THE CHRISTIAN AND WAR

When the majority of church leaders are going in a certain direction regarding politics, the military, warfare, and that direction is not Biblical, it can be a great hindrance for those who are seeking truth, for those both inside and outside of the institutional “church.”

The military and warfare are glamorized within the “church” walls and a subtle recruiting campaign can be observed (maybe not so subtle). This is an ongoing situation, and I very recently listened to a service, via the internet, of such an event.  It took place in a very large church that most born again Christians would easily recognize.

It grieves me that this type of teaching is found in churches that are known worldwide, or that it is found in any Christian church for that matter. It grieves me to know that there are many young people in these congregations under the influence of this type of teaching.

Jesus commands us to preach the gospel and to love our enemies. Why isn’t the name of Jesus (Deity) synonymous with the concept of peaceful non-violence. Christ’s followers are to be as lambs and sheep in the midst of wolves, and wise as serpents but harmless as doves.

There is a great conflict of interest here for the born again Christian.  

We are ambassadors for Christ.  

How can we kill in a war and offer reconciliation at the same time.  

2 Corinthias 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.

Mark12:17 And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.

There were conscientious objectors during World War II. Some were Baptists, living under Nazi occupation. One Baptist man, who was an Evangelist during World War II, said that the devil was the real enemy, and he refused to carry a weapon. The early church for the first few hundred years was also of the same mind.

There will always be wars while this world exists. But as Christians we follow Jesus who said …

Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

There are those who teach that a believer cannot fall away from the faith. Scripture teaches otherwise. How can we be silent when doctrine determines behavior, and so many around us, especially the youth, are being recruited and deceived.

I AM PURE FROM THE BLOOD OF ALL MEN

Update:  August 2020

I wrote the post below in 2007. The apostasy has escalated. The number of Protestant Pastors singing the praises of Rome (and now singing the praises of Pope Francis) has grown rapidly. These Pastors are deceiving their flocks, and holding back the true Gospel from the Roman Catholic people. Signs of the Times. Our Protestant churches are no longer protesting. I believe our churches have been infiltrated.

I AM PURE FROM THE BLOOD OF ALL MEN

Paul the apostle said “I am pure from the blood of all men.” What a powerful statement. There was no blood on Paul’s hands because he was a faithful minister of the Gospel.

When my husband and I were born again we knew, by God’s Word and by God’s Holy Spirit that we had come out of darkness. We knew that we had believed a false gospel, and that the Lord wanted us to witness to that truth. We were surrounded by Roman Catholic family, neighbors, co-workers, and friends who were not saved and needed to hear the true Gospel. So witness we did. Can you imagine how shocked we were to learn that Protestant Churches were saying that Rome preached the true Gospel. Prominent Protestant Leaders are telling us that Roman Catholics do not need to be evangelized because they are already Christians.  Now this may sound very loving, but in truth it is the exact opposite of loving.  Let me give you one small example of what I mean.

A few days ago while visiting my father in the nursing home my husband and I met a man in his mid 80’s. He was visiting his daughter who is a resident. As we sat in the lounge and talked he told us that he had two big statues of Mary. One, he said, was in his home, and the other was outside. He wept as he told us that every night he kneels before each statue and petitions Mary and Joseph in prayer.

At some point during this little visit my husband managed to share the Gospel with this man. I told him that I had grown up a Roman Catholic. I gently told him to pray in the name of Jesus Christ, not Mary or Joseph. When we left he called us “nice people.” I say that not to boast, but to make the point that it is possible to witness in boldness and love at the same time. This man needed clarity, and we believe the Lord put him before us on that day.

I want to make it very clear that this type of situation is the rule, not the exception. We have encountered this a multitude of times over the years, and such were we before we were saved. If withholding the Gospel from Roman Catholics is not apostasy, we must redefine the word.

How can someone pastor a church and not include Roman Catholicism in the category of “another gospel” is beyond me. It is totally and completely heartbreaking. Yet this is the case in most of the churches that I have attended in the past, and I am saved over thirty years. In fact Roman Catholics are quoted regularly by pastors. That’s why I believe the churches have been infiltrated. Should a man who doesn’t understand the very simple fact that Rome preaches “another gospel” (Galatians chapter 1) even be in the pulpit? I say no, he should not. 

Acts 20:26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.

Acts 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

Acts 20:38 Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship.

Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the

which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Acts 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

Acts 20:30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

Acts 20:31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

Acts 20:32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.

Acts 20:33 I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel.

Acts 20:34 Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.

Acts 20:35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Acts 20:36 And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all.

