|Proverbs 4: 18-19|
The apologetic discourses justifying war, fighting, violence and strife are extensive and exhaustive from all religious entities, Christianity included, with no need to mention Islam and the rest of the religious landscape.
How can I also include Christianity in such a seemingly polemical statement?
If war, or violence / fighting was a blessed activity of God, then not only would Christ have perhaps done such things, but surely His disciples would have been found committing such acts.
But no such thing is found for the 300 years the faith was persecuted by that time's empire, the Roman state.
You can read for yourself the many dogmatic opinions, from either Catholic or Protestant leaning groups, justifying war by weaving in and out of what was old (the prior covenant of 'eye for an eye') and the new (the covenant of grace where all begins and ends with love).
The blending of the two covenants is a plague on the understanding of peace and what God has established through Christ and His earthly kingdom.
It is one thing to be encouraged by the Psalms, Proverbs and to learn from the character challenges of Israel as a community, or how that would pertain to us as individuals, or some king or character from the ancient times.
It is another thing to mix in the old with the new, the law (and consequence) with the age of truth and grace.
To revert back to hating, or justifying violent acts on others, is to fall back from faith into the works of the law... and no one is justified by the law (the works of the law).
Christ fulfilled the lust of man's nature to return harm for harm done, and the impossible feat of obeying perfectly all the requirements of the Law so we may be free to love others, even those who think themselves to be our enemies.
When this miracle was accomplished, Christ established a New Covenant built upon love, forgiveness, peace and patience... with war and violence (even self defense) NEVER being part of the teaching of righteousness.
No such notion exists in the New Testament testimony nor in early church history.
Instead, we see martyrs.
We see men praying for peace and staying at peace with all who opposed them.
And when geography would not allow for peaceful means, the peaceful moved away... and the Gospel continued to spread!
There is a prophecy of old regarding the Messiah's kingdom triumphing over all kingdoms of men.
One physical 'tell' of this coming to pass was when the church triumphed over the secular state.
A crowning achievement on earth was realized.
But does God need or use the physical world to do the work of His Spirit?
Did such a moment in history 'need' to occur in order for God to forward His invisible kingdom on earth?
Of course not... but God seems to make things evidently clear where denying such realities would be cause to question the mental stability in a denier.
It was not until some wayward individuals that made their way into church leadership that we read the beginnings of war justifications and further atrocities.
Yet was God righteousness and His righteous teaching removed from the hearts of the faithful and those who have His law written on their hearts?
We have many testimonies of men who did not agree with the 'just wars' of the church, and some of these were also tortured for their faith and convictions.
Can the dogmatic writings of men abrogate the message from Above?
Can men actually change the testimony of Truth?
Some would have you believe so, but this man calls such ideas a strong deception beckoning your flesh's acknowledgment, while asking the deposit of Spirit within the faithful to look the other way.
Such temptations of the flesh only speak what man's nature can conceptualize and logically agree to, but no where is love more ignored, and the call of righteousness as Christ exemplified more denied.
To “love your enemy” is ludicrous to the mind and heart that considers this world their home, their only reality, regardless of that heart's religious leanings.
It takes great faith to love an enemy.
It takes no faith to hurt another human being.
Religions teach men to hurt others, or even kill them, for all the reasons in the world (self defense being an easy one), but we see Christ crucified and Christ going to death, the righteous for the unrighteous.
We see absolute obedience and faith in God when looking at Christ, and even very decent examples in the likes of Paul, Peter and many upon many martyrs still being slain Today as they obey love and peace above their carnal struggles.
And to those who consider any form of violence as an act “in the way of God”, sadly they have yet to taste the fruit from Above, see the light that shines within.
Such a religious zealot has yet to realize 'who' and 'what' Christ is for them.