’s head. He didn't run off giving high fives, he did not condone what had happen.

As much as, should a Christian fight? Well, what would you do if you your wife or someone close to you were being beaten right in front of you? Would you fight (defend them) for their sake or watch because you “can't” fight? I would fight for their life. But on the other hand if someone was harassing me because of my faith in Christ and thought they would try to entice me by beating me, I think I would defend but not attack. Run or block a hit, but not punch back. In that situation you really have to ask yourself what will glorify God? In any action we take we should be trying to glorify God in it. So, in that situation, personally I would think you are doing more damage to the message of the cross by getting your punches in. That is something hard to do though, especially for me. I was a fighter growing up in my neighborhood. I was raised with the mindset that you don’t let anyone hit you and get away with it. It took a long, long, long, time for me to allow the wisdom of the cross come into my life and humble me.

Grace and Peace

R.I.P. (Redeemed In Prayer)

Milton Stanley said...

Redeemed: Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your own journey. The only thing I would add is that fighting defensively includes an element of offense. I think that if I encountered someone trying to beat up me, one of my family members, or another innocent person, I would not merely try to block his attacks, but to pummel him about the cranium till he desisted. Only afterward would I assess whether or not I had glorified Christ in the process. Peace.

R.I.P. Redeemed In Prayer said...

I hear you.