Monday, May 25, 2015

Sober Words From Spurgeon For This Day

Unlike years past I had to work today so I have been off social media and for that I am largely grateful. Much of what is said today and on other patriotic holidays by professing Christians is enough to make our Lord weep. Charles Spurgeon had this to say many years ago (emphasis mine):
The Lord Jesus Christ is our peace in a second sense, namely, in making peace between nations. That there are wars in the world at the present time is not the consequence of anything that Christ has said, but of the lusts of our flesh. As I understand the Word of God, I always rejoice to find a soldier a Christian, but I always mourn to find a Christian a soldier, for it seems to me that when I take up Christ Jesus, I hear one of His Laws, "I say unto you, resist not evil. Put up your sword into its sheath; he that takes the sword shall perish by the sword." The followers of Christ in these days seem to me to have forgotten a great part of Christianity. How many of you would go tomorrow into a court of law and, if you were called upon to do it, would take an oath, whereas if there is anything taught in Scripture, it is expressly taught that you are not to swear at all, neither by Heaven, nor by earth, nor by any other oath! If Christ ever delivered a plain precept, it is this—and yet all denominations of Christians seem to have cast it to the winds, with the exception of the Society of Friends. And so with regard to this matter of war. Our Apostle does not mince matters when he says, "Whence come wars? Whence come fights? Come they not from your own lusts?" That is the top and bottom of it, but, wherever true Christianity prevails, war becomes less frequent. It is owing to Christianity that war is far less common—though still too frequent—than it used to be. The length of human life has been much increased by the prevalence of peace—and wars, devastating wars, though, alas, they still break out—are not so constant as once they were and we are confidently looking forward to the time when the Messiah shall wield His blessed scepter and wars shall cease to the ends of the earth! Then shall men—
"Hang the useless helmet high, And study war no more."Then shall the shrill clarion of the battlefield yield to the pipe of shepherd's plaintive melody. Then shall the weaned child play upon the hole of the asp and the lion shall eat straw like an ox. Oh, that the Prince of Peace would come and establish His empire upon a firm foundation! Then could we, indeed say, "He is our peace!"
That is the right tone for it. I rejoice no less to find a soldier or other wielder of the sword of Caesar is a believer than I do any brother or sister and yet I am saddened to see so many Christians embracing the act of soldiering for reasons of nationalism, fear or crass pragmatism. For Christians to memorialize those who died while being sent to kill because they were "our" soldiers killing "their" soldiers is to completely misunderstand the cross-national nature of the New Covenant and the pilgrim status of citizens of His Kingdom. I don't say this to sneer at my fellow believers in America as some seem to take such pleasure in doing but rather as a plea to seek the alternate way. I rejoice to see more and more Christians who hold to other orthodox views turning away from the lie of redemptive violence and "Just War" and embracing the place of humility with basin and the towel.

(Hat Tip: Linford Berry)

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