Tag Archives: Christians and war

Living our Resurrection Faith, Following our King

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A Biblical view, a journey from U.S. Marine to Christian pacifist…

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[Originally published by Friends United Press (currently out of print).  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

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Christ our Peace

Spurgeon Sermon

…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.

Charles Spurgeon: Quotes

If there is anyone who should be opposed to strife and bloodshed it is the man that names the name of Christ. Spurgeon considered the spirit of war to be absolutely foreign to the spirit of Christianity….
Modern conservative, fundamentalist, and evangelical Christians, all of whom might claim him as one of their own, have much to learn from Spurgeon, not only for his example of an uncompromising and successful Christian minister, but also for his consistent opposition to war and Christian war fever.--Laurence M. Vance [extended quotes and citations]

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Spurgeon Speaks to Today’s Christian:

The Lord’s battles, what are they? Not the garment rolled in blood, not the noise, and smoke, and din of human slaughter. These may be the devil’s battles, if you please, but not the Lord’s. They may be days of God’s vengeance  but in their strife  the servant of   Jesus may not mingle. (“War! War! War!” May 1, 1859)

Long have I held that war is an enormous crime; long have I regarded all battles as but murder on a large scale. [“India’s Ills and England’s Sorrows,” September 6, 1857]

Christ’s church hath been also miserably befooled; for this I will assert, and prove too, that the progress of the arms of a Christian nation is not the progress of Christianity,

Why does a peaceful nation bluster and threaten for a few months, and even commence fighting, when in a short time it sighs for peace, and illuminates its streets as soon as peace is proclaimed? The immediate causes differ, but the abiding reason is the same — man is fallen, and belongs to a race of which infallible revelation declares “their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways, and the way of peace they have not known.”

The Christian soldier hath no gun and no sword, for he fighteth not with men.  It is with “spiritual wickedness in high places” that he fights, and with other principalities and powers than with those that sit on thrones and hold sceptres in their hands.

The church, we affirm, can neither be preserved nor can its interests be promoted by human armies. We have all thought otherwise in our time, and have foolishly said when a fresh territory was annexed to our empire, “Ah! what a providence that England has annexed Oude,” — or taken to itself some other territory — “Now a door is opened for the Gospel” (“Independence of Christianity,” August 31, 1857) [This was also said by some American evangelical leaders** who endorsed the invasion of Iraq. Quotes Now, linked here  and here ]

Our kingdom is not of this world; else would God’s servants fight with sword and spear. Ours is a spiritual kingdom, and the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but spiritual, and mighty through God, to the pulling down of strongholds

A war against falsehood, a war against sin, is God’s war; it is a war which commends itself to every Christian man, seeing he is quite certain that he has the seal of God’s approval when he goes to wage war against God’s enemies. Beloved, we have no doubt whatever, when we lift up our voices like a trumpet against sin, that our warfare is justified by the eternal laws of justice.

[** In the Baptist Press ‘…a missionary wrote that “American foreign policy and military might have opened an opportunity for the Gospel in the land of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob….

‘…, both Franklin Graham, . . . and Marvin Olasky, the editor of the conservative World magazine and a former advisor to President Bush on faith-based policy, echoed these sentiments,’

The end result is that one of the oldest Christian populations in the world has been decimated. ]