Acts 20:37 And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul’s neck, and kissed him,

AMAZING TESTIMONIES

Several years ago a pastor in the U.S. gave a testimony in the church I was attending. He told of several pastors in Guatemala who had gathered for a retreat. One evening, after a meeting, they all retired to their rooms for the night, or so they thought. In the middle of the night one of the pastors awakened all of the other pastors. He told them that the Lord told him there was going to be an earthquake “tonight.” The other pastors were kind, but they didn’t believe him. The pastor who said he heard from God said “I’m going to the church to pray.” One other pastor said “I won’t let you go alone, I’ll go with you.” That night, as the two prayed in the little church, there was a terrible earthquake.

I’ll backtrack a bit. A short time prior to the earthquake, the pastor who I heard give the testimony said he had been prompted, by the Holy Spirit, to go to  Guatemala.  At a church service he told his congregation about the prompting. After the service someone gave him money for the flight, and someone else gave him extra money to have for the trip.  The pastor arrived in Guatemala right after the earthquake. He was at a hospital there when two pastors came to the hospital. They were the two Guatemalan pastors who had gone to the church to pray. The little church was destroyed, but they had been miraculously “sheltered” in the little area where they had been praying. They survived, but had been injured and needed medical attention. In that particular hospital in Guatemala, at that particular time, you had to pay in advance for medical attention. The pastor from the U.S. had the money to pay for the medical care of the two Guatemalan pastors.

***

A Christian woman was at her mother’s wake. Her mother, a Christian, loved Christian music and hymns. The daughter wanted to have music at the wake but there was none. While the family was talking about this at the wake, a Christian man was riding on a bus nearby with his keyboard. He was prompted by the Holy Spirit to get off the bus and go into the funeral home. He was hesitant, and told the Lord he didn’t know anyone in that funeral home. The prompting continued and it was strong enough to cause the man to go into the funeral home. When he went in he was made aware of the situation and played his keyboard at this Christian woman’s wake, a woman who was a perfect stranger to him! This testimony was given to us by the dead woman’s son, who was at the funeral home that day.

He also gave us the following testimony regarding his sister. At another time this same daughter was standing by a light pole waiting to cross the street. She was prompted by the Holy Spirit to go to the other side of the street right away. She did, and a few short moments later she observed a car accident. A car hit the pole right where she had been standing.

ANTIDOTE TO DECEPTION

Have you ever been deceived? I have. The thing is you don’t realize you’ve been deceived until you come to realize the truth of a situation. Anyone who has been deceived can testify that it is not a pleasant experience. To be deceived in temporal matters is bad. To be deceived regarding eternal matters, if we continue in that state until our lives are over, is a deception without remedy. It is a deadly deception. Jesus taught about heaven, and he taught about hell. He taught about salvation and he taught about damnation.

It’s not only the unregenerate who need to be concerned about deception. Those of us who have been born again are exhorted to continue in the faith. (Acts 14:22; Colossians 1:23) Born again believers are not immune from deception.

What is the antidote to deception? Have a love for the truth, and be willing to conform to the truth found in Scripture.

***

John 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

John Wesley’s Notes:

“If any man be willing to do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God” – This is a universal rule, with regard to all persons and doctrines. He that is thoroughly willing to do it, shall certainly know what the will of God is.”

***

John 8:43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.

John Wesley’s Notes:

“Ye cannot” – Such is your stubbornness and pride,

“hear” – Receive, obey my word. Not being desirous to do my will, ye cannot understand my doctrine, John 7:17.

***

DELUSION:

4106. planh plane, plan’-ay

Search for 4106 in KJV

feminine of 4108 (as abstractly); objectively, fraudulence; subjectively, a straying from orthodoxy or piety:–deceit, to deceive, delusion, error.

See Greek 4108 (planos)

***

2 Thessalonians 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

2 Thessalonians 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

2 Thessalonians 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

***

DECEIVED:

4105. planao, plan-ah’-o

Search for 4105 in KJV

from 4106; to (properly, cause to) roam (from safety, truth, or virtue):–go astray, deceive, err, seduce, wander, be out of the way.

See Greek 4106 (plane)

***

Luke 21:8 And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.

John 7:47 Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived?

Romans 7:11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.

1 Corinthians 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

1 Corinthians 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

1 Timothy 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

2 Timothy 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

Titus 3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.

Revelation 18:23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.

Revelation 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshiped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

Revelation 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTION

Updated:  August 2020

The Other Side Of The Story

I would like to briefly summarize what I have heard and seen in the Christian church world over the past several years. I ask that you prayerfully and Scripturally consider what follows because the issues raised here are serious and the times we live in are perilous.

