Violent Christians

We’re in San Diego in our motorhome, and a little later this morning, will be traveling to Lake Havasu where we will work for at least a year in establishing a church. As we drank coffee, Jerry began to sing , “Off we go into the wild blue yonder”, and then “We’re in the army now”..and other “fighting songs.” We talked a bit about the Second World War, and whether any of those are official armed force songs. At the conclusion of our conversation, I noted, “I like fighting songs.”

 

A bit later as I was reading the Bible, this passage of Scripture rather “leaped out” at me.

 

“And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” Matthew 11:12

 

YES! I said. God’s people must be aggressive, fearless, resourceful, visionary, wise, strong, faithful, forward looking, wearing His armor, and we must be possessors of “cutting-edge” thinking. At the same time we must be sweet, humble, considerate and thoughtful—except to Satan himself. With him, we cut no slack, and have no mercy. We’re violent, cutting and slashing until, through God, we bring down Satan’s kingdom.

 

What an army is this one! What distinction to be a soldier here! Reminds me of a little song we sang in Sunday school when I was a child.

 

“I’m to small to march in the infantry, ride in the cavalry, shoot the artillery.

I may never fly o’er the enemy, but I’m in the Lord’s Army…..and so on.”

 

So we’re off today, Jerry and I…to do battle for the Lord in Lake Havasu, Az. Know something? We will win!

________________________________________________________________

My other blog is here. 

 

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About Shirley Buxton

Still full of life and ready to be on the move, Shirley at 78 years old feels blessed to have lots of energy and to be full of optimism. She has been married to Jerry for 60 years. They have 4 children, 12 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren...all beautiful and highly intelligent--of course. :)
This entry was posted in Bible, Christian Service, Christianity, Devotionals, Jesus, Matthew, Mornings with God, satan, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Violent Christians

  1. satisfiedhousewife says:

    Amen! I love it! As soon as I started reading this post, I was reminded of the “I may never march in the infantry, ride in the calvalry, shoot the artilery, …but I’m in the Lord’s army!” As my daughter used to sing. 🙂 I miss those days when she was little and we used to watch those Bible songs on video all the time! It’s okay though, my son will be old enough soon to start again! 🙂

    I agree….there are some times when I feel like I’m in “fighting mode” spiritually….after all….we’re in a war, aren’t we? 🙂

    God bless,
    Jen

  2. writeathome says:

    May the Lord bless you with many victories in Lake Havasu! I appreciate this post.

    Love,
    Carol

  3. myblessings says:

    Amen!! It is already written that “WE WIN!”

    God Bless and I’ll be praying for Lake Havasu and a mighty revival.

  4. helenl says:

    When Jesus was tempted by the devil (satan), He quoted scripture. Scripture is our power. There is no mention in the Bible of the church as an army, no mention of strength in fighting songs. But “greater is He that is in you (the Holy Spirit) than he that is in the world (satan).” God doesn’t need us to to fight His battles. We must trust and obey. We must enable peace in our souls and then in the world. I dislike fighting songs! I lift my voice in praise to God, not in pump-us-up-against-the-devil songs. When fighting songs are sung in church, I simply don’t sing.

  5. Linda says:

    Anyway we can bring a victory against satan and his army is what I will do! Thank God we have different weapons of warfare against satan and his army. Whether it be songs of praise, songs of victory, or a shepherd on the hillside playing the harp, or someone using the Word of God, let’s defeat the enemy! “Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Seeing that there are many all over the world who are Christians, I think we could be called “an army of believers” fighting against evil! We are to “fight the good fight of faith”. We are warriors in the army of the Lord. Paul said: I have fought a good fight…” Go, fight the enemy, and the Lord will be with you!

  6. satisfiedhousewife says:

    Helenl,

    I’m sorry, but I disagree. The Old Testament is filled with accounts of battle between God’s people and the enemies of God’s people. There are so many refrences of the battles fought against the enemies that I can’t count!

    Also, what about Ephesians 6?

    “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places]. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”

    This sounds like we are in a battle to me! If we weren’t, we wouldn’t have to put on any armour, right?

    What about this one:

    “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” 1 Peter 5:8-9

    And another one:

    “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7

    See, here we have to do two things. 1)Submit ourselves to God and 2)Resist the devil.

    And this one is my favorite:

    “And they overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” Rev. 12:11

    I am also reminded of Judah, when they were going out to battle, they would go out before the army of Israel and sing praises to God –

    “And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy [endureth] for ever. And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.” 2 Chr. 20:21-22

    Isn’t that awesome?

