In the world, there are many cruel acts of torture and persecution against people who call themselves Christians. Certain Muslims throughout the world are not the only ones guilty of these crimes. China is another place that shares part of the blame. These crimes are not only sins against God, but also crimes against humanity. Even animals do not act like some humans would. The depth of depravity that men would sink to, I have no words to describe, nor do I want to entertain them in this article.
In the midst of growing tensions of terrorists' activity, predominantly by those of the Islam faith, it is of utmost importance that people, who claim to be Christians, behave themselves prudently. Especially, whenever the threat of terror is aimed directly at them. This has happened recently in other parts of the world, where those who claimed to be Christians were targets of terror because of their belief.
The Muslims, who are so-called radical fundamentalists, have very low tolerance for those who teach them doctrines of Christ for the purpose of converting them. For them, it is an attack upon the Islam faith deserving of death or punishment. According to the Koran, they may defend their faith by killing those who would attempt to indoctrinate them. The logic behind this would be the Muslim, who eventually is converted to "Christianity," in effect, has had the Islam faith destroyed in his heart. Conversely, if a Muslim was to attempt to indoctrinate or convert a Christian to the Islam faith, the Christian does not have cause and is not allowed to physically abuse or take the Muslim's life by killing. This is a basic or fundamental difference between Islam and the Christian faiths.
With all due respect to those Muslims who do not take a "radical" view as the present day terrorists, there must be, consequently, many contradictions in their interpretations and applications of the Koran. The Koran plainly states their authority to take violent physical action against those who are perceived in attempting to overthrow their faith. This is called a defense for Islam. Certainly, among the Muslim community, there are divisions as to what would constitute an attempt to overthrow their faith. That is, what would trigger a physical warfare to defend Islam? Some Muslims would say only a physical attack. This could include a national, international, or political condemnation of Islam. Other Muslims would say a physical and spiritual attack would be reason enough. Still yet, other Muslims would say a spiritual attack could constitute the legitimacy of using physical arms to destroy the attacker.
History, long after the first century AD, has shown that even so-called Christians fought physically for the protection or furtherance of their religion. The Bible does not provide authority for this kind of behavior. For example, Paul the apostle wrote, "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ," (2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NAS).
You will never find in the New Testament, an approved example of Paul or any other Christian in the early church taking up physical arms to defend the Christian faith. Even Jesus himself said that His servants would not fight physically on His behalf, because His kingdom is spiritual in nature. (John 18:36). When Peter drew his sword and cut off the right ear of Malchus, Jesus commanded Peter, "Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword." (Matt. 26:52 NAS). Peter wanted to physically defend Jesus and his cause. However, Jesus rebuked Peter for his unapproved behavior.
For clarification, what I am saying in this article does not deal with the subject of whether a Christian can be in the military, fight, and kill an enemy in defense of the "state." I am only dealing with the subject of a Christian's behavior in defending the "Christian faith." Can there be a separation of church and state? Absolutely! Remember what Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting, that I might not be delivered up to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm." (John 18:36 NAS). The "state" is of this realm. The kingdom of God or church of Christ is not of this realm.
If it ever comes to this generation or nation that Christians will face physical persecution, understand that among Christians, this will separate the chaff from the wheat. This is a reminder to all those who call themselves Christians. Do not retaliate with physical arms against the Islam faith, or any other faith for that matter, to defend Christianity. This would bring a grave reproach upon the church of our Lord. Paul wrote, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. "Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm." (Ephesians 6:12-13 NAS).
The power and victory of the Christian faith is found in spiritual warfare. The spiritual, for a true Christian, is much greater, more powerful than the physical. The effects are much more glorious in the hearts of people. Even many of those who reject the Christian faith will highly respect the behavior of Christians who do not return evil for evil to defend their faith. Christians just by their good behavior might be able to contribute to saving a few unbelievers and please our Lord and Savior.