Part of the series Feedback
Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2014-02-10.
A question was asked: As Christian men when should we fight and what does it look like, in view of the biblical reference to submit to authority?
We do not claim to have all the right answers but based on our present understanding of the scriptures, we will do our best to bring a little clarity to your queries.
Bible Reference: 1 Peter 3:14-16
Last week, I attempted to answer this difficult question by first pointing out that the answer is dependent on our understanding of authority. If, as has been suggested by many church leaders, the admonition, in Romans 13, to submit ourselves to all authority is followed unquestioningly and isolated from the rest of the scriptures, the obvious answer to the question is simply, never fight, which in turn, makes what the fighting should look like, meaningless. The fact that the question included what the fighting should look like, shows us that the question was posed by someone who thinks we should fight. I agree, so let’s go on and answer the “when” part of this question.
I trust that you will agree with me when I state that we have been given the responsibility to advance the gospel, which is the truth. For us to do anything otherwise, makes us liars, which I am sure you know, does not place us in God’s favor. Truth is absolute and so does not need defending. Therefore, we should never fight by defending the truth, but we should be ready in and out of season to advance the truth by always being ready to give the reason for the hope we have within us, to everyone who asks us to give an account for it, yet with gentleness and reverence.
Edmond Burke famously stated that “all that has to happen for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing”. When things are not right, we should engage in some sort of action. Much can be accomplished by graciously and lovingly exposing others to the error of their ways. Never should the action be motivated by wanting to be right, as much as by a sincere desire to be a good ambassador of Christ, advancing the truth to the benefit of mankind, in the Kingdom of God. We should also bear in mind that if we are Christ’s and that He works through us, we should be demonstrating a willingness to step up and defend those who are not as able to defend themselves. That is why God has placed a calling in some people to do something about issues designed to direct people away from the real God to serve false gods claiming authority in areas for which they have no jurisdiction. If we do not stand up for truth, whether in big deals or small ones, those who advance things that are not true, will prevail, not because they have a better argument but because we failed to present any argument at all. So, let your righteous voice be heard. Do what you can to make things right, yet never with the desire to be right, in and of itself, for that is called self-righteousness and it does nothing to advance the Kingdom of God. In fact, it is the biggest deterrent to others seeing what God has for the world.
To Be Continued, next week.