Sjolander Road Fellowship




Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

the warrior motif

8/20/13

 

It is not hard to catch the warrior motif which permeates much of the scriptures. The OT  quickly evolves into a chronicling of the military exploits of the nation Israel. Throughout the historical books of the OT, we encounter one act of warfare after another. King David is even specifically denied the right to build God's house because he is a warrior. One might reasonably ask why that was an impediment, since much of Israel's militarism seems God directed.

 

When we get to the NT, the use of the terminology of warfare continues in the writings of Paul  Fight the good fight. Put on the armor of God. Resist the Devil. Note the enemies. All these points of emphasis lead to a renewed warrior mentality.

 

In startling contrast to this constant insistence on conflict and fighting, we see the example of Jesus, what he taught and how he lived his life, including his willing submission to death. On rare occasion the NT records an angry Jesus, displaying some warlike attributes, but the one who extolled meekness, humility, and self sacrifice was largely consistent in displaying these attributes in his personal ministry. Likewise, in enumerating and encouraging the fruits of the spirit, the Apostle Paul makes a dramatic departure from many of his other writings which so frequently use "call to arms" language.

 

So which is it? Are Christians required to be fighters or what? If we fight, who is the enemy- the Devil, our fellowmen, ourselves? It all mightily confusing to me. Personally, I don't relish the warrior role. Too much nervous stress for my liking. In addition I don't see the point. Human history is replete with armed conflict and to what end besides the amplification of suffering?

 

After all, who is our example, lowly Jesus or General Paul? This I know. If Christians are still supposed to be fighters, in the military sense, we can dismiss all notion of living like Jesus did or practicing what he taught. We can fight like men or love like Jesus, but we cannot do both.