|Tuesday, February 18, 2020|
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
“But even as Jesus said this, a crowd approached, led by Judas, one of the twelve disciples. Judas walked over to Jesus to greet him with a kiss. 48 But Jesus said, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” 49 When the other disciples saw what was about to happen, they exclaimed, “Lord, should we fight? We brought the swords!” Lk 22:47-49
he Holy Spirit dropped two topics in me for possible discussion when I read this piece this morning. Firstly, why betray Jesus? And secondly, ‘should we fight’?!I prefer to go by the latter today and save the former for a latter day. Today there are many things provoking the body of Christ corporately and individually and emotions are rising as to what to do “should we fight”? We brought our swords !” We can carry guns too. We too are human beings. Must we just watch as we get killed?
Take for instance the Boko Haram and Herdsmen issue in Nigeria . People perpetrating genocide by continuing to kill Christians across Nigeria . A case in study is the beheading of Rev. Lawan Andimi by the terrorist group recently .
There are times when our pastors are offended and we as church members are tempted to fight. I recall a time in our church when we invited a deliverance minister to come to church. As he was ministering people were being slayed in the spirit and some were falling down. As I bent down to attend to one of them another church member, a lady came from behind and slapped me on the head. The ushers were enraged, wanted to fight her and I told them to leave her alone. I watched the documentary of Dr Martin Luther King Jnr in the heat of civil rights fights when his house was bombed and the black men with big muscles and biceps requested an order for him to go ahead and retaliate by fighting the whites but he opposed it.
The question then arises how do we respond to provocations by those who attack Christians unjustly and at the slightest provocation?
Let it be clear the word fight exists in the bible many times(107). There are two types of fights- physical and spiritual. I believe none of us will be against spiritual battle as we do that daily. Paul said “Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” 1 Tim 6:12.
Paul fought that fight throughout his life and at the end of his career on earth he had this to say “ “I have fought a good fight”
So the issue is about the physical fight. Some will argue that we should “turn the other cheek” (Matthew 5:39),as Jesus taught individuals how to respond to assaults in the sermon on the mount. Let’s ask serious questions regarding the case in Nigeria, should the Christians defend themselves? I think Christians should defend themselves. As long as they are not the ones going out to fight people of other faiths to win converts ! I don’t think defending yourself can be termed fighting.
As for the cases of regional security outfits in Nigeria for instance, Amotekun in the West. If it is in the name of defence, let it be. If the Christians and others in Nigeria do not fight to defend themselves the son of the bond woman will continue to kill and maim them. Their strategy is to create fear and subvert the land. They have done it successfully in many nations of the world.
I have said it severally that if the enemy has a strategy to destroy you, it is not inappropriate to find a counter strategy to defend yourself. Christianity is not pacifism.
It is for times like these that Jesus said in the text above “Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you out to preach the Good News and you did not have money, a traveler’s bag, or an extra pair of sandals, did you need anything?” “No,” they replied. 36 “But now,” he said, “take your money and a traveler’s bag. And if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one” Lk 22:35-36.
Should Christians fight ? Let the discussion continue!