I’ll begin with a church we visited when we were living in the south. The pastor is very well known and quite popular. When we arrived at the church we received a program that outlined the morning worship service. Military songs were listed on the program. Some years later I listened to a sermon given by the same pastor. His subject was the country, the military, and war.

On another Sunday morning, we visited a church not far from our current home. When we got there we found out that the children’s Sunday school class was scheduled to do a special presentation for the congregation. When the children came out on the platform they sang “It’s A Grand Old Flag.” That morning’s program included someone dressed like “Uncle Sam” walking into the church on stilts.

A few years ago, while watching the national republican convention on television, we saw a Christian church choir singing. They did not sing hymns, they sang military songs representing each branch of the armed forces. Military maneuvers were shown on a wide screen behind the choir as they sang.

On another occasion I listened to a sermon given in another Christian church. The sermon was preached by a military man. He praised the military, and those who were involved in all the wars of the past. He also encouraged the young people in the congregation who might be called upon to fight for their country in the future. To me this sounded like recruitment.

Finally we visited a local Christian “peace” church. A “peace” church would be described as one that adheres to the doctrine…

” that war is altogether contrary to the teaching and spirit of Christ and the Gospel;

that therefore war is sin.”

That “peace church” pastor told us of a recent service held at the church where they prayed for, laid hands on, and sent one of their members off to war. When I asked the pastor regarding this departure from the official and historically Biblical teaching of his church, he said the Holy Spirit would teach the soldier.

From my observation, in the situations above and elsewhere, pastors are not teaching Christians that war and killing is sin. Believers are being taught the exact opposite. This is apostasy. Christians are being taught that participation in war is honorable, praiseworthy, and one’s duty if so called upon. Christians are being taught that Jesus Christ approves of their participation in war. This is not true.

I was in the doctor’s office a few weeks ago. There were several people in the small waiting room. One woman, a teacher, was talking to another woman about ordinary everyday things. Then all of a sudden she said “war is being glorified in our country.” She then went on to tell everyone in the room about a book that she assigns her class to read entitled “Soldier’s Heart” by Gary Paulsen. She said the book was very short, easy to read, and available at the public library. Just as she said that she was called into the doctor’s office so I never had an opportunity to speak with her. The next day I got the book from the public library and read it.

Soldier’s Heart tells the story of a young boy, Charley, going off to fight in the Civil War. He experiences the glory of the songs and the glory of the parades. As his troop marches through the different towns many people cheered them on and pretty girls gave them food. Big crowds met the soldiers throughout their journey to the battlefield. The book chronicles Charley’s initial glamorized perception of war to his grim realization that war is “butchery”. In a few short pages the book portrays a young boy who is dramatically changed from someone who wanted to guard his heart from sin because he believed in Jesus, heaven, and hell, to someone who had more compassion for the horses he had to kill than for the men that he killed. Although “Soldier’s Heart” is a novel, it is based on a true story. Charley was a real person.

As I read the book I thought it strange that a sermon I recently listened to had, in a similar way, glamorized war. The congregation was told, in a dramatized manner, that during World War II soldiers were met by many and given food on their way to battle. Nothing was said in that sermon about the sin of killing another human being and nothing was said about loving your enemies.

Many justify a Christian’s participation in war by referring to the Old Testament. The Old Testament must always be read through the lens of the cross of Jesus Christ.

In Hebrews 1:1-2 we read:

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

Christians are under a new covenant. The redeemed in the new testament did not kill, but rather many of them had their lives taken from them.

Throughout church history there has been a faithful witness to this truth. There have been believers who, because of their faith in Jesus Christ, and because they followed His teachings, could not and would not take a human life. They wanted to be like physicians who brought healing to the people and not destruction. They were often persecuted and suffered dearly for their stand. This is the “other side of the story” that is not being heard in today’s church world. Doctrine, which is another word for teaching, determines behavior. Have our children been exposed to this truth so that they can have the opportunity to make Biblically based decisions in the future?

The government of the United States of America has made provision for “conscientious objectors” to do alternative service when the draft has been in effect. According to the Selective Service, “a conscientious objector is one who is opposed to serving in the armed forces and/or bearing arms on the grounds of moral or religious principles.” The government will require proof that an individual’s beliefs are genuine. Young men and women can begin doing this by:

1. Letting close friends and family know your beliefs.

2. Stating your beliefs in writing (e-mails, letters, articles, to friends, local newspapers, school or church publications, etc.) and keeping a copy for your records.

I encourage Christians to seek the Lord on this subject and let the Holy Spirit, through the Word of God, guide you into all truth. As Jesus said … take heed that no man deceive you.

War is not glorious, …

“… war is altogether contrary to the teaching and spirit of Christ and the Gospel; that therefore war is sin.”