    Here’s another good one”

    “And they were helped against them, and the Hagarites were delivered into their hand, and all that [were] with them: for they cried to God in the battle, and he was intreated of them; because they put their trust in him.” (1 Chr. 5:20)
    I like this one because it shows 1) we are in a battle, but when we cry out to God and TRUST IN HIM, we win!

    David said to the Goliath,
    “This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle [is] the LORD’S, and he will give you into our hands.” (1 Sam.17:47)

    Yes, the battle is the Lord’s! But did David sit down and just let God fight him? No! But David confessed (by faith) that God was going to give him into his hands. He TRUSTED in the Lord and declared to everyone that he would win, when everyone else was too afraid to face this giant. He also praised God and lifted Him up. But David knew in his flesh he could do nothing, but with God’s help, nothing was too big for him to conquer!

    Isn’t that encouraging? Yes, it is God who fights our battles, but THROUGH our faith. We can’t just sit by and wait for God to do something – He wants US to get up and do our part – praising Him, submitting to Him, resisiting the devil, trusting in Him, etc. with the Lord giving us the strength and faith in Him to do it!

    Can I hear an Amen anyone? 🙂

  7. satisfiedhousewife says:

    Oh, and I forgot to mention one thing (also, I’m so sorry I am so long-winded!)

    Don’t forget about Revelation 19! That’s us! We ARE in God’s army and we ARE on the winning side if we endure to the end! This stuff really gets me excited!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  8. helenl says:

    Satifiedhousewife, I don’t think you are “sorry, [to] disagree.” I think 🙂 you like being a kick-butt Christian. Well, FYI, there are some of us who don’t.

    Sorry, Shirley, my initial reaction was to your title. And no matter how many verses anyone quotes, I don’t think God calls us to violence. The herald angels sang of “peace on earth,” and that is in the Bible, too.

  9. helenl says:

    This stuff really gets me excited!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  10. Gene Holley says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with Jen. The Bible is very much about fighting a good fight. We cannot take our politically correct views and apply them to God. If we do not fight the enemy with all of our heart, we will be defeated.

  11. Jana Allard says:

    Well, let me play the devil’s advocate. If this blog would have been titled “The Peacemakers,” chances are we would have had the same people responding in a positive manner. We all love and admire Sis. Buxton and especially enjoy her writings. Be careful that you don’t get your eyes off the entire picture. Yes, we are soldiers in God’s army of believers and our only “fight” is against the devil and his evil. Yet remember, “Blessed are the peace makers…” Because the Muslim world has gained so much attention concerning their violence, “jihad,” and “holy war,” we have to be careful in which manner we speak of being violent. We do not believe in hurting humanity. Also, be careful if you offend a little one because it would be better……. You know the rest of that. How about a good discussion on Jesus’ name baptism?

  12. Larry says:

    I love our devotional! I love your post. My wife and I almost got to Lake Havasu once. It was back in 98′ when we drove to Vegas on all the back roads and got married there. I wanted to go to Havasu on the way home and see the bridge.

    We were to pooped and had a long way to go.

    Someday.

    I will pray for your endeavors for God’s glory.

  13. satisfiedhousewife says:

    “I think you like being a kick-butt Christian”

    Well, not really, but when I have to kick the devil’s hiney I will! God never called us to be at peace with the devil. He is our enemy, not each other. He is who I get mad at because he is the one who is behind all the junk in this world.

    “And no matter how many verses anyone quotes, I don’t think God calls us to violence.”

    Well, if God is who I am quoting, and his inspired Word, then yes, there is a war that is being fought and He is our Captain in charge. How many times did God call the Israelites to fight against different armies? You have to reconcile that with the rest of scripture. The Old Testament was given for a reason. Just because we have our own views of God does not change who He is, and there is going to be a VERY big battle in the end, in which I made reference to in Revelation 19.

    Our own ideas don’t really matter – it is “what sayeth the Scriptures.”

    I don’t want to get Shirley’s blog off track here, but I don’t think a little open discussion hurt anyone.

    And since this is Shirley’s blog – Shirley, what do you think about all this?

    I have no animosity against anyone, I just simply wanted to state what the Bible says about this subject.

    Never once did I say anything about hurting humanity, so I don’t know where that came from. Our battle is with the enemy of our soul’s, and sisters….we don’t want to make a “peace treaty” with him.

    God bless, 🙂
    Jen

  14. helenl says:

    Hi Jen, This is not about animosity. I hold no ill feelings toward you. I responded to Shirley’s words that, after the title “Violent Christians,” spoke, in the first pargraph, of “fighting songs” and WWII.

