Before I proceed fully to open up this metaphor, let me say that though we shall use military terms this morning, and stirring speech, it should ever be remembered that we have no war against persons, and that the weapons which we use are not such as are forged for the deadly conflicts of mankind. The wars of a Christian are against principles, against sins, against the miseries of mankind, against that Evil One who has led man astray from his Maker. Our wars are against the iniquity which keeps man an enemy to himself. The weapons that we use are holy arguments and consecrated lives, devotion and prayer to God, teaching and example among the sons of men.
Ours is battling for the peace, and fighting for rest. We disturb the world to make it quiet, and turn it upside down to set it right….We have no sympathy with any other war, but count it an evil of the direst sort, let it be disguised as it may. Now with that caution, whatever I shall seem to say will not sound as though I loved or excused ordinary warfare—for nothing can be more abhorrent to the Christian man than wholesale slaughter.
…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.
How shall we know to which king an army belongs unless we can see the royal standard? –Charles Spurgeon
For more on this subject:
For Nook or PC
A Biblical view, a journey from U.S. Marine to Christian pacifist…
[Note: Both Barnes and Noble and Amazon have a free “look inside”/”read sample” feature. Follow the link/s above]
Other reviews on Amazon Kindle Books
[Originally published by Friends United Press (currently out of print, ebook ony, link/s above, some used print version copies can be found). This is my personal testimony to the change wrought in my life when I began to examine it as I struggled to align my path with that narrow way charted by Scripture. Aside from the obvious teachings of Jesus, there were many surprises in the Old Testament.
This book gives an overview of my journey and those Scriptures that confronted me. For an academic work on Scripture and war, see Dr. Preston Sprinkle’s new book, Fight, published by David C. Cook, and the classic, Yahweh is a Warrior by Mennonite scholar Millard Lind. ]
To believe the promise of Jesus that his followers shall possess the earth, and at the same time to face our enemies unarmed and defenseless, preferring to incur injustice rather than to do wrong ourselves, is indeed a narrow way. – Dietrich Bomhoeffer (The Cost of Discipleship)
Jesus’ kingship is not something that remains in the future. Christ is King right this minute. —R.C. Sproul
Christ our Peace
…The Lord Jesus Christ is our peace in a second sense, namely, in making peace between nations. That there are wars in the world at the present time is not the consequence of anything that Christ has said, but of the lusts of our flesh. As I understand the Word of God, I always rejoice to find a soldier a Christian, but I always mourn to find a Christian a soldier, for it seems to me that when I take up Christ Jesus, I hear one of His Laws, “I say unto you, resist not evil. Put up your sword into its sheath; he that takes the sword shall perish by the sword.” The followers of Christ in these days seem to me to have forgotten a great part of Christianity.
Now don’t be fooled again, if you hear of the English conquering in China, don’t go down on your knees and thank God for it, and say it’s such a heavenly thing for the spread of the gospel — it just is not….Hush thy trump, O war; put away thy gaudy trappings and thy bloodstained drapery, if thou thinkest that the cannon with the cross upon it is really sanctified, and if thou imaginest that thy banner hath become holy, thou dreamest of a lie. God wanteth not thee to help his cause. “It is not by armies, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord” (“Independence of Christianity”)
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