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Lover or Fighter or Both?

A recent post of mine on whether we should love God or fight for him, got some push back from a friend on my facebook page.

His primary arguments are that:

1) the biblical warfare worldview is basic to all biblical revelation and prescription.

2) I created a false dichotomy between loving God and fighting for Him i.e. surely we can do both.

3) I was "fighting" against the "fighters" as I tried to promote love

Here are a few quick thoughts:

First, the Bible makes quite clear that we battle not against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6), therefore any biblical battle motif cannot be construed to apply to human interactions.

This is further seen in Christ's refusal to fight, his rebuking of Peter when he cut the ear off the Roman soldier and embodied by the early church who did not fight eye for eye or tooth for tooth and instead followed Christ's example and command and turned the other cheek.

Second, agreed that two apparently contradictory things may not be in contradiction i.e. fighting and loving. For example, I love my children but I discipline them. However, that is a "paternalisitc" relationship and it not necessarily appropriate to extend that to all relationships. However, as a society we still need judges, courts, etc.. and in church we need boundary enforcers to root out evil doers (abusers of children, powermongers, gossips, etc..) and protect innocents even though our call to love the evil doers is not lessened.

Nevertheless, saying that disciplining, boundary enforcement or even fighting is consistent with love takes a lot of nuancing as they are not clearly always consistent with love. In fact, I do not think it is too audacion to say that they are rarely consistent with love and are generally consistent with humanity's desire to control one another.

Even when there is a necessary confrontation or speaking against, it shouldn't be attacking and it should be done in love and most importantly, we continue to see more fighting than love so we need to just get love on the agenda as much as we can.

For love to get on the agenda, we will need to start talking about (the reasons for my blog posts) and be willing to give concrete examples of how we can do it and that involves pointing out the error of the culture war/religious warfare framework that is so detrimental to the cause of loving God and others.

It'll be a great day when evangelicalism is more identified with love than it is with fighting or 'being right.'


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To believe or fight for god are two sides of a medal named religion. In my opinion it's okay to fight with words and with your mind but it's not okay to fight against people with other religion. Kreditkarten

Quite irritating but nevertheless good article! thank you for sharing.

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Founder of Russell Media, author/speaker focusing on marketplace, economy and faith. On a journey to live the entrepreneurial life.