    Fighting a war and “fighting the devil” are two different things. But in English we use the same words for both. I think, and Christians are allowed to do that, that if we begin to speak of ourselves as violent people (rather than those who love peace) that we are putting ourselves in harm’s way with no defense. If you think something for a long time, it just might become true

    The world has enough violence. Why pretend God condones it? War. Murder. Abuse. Abotion. Hunger. Starvation. Disease. There’s your violence!!! And I want no part of it. So why talk like I want to participate? No wonder kids are confused. This isn’t about what’s going on in Revelation. It’s about the way we perceive ourselves.

    Of course, we must “fight” Satan. But not in our own power. We use the “whole armour of God” to so do so. We confront Satan with God’s power and truth (HIS WORD), not with military songs.

    The Bible, especially in the Old Testament, is filled with battles. But if God did not send Jesus to bring peace, first to the individual Christain heart and then to the world, how does our position differ from the violent Muslim? My God can kick your god’s lying ass? Please. Think. Think. Think.

    Think, before you quote the whole Bible to “prove” we ought to be violent people. Don’t you mean is “Satan is the prince of the power of the air, and it behoves us to prepare ourselves to withstand his wiles? Doing that makes us dependent of God, not violent people. I abhor both violence and war (and dare to think God does. also), but I will confront either evil or ignorance in a heartbeat.

    Peace.

  15. satisfiedhousewife says:

    Hi again,

    I think what has happened is a misunderstanding in Shirley’s title. “Violent Christians”…. I see where you are coming from now in the terminology we use in today’s war-filled world. I think I understand now. One thing I did do though, was study what the scripture meant that Shirley quoted, and I’ll share a tidbit here. It is taken from Matthew Henry’s Commentary:

    “The violent take it by force. They who will have an interest in the great salvation are carried out towards it with a strong desire, will have it upon any terms, and not think them hard, nor quit their hold without a blessing, Gen. 32:26. They who will make their calling and election sure must give diligence. The kingdom of heaven was never intended to indulge the ease of triflers, but to be the rest of them that labour. It is a blessed sight; Oh that we could see a greater number, not with an angry contention thrusting others out of the kingdom of heaven, but with a holy contention thrusting themselves into it! ”

    I thought that was pretty good, don’t you?

    I can understand what you are saying about people misunderstanding us, but remember – the world will always misunderstand us no matter what good we do…

    When Jesus said he didn’t come to bring peace but a sword, (Mat. 10:34) what He meant was that there is now a Spiritual battle going on, and if you are a Christian, don’t think you’ll be at “peace” with everyone. Yes, we are to strive to be peacemakers, but there will always be people who hate us, because Satan is the prince and power of the air, and He hates us, therefore, those who are under his (Satan’s) control can and will hate us if they are hardened against God.

    But yes, we must always be peacemakers and never “fight” with anyone.

    As far as a physical war goes, I have mixed feelings about it so I’d rather not say anything about that subject.

    God bless,
    Jen

  16. Shirley says:

    Well, hello everybody.

    I’m in Lake Havasu at the library. At our RV park I have a connection problem for the internet that may be corrected today. So, for the last few days, I have been unable to post or even to check the status of my blog.

    I’ve spent an interesting few minutes reading all this and have determined that my blog is in good hands even when I am not around to monitor it. You people are great, and I thank you for being here, and for your quite pointed and timely comments.

    An additional short comment about the subject of Violent Christians:

    1. Physical war? I don’t like the idea of war, indeed detest it, but believe that sometimes it is necessary.

    2. Spiritual war? If we’re serving God, we will find ourselves on the battlefield every day. There is no avoiding it. We must keep on the armor of God, be focused, know who the enemy is, and invade his filthy territory with full steam and gusto!

  17. Jana Allard says:

    Jen – no one accused you of saying anything about hurting humanity. Slow down a little and understand the entire context of other commments. Many Muslims do hurt/kill humans in the name of God and holy war. I was merely making a distinction that we do not believe in hurting humanity so as not to be confused with the Muslims. Because of the current state of our world, the religious views of being “violent” needs to be handled very delicately. We do understand the purpose of the Lord’s army, but there may be other people who would confuse this “violent” subject with the Muslim world. Remember the audience of a blog is not all believers and many never even comment. I prefer a gentle approach with people that are not of my faith.

  18. Larry says:

    Jesus was not a pacifist. Jesus will not ever be pigeon-holed by our earthy standards. Revalation tells us he will lead us to battle at armageddon.

