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The Weapons of Our Warfare
General James Green
THE WORLD HAS GONE MAD WITH VIOLENCE. I don’t need to say much about this, for violence of every kind known to man is in the news daily.
It appears, even among the Church-crowd, that sending our young boys and girls off to war is permissible, even honorable. Even if the war or wars are politically motivated by greedy and wicked men/women, we must stand for “our country”—so goes the reply. I realize this is a sticky subject, but my question is this: “Why haven’t you sent your girls and boys off to fight in the name of the Gospel? Why haven’t you moms and dads sent your sons and daughters to foreign fields to proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord? Since when is any carnal kingdom more important than the Kingdom of God?”
I realize why the non-Christian may respond affirmatively to the carnal “call to arms”, for they know not the way of the Lord; but we Christians do know His way, or at least we ought to.
Parents will let their beloved children join the armed services and go to war with the intent of killing the enemy . . . but why haven’t your kids been trained up to go, say, to Iraq, TO SPREAD THE WORDS OF LIFE to the Muslims?
If the weapons of our warfare are NOT carnal, dear Christians, (read II Corinthians 10:3-6,) why pick up carnal weapons before you even go to the spiritual battlefields of this world with the sword of the Spirit (see Ephesians 6)? The world’s armed services have their place in this fallen world (I once was a soldier!), but as soldiers of Christ, we ought to wage the war for souls first, at least.
What are the motives that compel people to go off to (carnal) war? Are they noble? Are they Godly? Is God behind such wars? We don’t even have to pray about God’s warfare—whether or not it is right—for His warfare is to bring men and women into the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
If our faith means nothing to us, why go off into a foreign (or local) field and tell it to others? Maybe this is why we Christians are failing in our missionary offensives: our faith really means nothing to us. What do you think? Could it be that our mission motives, true mission motives, have not struck too deeply into our own hearts, and so our faith can’t be transmitted aggressively to the innumerable individuals lost in sin? Let me put it another way: THE MISSIONARY MOTIVE WILL NOT STRIKE FORCIBLY IN THE INDIVIDUAL WHO HAS NOT ENTERED DEEPLY INTO SPIRITUAL REALITIES. Churches today have hundreds of thousands of young people who are never taught the value of the Gospel. They have been raised on MTV and junk food. Yet if Uncle Sam sounds the battle cry, many will still respond with pride...go off to war...kill or be killed! How very sad.
You see, the Gospel of Jesus Christ seeks people’s good, not their gold (like political wars do). Also, the Gospel endeavors to transfer the New and Living Way of Christ to others whereas our Western culture seeks to transfer the Western culture to others. Some of the rottenness this country has exported ought to shame all of us! Would the U.S. Government ever spend $$$ on exporting the true teachings of Christ? Would this government send missionaries to the front lines instead of mercenaries—armed soldiers/sailors/airmen? Someone tell me, has the U.S. Government ever done this? I’m talking about a government-sponsored Christian army of young people. I found out early in my missionary undertakings that even churches from the West are more interested in transplanting “Americanism” than true Christianity to the rest of the world. Denominations were, for the most part, interested in “aggrandizing their ecclesiastical organizations” thru worldly means, not in fulfilling Christ thru spiritual means. Such motives do not actuate the true Christian Gospel.
If Christians would wage the war against the “Big Four” (see Ephesians 6:12), I believe we would see less natural wars and less spiritual failures within the Church itself.
The Bible speaks about two kinds of war: natural war and spiritual war. James 4:1 asks, “From whence come wars and fightings among you?” I believe both kinds of war are caused in the same way. James says, “Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?” Verse 2 is very explicit: “Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not...”
The NIV uses the word “covet”. Coveting is lusting for something that is not yours. Is not this trait common among all men? Men desire, lust, and covet recognition, honor, glory, power, pleasure, money, material things, etc. Are not all wars—natural and spiritual—rooted in the above? Self-centered conflicts are created, nationally or individually, by wanting something we do not have.
Why should born-again believers—abiding in the Prince of Peace!—who are called to live a pure, peaceable, quiet life, in all godliness and honesty, go off and join in in the carnal wartime hysteria of HATRED, REVENGE, and RETALIATION? These things are of the world. It is one thing to be drafted (as was common in my day of the Viet Nam War era) and another to freely join up. The Bible never tells us to break God’s higher laws. To be honest, the U.S. Government breaks ALL of God’s moral laws and more.
Our supreme allegiance is to God FIRST, to country second. We must be careful not to break His laws while obeying the laws of the land. Sadly, national patriotism teaches otherwise. To me it would be extremely hard, as a Christian, to hate and kill other peoples and races when the Bible clearly tells us to love. This Biblical love will compel us to share the love of Christ with the enemy! We are constrained to share the Gospel with all men of all races, creeds, and colors; and this duty is not abrogated by war, as the politicians and military would have us to believe.
It should be the Christians’ goal to promote peace and goodwill in Christ among all nations, if possible. I do realize that some, like the current jihadists, are bent on destruction, and it is up to the worldly civil government to deal with this threat. We here do our best to expose the Islamic concept of jihad, but we definitely seek NOT to kill Muslims, for we want them to get saved; and self-defense is in the hands of God and our consciences. What a Christian does in these matters is between him and God. This does not make one a coward but a conscientious soldier of Christ.
It would do church organizations well today if they sincerely laid themselves out before the Living God for His evaluation of their conduct and works . It is pretty easy to compare our Christian merits alongside non-Christian merits, but are we really like Jesus? Do we take our Christian warfare seriously? or do we exalt the world’s callings and standards far above His? Whatever other faiths and governments may possess, they do not have Christ, and He and He alone is the Supreme Value of true Christianity.
