It seems that many Christians agree that the persecution of Christians in America is coming.
Several weeks ago a Christian friend and I were having lunch and got onto the subject of persecution. She told me how important she thinks it is for resistance fighters to have weapons in order to be effective. Something didn’t seem right about that thought, but not being someone who is good at thinking on my feet, I just listened quietly, deciding to ponder that idea later.
On my drive home I talked to God about her ideas, and this is what I believe he reminded me of.
The resistance fighters she was thinking of were people who were fighting for the earthly treasures of land or political rights. As Christians, we are not (or at least, should not be) fighting for land or any other earthly possession.
We should be fighting for people’s souls. We should be fighting for the truth to be heard and accepted.
If we truly believe the truth of God’s love for us, then our own lives and possessions are worth nothing to us, so dying and loss should be no big deal (terrifying to us as humans, though it may seem).
Therefore, the only thing we are fighting for is the souls of our friends and persecutors. So to kill the body of the one we are trying to reach is 100% counterproductive.
There may be people called to bear arms, but I don’t think so – I don’t remember anyone in the early church defending themselves against persecution.
Remember Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:
5Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
7Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
9Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.
10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
38“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’[g] 39But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.
43“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[h] and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you: Love your enemies[i] and pray for those who persecute you. “
Lord, those are difficult words. Please help us be perfect as you are perfect.