In recalling recent Islamic terrorist activities in Syria, Malaysia and the Middle East, Freedom Outpost contributor Theodore Shoebat expounded on the biblical reason for Christians to remain armed: to protect the Church from her enemies.
He said that these modern occurrences remind him of the obligation of the Church to carry arms. He was not speaking in terms of stirring up strife or revolution, but rather he spoke of the use of arms defensively against all those who would seek to do her harm.
“Even Jesus spoke of this when He said, ‘Sell your purse and buy a sword,'” Shoebat said. “Of course, there are many interpretations of it, but the physical and temporal application of using a sword to defend one’s self can be applied with this verse.”
Shoebat claims that the two swords in the passage represent the physical sword for self-defense, while the other sword represents the spiritual sword, or the Word of God. I’m not necessarily buying into the interpretation, but the reality is that as Christians we are to use both. We use the Word of God in defining law, in pointing out sin, in instructing in righteousness and pointing the way of salvation through the One, true and living God. We also use modern swords (arms of all different types) to defend ourselves, our loved ones, the Church and our neighbors, as well as secure a free state, as Shoebat points out.
Many object to the use of arms by Christians, even going so far as to say that if someone were in your home and had killed your children and was raping your wife that you should merely pray for them. Yes! So-called pastors have even spewed this non-sense. My question to them is “Is that showing love for them?” The answer is no. It is actually showing cowardice, which I might add, the apostle John says that cowards will find themselves in the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8).
Theodore also goes on to point out that the state can use the sword to protect the Church. We also know from Romans 13, that the state wields the sword for the punishment of evil doers (For more on that topic, I highly recommend my good friend pastor Gordan Runyan‘s excellent work Resistance to Tyrants).
While Shoebat pointed out that in an ideal world, there is such thing as a Christian State (a government that rules under the authority of God righteously), he recognizes that in large part, many governments, including our own, seem to have “sold their souls to the devil.”
There are numerous examples of those who defended the people of God (the Church) throughout the Old Testament. Before I continue, let me just say that no, the Old Testament is not done away with even though the Messiah has come. It has been fulfilled, but not destroyed. It is still, as the apostle Paul said, “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Tim. 3:16)
One of the examples Theodore chose to use as an example comes from 1 Samuel 22. King Saul, who was to be the protector of the Church, has now become its persecutor, slaying the priests of the LORD. One of the priests, Abiathar, escapes to David and tells him what has taken place. David says that he knew this would happen, but then goes on to tell Abiathar, “Abide thou with me, fear not: for he that seeketh my life seeketh thy life: but with me thou shalt be in safeguard.” In other words, David is not going to let anyone harm or kill Abiathar without a fight. What did they fight with in those days? That’s right, swords.
This isn’t the first time that David had shown his might in defending the people of God against their enemies. If you recall, he also took a sling and some stones, went out against the greatest enemy of the Philistines, Goliath, charged him and slew him and cut off his head with the giant’s own sword! What’s interesting is how David spoke of killing a lion and a bear to defend the sheep of his pasture. Jesus also spoke of going after lost sheep and bringing them safely home. To fail to defend the people of God, is to demonstrate a lack of love for them. In fact, it is to demonstrate hate and cowardice.
Jesus would later speak of laying down His life for the sheep. Christ was, and still is, a defender of His sheep and He often employees the means of His people in the defense of His people.
Christians should be those that use the sword of the Word of God to defend the Church against false doctrines and false teachers, but we should also be unafraid and unashamed to use the physical arms we possess to defend the people of God as well. May God grant us courage and strength to demonstrate love for His Church in such a way that we defend Her from the various attacks of Her enemies for His glory.
Tim Brown is the Editor of Freedom Outpost.