A couple of years ago in January of 2010 I did a series on Christians and the sword, a look at the Scriptural basis for non-resistance versus a limited use of the sword for self-defense and/or service in a military. I still find it ironic and more than a little troubling that of all the things I have written, many intentionally controversial, perhaps no other topic has received such a heated response as the suggestion that Christians shouldn't kill others in the defense of self or property or at the demand of the nation they live in.
My position coming into this series was quite different from my past positions and if anything I have grown even more firm in my stance on this contentious issue. Throughout Christian history there is a definite and often tragic linkage between Christians and the state. To an extent we see that still today, especially in the West where the church and the state are in an uneasy state of co-dependence that sees many Christians willing and often eager to use violence to defend life or property or in the service of their nation to defend a certain "way of life" that is deemed more precious than the life of another.
I would welcome your interaction. Am I overstating the case? Oversimplifying it? As you read and interact, please keep in mind that what I am concerned with primarily is the Scriptural position, not hypothetical "yeah but..." statements. To clarify further, I would classify my position as non-resistance, contrasted with those who see our mission as including societal peacemaking changes through demonstrations or political action. Here is the series...
The state, the sword and Christians
Can Christians take up the sword? - Intro
Can Christians take up the sword? - The pro-sword view
Can Christians take up the sword? - The anti-sword view
Can Christians take up the sword? - Conclusion