About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman
Ministers - Victory Via Violence
"ministers" in the above title refers to all Christians, not
just paid pastors, because in Biblical terms all Christians are
ministers of the Lord.
Matthew 11:12 reads:
"From the days of
John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to
violence, and violent people have been
In the context of a
conversation about John the Baptist, Jesus said that violent men (many
state sponsored) were doing violence to those belonging to the heavenly
state. This was no
conspiracy theory. It was a
known fact, as seen in the illegitimate execution of John the Baptist.
With such violence in mind, note what Jesus told the Roman
governor Pilate. John 18:36
"Jesus said, 'My
kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight
to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from
Much should be said
about Jesus' statement, but I will reserve my comments to the use of
force by Christians as they promote and defend the cause of Christ.
The use of force by Christians in defence of their nation, which
is an implied issue of this verse, deserves its own article.
Jesus said that His
disciples would not take up arms to prevent His arrest because His
kingdom originates in heaven, not on earth.
This was seen hours earlier when sword swinging soldiers, who
viewed Jesus as an anarchist leading His militant mob, arrested Jesus.
When the disciples saw the soldiers with swords, they asked Jesus
if they should draw their two swords (Luke 22:38 and 49).
Not waiting for an answer, Peter drew one of these two swords and
sliced off a soldier's ear. Jesus
firmly denounced Peter's actions by saying, "None of this"
(Luke 22:51). He then
proceeded to undo the damage done by Peter's violent act by replacing the soldier's
With the above in mind,
it's not a leap of logic to conclude that violence as a means to promote
or defend God's kingdom defies Jesus' teaching.
Sadly, history shows Christianized violence to be commonplace.
So-called Christian armies of both the Constantinian Roman Empire
and the Holy Roman Empire used military campaigns to advance their
misguided view of the
The apostle Paul added
to this in Ephesians 6:11 and 12.
"Put on the full
armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devilís
schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against
the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark
world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly
From both Jesus and Paul
I learn that Christians belong to a heavenly kingdom, and thus, violent
force to advance or defend the cause of Christ is not permissible.
Our fight is not with the state, but with demonic authorities
influencing the state. We,
therefore, promote and defend the
It defies logic to think we can advance a spiritual kingdom with material weapons.
The militant minister of Christ takes up the spiritual arms that
have been issued him to advance God's kingdom, which by the way must
never be confused or associated with an earthly nation.