…Jerusalem, terrible as an army with banners. Song of Solomon 6:4
WHY IT IS THAT THE CHURCH OF GOD IS SAID TO BE AN ARMY WITH BANNERS. That she is an army is true enough, for the church is one, but many; and consists of men who march in order under a common leader, with one design in view …She is the church militant here below, and both in suffering and in service …She is contending for the truth against error, for the light against darkness: till the day break and the shadows flee away, …But why an army with banners? Is not this, first of all, for distinction? How shall we know to which king an army belongs unless we can see the royal standard? In times of war the nationality of troops is often declared by their distinguishing regimentals. The grey coats of the Russians were well known in the Crimea; …No one mistook the Black Brunswickers for French Guards, …Quite as effectively armies have been distinguished by the banners which they carried….The church of Christ displays its banners for distinction’s sake. It desires not to be associated with other armies, or to be mistaken for them, for it is not of this world, and its weapons and its warfare are far other than those of the nations.* God forbid that followers of Jesus should be mistaken for political partisans or ambitious adventurers. The church unfurls her ensign to the breeze that all may know whose she is and whom she serves.