Militant Christianity

“In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9,10).
Radical, fundamentalist, and militant religions have gotten a lot of bad press in our generation. Much attention is given to acts of violence, terrorism, warfare, and atrocity done in the name of religion. This has become so much the case that even persuasive evangelism is criticized and frequently condemned in the public arena. The prevailing attitude is that one should keep his religious opinions to himself, that no one has any right, much less obligation, to attempt to “proselytize” others to his faith. And, of course, any suggestion of force or coercion is received with outrage. While the latter reaction is justified, the current popular antipathy towards evangelistic efforts is certainly not.
There is more than one kind of militancy. The sword-point conversions of seventh-century Islam, the rack and tortures of the medieval Inquisition, and the invasion fleets of the Crusades represent “Holy War” at its worst. Nowhere in the New Testament is it even suggested that such tactics are permissible within Christianity, nor that “conversions” so obtained are effectual. The Biblical method of conversion is:
“For whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent?” (Romans 10:13-15).
However, when we have established that Christianity does not permit coercion and force as evangelistic methods, we have not discredited the adjective “militant.” Consider Jesus’ prayer in Matthew 6. “Your Kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” is certainly a statement which suggests conquest. The goal of Christ and of Christians was and is to spread the Gospel and the rule of God throughout our world in every generation. It is to bring other cultures, religions, and philosophies under subjection to the true God and Creator. Not by sword, gun, or bomb. Rather through love, truth, and sincerity. But though our methods are not that of the traditional military, our commitment must be just as strong, and our attitude as zealous.
“You therefore endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier” (2 Timothy 2:3,4).
We have a precious gift ?- the Gospel — entrusted to us by our God and Savior. We are commanded to share that gift with others. We must never allow unpopularity or the label of “political incorrectness” to deter us from our efforts to achieve the goal of Jesus’ prayer; God’s will being done on earth as it is in heaven.

One Reply to “Militant Christianity”

  1. I have been teaching for years that the early church did not get involved in the politics of any nation where ever it was established. They did not join the armed forces, nor belong to ANY branch of local police enforcement. Guy N. Woods had, I believe, the best statement about this subject when he wrote “If a Christian cannot physically fight for the kingdom of God, how can he then fight for some earthly kingdom” This is a paraphrase not an exact quote. The early church had no army nor joined any, and didn’t belong to any political movement. They didn’t even join the “police forces” of their local.
    One other thing, the church of Christ is dying solely because of the “clergy” preacher system it has now fully established. With this established “office”, unknown to scripture, it has now become a full blown denomination.

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