Yes, we Christians alone have Christ, the only Savior of the world. Therefore, the tragic need of this dark world—its startling physical, mental, and spiritual need—brings an urgent appeal that constitutes a high, holy, and noble motive for genuine Christian missions—CHRISTIAN RESCUE MISSIONS. Paul the Apostle made these strong, appealing statements: “I have often purposed to come unto you, but have been prevented . . . I AM A DEBTOR to the Greeks and to the Barbarians, to the wise and to the foolish. Therefore I AM EAGER TO PREACH the Gospel to you that are in Rome” (Romans 1:13-15). This same Apostle instructs us to “Fight the good fight of faith” (I Timothy 6:12), using the Greek word “agon”, meaning “contest, struggle, battle”. Paul sees the Christian life as a fight, an intense struggle that requires unwavered persevering in loyalty to his Captain in the war, Christ Jesus. So, engaging in Christian warfare means that we must vigorously contend with real adversaries of the Gospel (inside and outside of us). ALL Christians are called to defend the Gospel in whatever occupation God has called them unto.
Jesus told the Apostle Peter that “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it [i.e., the Church, the Ekklesia, the Body of Christ , the ‘called out’ ones]” (Matthew 16:18). Just what did Jesus mean? Is HELL a closed and barred place that the Army of God must assault if its gates are to be broken? Is it the intended role of the Army of God to eternally take itself into earth’s Hells rather than shutting its own gates/doors to keep HELL from pressing into the Christians’ guarded palace? Can a church (congregation) truly survive—to say nothing of fulfilling our Christian mission and commission—without a ceaseless FORWARD, AGGRESSIVE movement into the world’s HELLS or into outer edges of some HELL?
Christian, are you willing to “GO” and “PREACH” the Gospel to people who have never heard? I believe the biggest reason why more churchgoers are not activated (put into real Spirit-led action!) is because the Church itself utterly fails in its transmission of Spirit to spirit. The Church wants to entertain the “saints”, not proclaim Jesus as Lord!
We cannot learn about true compassion, about real spiritual warfare, or about Godly love by intellect alone. NO! We need what some mystics call “a noetic quality”, signifying “a direct apprehension of God that is its own proof.” This is what I would call “the baptism in the Holy Spirit experience”—a genuine quality of Spirit-life that comes only by having actual personal contact with the Spirit. This experience is what countless churchites never have. They say all we need is the Bible ALONE, leaving out the “vital ingredient”—the personal working of the Holy Spirit.
We need personal interaction with the Spirit in spiritual warfare. Book knowledge is fine, but WE NEED EXPERIENCE. What would an army be like if all the enlistees ever did was go to class, study warfare manuals and listen to their instructors day after day, week after week, month after month, but never actually picked up a weapon and learned how to use it? I’d pity those “soldiers” in the day of battle!
We have too many “learned” teachers and students today that have never had a personal experience with God the Son or the Holy Ghost. When I was in the church scene, being trained for the ministry (1972-1977), I learned a lot of necessary things by Bible and book, but experiencing my Christianity by actually “going into all the world” has so much more enriched me.
The missionary idea is good, for it carries “the corollary of love and human service”, but reading a book about missionaries is not the same as living the missionary life. Indeed, real missionary work is necessary. After all, missions is not a human invention but a God-ordained one. “Human brotherhood” must be realized in all this—all of us came from Adam and Eve; sin has corrupted all humanity; therefore, we must love our neighbor as ourself (and thus spread the Gospel to ALL!). Our taking the Gospel to ALL the world displays the very intent and nature of God as Father. Sinners are lost brothers and sisters in one sense.
When the missionary spirit burns low in the Church, when soldiering for the Lord is put on hold or stopped altogether, when sacrificial love for the extension of the Kingdom of God is not strikingly present, and when food, fun and worldly fellowship have become the Church’s central themes, the Church is in desperate, dire need of REPENTANCE! When ministers weep over failing finances and not over lost souls (including fallen and falling churchgoers!), we have lost out with God. American churches once accepted the genuine Christian way. Christian schools, colleges, and training centers were built all across this land. Many people went to foreign fields at young ages. Old folks prayed, fasted, and sacrificed to see the Gospel promoted. Churches were even packed with multitudes who’d come to hear a missionary speak.
All this has been changed, dear friends. Worldliness has eaten out the stalwart backbone of the once militant Church of Christ. Now missions consist of 2-3 week vacations for young people to go and show off their new worldly clothes, their latest CD’s of rock/rap/rave music, and display their LACK of holiness and sincere Godliness!!!
Materialism has literally paralyzed our missionary efforts. Sin of every kind resides inside the churches EVERYWHERE. Pride of life, the “American Dream”, has turned into a nightmare. Now we can just sing (to the loud rock-and-roll music) about spiritual warfare and about knowing ol’ J.C. (Jesus Christ in slang!). We don’t have to fast, but just feast in filth. The ministers don’t have to pray, they prey on their members for $$$$$ to keep their shows going. We don’t have to seek God, for we now seek god!
If you are tired of the game called “church”, you don’t have to take it anymore. THE SOLUTION TO THE UNGODLY POLLUTION IS SPIRITUAL REVOLUTION!
Church, liberal church, is a vicious circle that works only death and not life. Forsake the “death cult” and receive a fresh endowment of Pentecost! Don’t let church liberality kill you. Join a people who are NOT parsimonious (excessively stingy) toward the evangelization of the world. Invade the HELLS of this world!
Revival fires never break out in churches where liberality rules. Yet the Church of this hour promotes a wicked liberal spirit like the beer ad I’ve seen along the highway that says, “Release the Beast!” And so the beast is released.
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