    Each of us have gifts given to us by God. Some are warriors, some poets.

    In our society today you are generally one or the other. And today the poet typically dislikes the warrior mentality and vice versa.

    David was a combination. A mighty warrior and yet a tender poet. His vision wasn’t clouded by echoes of fancy on either side. He fought when he needed to for the Lord. And he wrote beautiful songs and poems to Him for praise.

    Today we have room for both. But never forget poets may be called to fight for the Lord, Warriors may be called to write. We never will know all of his intricate glory!

    How Great Is Our God!

  19. helenl says:

    Ah, but Jesus healed the Centurian’s ear, when Peter chopped it off. (Could be hint.) 🙂

  20. Shirley says:

    Good morning, Larry.

    Hey, I’m impressed. You’ve posted two days in a row on my blog. Keep it up!

    I’m also impressed with what you had to say, and agree totally with you.

    Yes, God is a great, magnificent Savior, and His ways are far above ours. I think we can never fully figure Him.

    Stay well. Be full of the Holy Ghost, Larry. I care about you and your life and of your family.

    shirley

  21. Shirley says:

    Hello, Helen, my dear lady.

    I’m curious as to what you think of Matthew 21:12.

    Have a great day.

    Shirley

  22. helenl says:

    Hi Shirley,

    I think Jesus kicked over the table and chairs. Maybe He broke a couple. (Just a conjecture.) He forcefully made His point but not by brandishing His gun (oops an anachronism. 🙂 I meant unsheathing His sword.) There is a difference between damaging property and hurting people. I think Jesus was not smiling, as He yelled and pointed at the door.

    Jesus confronted the wrongdoers in a dramatic, physical manner, but we have no indication that He became “violent.”

  23. Shirley says:

    Oh Helen, we must have a difference in opinion concerning the meaning of violence. I believe any time that a man (or woman) would go into a temple or any other building and begin kicking over tables and chairs and chasing people around with a whip—I believe that would be considered a violent action. Maybe called for, but quite violent.

    Anyone who was in the way of the righteous Saviour at that moment suffered pain from the whip that Jesus plaited Himself. Surely He didn’t bring that whip in to beat on chairs and tables—those blows were intended for the men who had defiled the House of God. Read John 2: 13-15

    13 Just about this time, the yearly Judean Passover was approaching and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

    14 In the temple He found the sellers of oxen and sheep and doves: and the moneychangers were also sitting there.

    15 And when He had plaited a whip of rushes, He drove those selling oxen and sheep out of the temple, and poured out the changers’ money, and overturned the tables.

    I do want to bring us all back to the original thrust of my post which was not that we should all take whips into the house of God or into Walmart or Kmart or Macy’s. Rather, in our spirits, in our resolve, in our desire to have success in the Kingdom of God, we are to be violent.

    Don’t get confused here: I don’t want to find it ncessary to bail any of you out of the local precinct. 🙂

  24. helenl says:

    You are probably right, Shirley. And if we have different connotations for the word “violent,” we are agruing about words, which is somewhat silly.

    I was thinking of these definition from Merriam Webster’s Colliegiate Dctionary (Tenth Edition): “emotionally agitated to the point of loss of self-control, as in, a mental patient becoming violent” and “prone to commit acts of violence, as in, violent prison inmates.”

    Not only is my “God not in trouble”; He is in control. Jesus was mad in the temple, but He did not loose His self-control.

  25. Intrigued says:

    I find your discussion very interesting as I am preparing a sermon that focuses on 2 Chron 20 and the Ephesians 6 piece. According to the Word, we are in a battle with Satan. Does that make us violent? In todays world, violence can be defined in a range from killing animals to eat to murdering others.

    I believe we are not to seek to destroy one another, we are to partner with God in annihilating Satan and seek to exhort one another. As described in Ephesians 6, we are to put on truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, the Word of God and prayer prior in preparation to battle Satan. The purpose of the ‘armor’ is so we can STAND. Standing is an action word. The armor represents the right position in which we are to position ourselves against Satan. That position is only as a result of our relationship with God. God endues us with the strength necessary for the battle.

    Thank God that we are able to partner with Him and as in 2 Chron.,the battle is not ours, it is the Lord’s. We can rest assured that the victory has already been won.

    Just as God put Satan out of heaven, and on another occasion threw the evil doers out of the temple, I too will take my position in this dark world partnering with God, Standing Up against the wiles of the Devil!

    To God Be the Glory Great Things He Has Done!

  26. Thanks for sharing this information. Really is pack with new knowledge. Keep them coming.

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