Friday, June 29, 2007

# 207: "Onward Christian Soldiers . . . "

2nd Timothy 2:3-4: "Take your share of suffering as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, just as I do, and as Christ’s soldier do not let yourself become tied up in worldly affairs, for then you cannot satisfy the one who enlisted you in his army." There are a number of Biblical variations for the words “worldly affairs.” Simply, they all are implying the same Christian principle; Paul is saying not to get involved in anything that distracts us from doing the work of the Lord. Also, it is corroborated by 1st Corinthians 15:58. "Therefore my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord." There are many more like it, with at least seven verses using the phrase "make every effort."

Being Christian soldiers does not mean we will go to war against other nations that may be a threat to our security and freedom. In fact, we are commanded to love our enemies. This theme of love for our enemies is throughout the New Testament. I give just one verse: Matthew 5:43. "You have heard it said, love your neighbor and hate your enemies. But I tell you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons [and daughters] of your Father in heaven." Then the question comes up: As soldiers of Christ, how and whom do we fight? 2nd Corinthians 10:3-4. "For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."

Paraphrased, this is what Paul is saying: Because of the love we have for our enemies, we will destroy arguments according to the truth as it is presented in Scripture, and disintegrate every heresy which is presented as being wisdom from God. As soldiers of Christ’s army, we never, under any circumstances, inflict physical harm on anyone who disagrees with God’s truth, regardless of what they do to us. As it commands in Matthew 10: 23, "When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another." In short, the weapons we will use are to present God’s truths in a clear and polite way, with no form of coercion. That is how we fight evil. There is much significant scriptural evidence to verify that principle; here is one such verse: Romans 12:21. "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

In order to do that, we must know exactly what is commanded in the Bible, apart from the opinions of professionals who preach according to what is best for their financial gain and their numbers. That is where this unique blog comes to the rescue. This blog is committed to only one criterion: Everyone needs to know, is entitled to know, and deserves to know, in an unbiased manner, exactly what the New Testament teaches.

This above-mentioned verse, Matthew 10:23, along with three verses in Acts chapter 8:1 and 8:4, also 11:19, are telling that when Christian solders of love are being persecuted because of their beliefs which clash with how worldly people live, they must not retaliate with like action, but move elsewhere (scatter). God’s purpose for the scattering was to spread the gospel wherever they went. That means wherever they go, they would be a minority, living in enclaves surrounded by foreign and possibly hostile countries. That is the price they/we must pay so that the Good News will be spread.

This strongly implies that the Christian religion, regardless of where they go, will never be the dominant religion of any country; if they were, they would have to help in physically defending their holy turf. Acts 8:4, along with 11:19, gives the reason for their action: They preached the word wherever they were scattered [God’s purpose], thus eventually spreading the gospel throughout the entire Roman world.

As anyone can tell, that is not how it turned out in the world nowadays. Unfortunately, what was substituted in its place, especially in America, were people who are Christian only by name, who have assimilated themselves with the people of the world, and thus became part of them without even knowing it. This integration process has been going on for about five centuries, since Martin Luther’s time.

I am certain many people who take the name Christian resent any part of being Christian soldiers. They may say, "When I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior, thus being born-again, no one told me I was going to be classified as a soldier for Christ. Can’t I be a Christian soldier on furlough (temporary leave)?"

This next section is going to take all the courage I can muster up in order to put it on the internet. In fact, I will possibly receive more flak from this section than I have to date. Before I stick my neck out and get clobbered, what follows is in accord with the New Testament, although I have never heard even one denomination or independent church bring up this subject; if they did, the next week their pews would be nearly empty. It is based on the principle of love for our enemies, which all Christian soldiers (hopefully you and I) are commanded to obey. What I am about to espouse is an undesirable Christian axiom, which the vast majority of the religious community in our country has not and will never accept.

According to the New Testament, any and all forms of active aggression toward our enemies is immoral, regardless of whether it's justified or not. The only exception is just punishment by the appropriate non-Christian authority for egregious crimes committed. Repeating, that does not include any Christian organization. If one of our own commits an act of aggression, we put him or her out of our fellowship and let the civil authorities take over.

When I first started Religion’s Crime Against God two years ago, I had a blog named "American Democracy’s Fatal Flaws." I spelled out this principle to some degree, but was easy with my words. Now I will be more explicit. Just remember this: I am an American who used to love my country before I knew better. Now as a devout soldier of Christ, I am ashamed of its immoral practices. I am referring to the military action we take against nations that possibly mean us harm. It may be only logical to act this way, but never in the name of Christ. Don’t forget this: The world thinks we are a Christian nation since the majority of Americans claim to be Christians. But we are not. We are as atheistic as a nation can be, especially with Bush as the warmongering president. It may have been all well and good for him to start this Iraq war even though it ended up that he was wrong. But for him to claim to be a born-again Evangelical Christian makes the situation extremely troubling for anyone who knows the heart of God.

Now this is the part that saddens me: Eevery soldier that enlists to fight for our all-volunteer U. S. military is a partaker, in principle, by eventually engaging in an act/s that is/are immoral. For those U.S. soldiers who claim to be Christians, are they aware of what the Bible commands about harming our enemies? You see, Christian soldiers were never meant to fight their enemies. Genuine Christianity is a religion of love for all peoples. One cannot love them by hurting or killing them, even in self-defense. Remember, the way Christianity works best, if not in all situations, is to live only in small groups (enclaves), not giving their allegiance to any world government or flag, but only to Christ and to each other.

Why? Because only people out of their right mind would desire to live as Christ commands. Yes, Christ’s teaching is that outlandish. It is true, Christian soldiers are out of their mind by refusing to live as the world requires, but in their right mind when it comes to living for Christ. If anyone doesn’t understand what is being said, just read a few of the posts in this blog, or diligently study the New Testament, trying to put aside what you have been previously taught by religion, and you will see that aggression of any sort or reason is never a part of the Christian life. That begs the question: Should genuine Christians support the war and/or our troops who are committing immoral acts against our God and the principle of love which is the basis (foundation) on which all else in the complete New Testament depends? Leave a comment.

Here is what bothers me most of all: I am an extremely empathic person; much more so than is normal. I have a grown family and a little grandchild. I could just see their father or mother getting killed for a war that is absolutely stupid in God’s eyes and in the sight of all real Christians. There isn’t much that is crueler than to take a parent away from a child forever, and think of the mothers and fathers who lost sons or daughters. And almost just as bad is to have one come home maimed for life or to a broken home. The long-term consequences of this war will be with us for generations, and in more ways than one. This is not to mention the thousands of human beings (Iraqis) with feelings like us Americans. The pain and suffering many are going through will be theirs till their eyes are closed in death. The list of hardships and pain is endless for both Americans and Arabs. And all for a stupid satanic president who is inspired in all he does by the one who glories in the immorality of all wars, Satan the devil.

Even if we were to get out of this war as soon as possible, this conflict will continue between Arabs against Arabs, and Arabs against Jews, and Jews against Arabs, and Arabs against Americans, and Americans against Arabs. What a hornet’s nest one ungodly man has stirred up (one of the modern-day antichrists) who claims to be a born-again Christian. Click on post # 168: "War With no End" for more details. Some may ask, "What right do I have to condemn Bush?" As the Commander in Chief, he is self-condemned for he has violated the Christian law of love for our enemy in the most egregious manner possible. Or is he exempt from Christ’s commands because he is the president of the United States? Could it be that I am reading the New Testament with wrong motives? Leave a comment, or send me an email. I need a good challenge from anyone who believes Bush is a man of God, and the New Testament is wrong.

In ending, genuine Christian soldiers (having Christ as their example) must fight with God’s love which was freely given to us; that holy love, which displays itself in many forms, does no harm to its enemies. Love and only that love is meant to heal the hatred our enemies have for us, and in doing so, destroy unbelief. Are we who call ourselves Christians doing that, or do we even have a desire to do that? Without that love, a person possesses little, if anything, of true value. But I know there are many bloggers who have that precious love. There are great gifts which God has in store for you. Matthew 7:7. "Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be open to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and he who knocks, the door will be opened." Amen. These promises are meant for all Christian soldiers.


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