|The Christian church has been inundated with the message; "you're a soldier fighting evil for Jesus." It's a very romantic word picture, and at some levels I like the thought. I see myself dressing in my "armor" and going out into the world fighting the devil where ever he may be. I hear the church bells ring and i run to fight, and willing to lay down my life for the cause. But while parts of this model for a christian life fit, overall I think it's a bad way of looking at my christian life.
What is a soldier? A soldier is a person who joins an army to fight or to die. He stands ready to sacfrice his life at the command of those in authority above him. He is armed to the teeth with the most advanced weaponry available and is programed to kill whatever enemy that comes in his way. He does not have the same rights that a normal citizen has. Yet he has less responsiblity to provide for himself that a normal citizen. Finally, a soldier's posture is to show no remorse for the enemy, his enemy is to be defeated at all costs.
While yes I believe that Christians just like soldiers are fighting for a greater cause. I believe that we should submit to those in authority of God. We have given up our rights and our lives just like a good soldier must do. That we are in a battle between good and evil for the world; and we must take up our spiritual weapons to fight the evil one where he may be. While all these descriptions that line up do line up, the posture we must take is not one of a soldier.
What we are in a war agaist evil, a war in which we as Christians are active participants, and we're not supposed to be taking the posture of a soldier? What's this I say? Yes you heard me right, we're not supposed to be taking the posture of soldiers. So you may ask what posture should we take then? A posture of love and a posture of prayer.
While we are active participants in this conflict, we are not the ones fighting. Jesus' won the fight already, His death on the cross so many centuries ago sealed the deal. So we dont' need to fight. What we need to do is show love. This is commandment that Jesus gave for us to follow, love your neighbor. Our fight is against powers that we cannot see, not our neighbor. Our weapons are not the Bible nor the church's doctrine, but prayer and love. When we take the posture of a soldier, we find ourselves fighting the people we're not supposed to be fighting.
What would happen to our way of approaching a lost world if we quit thinking of ourselves as fighting a fight against sin in the world, and started to think of ourselves as the medical staff applying the love of Christ. If instead of using the word of God as a weapon to defend our positions, we use the message inside as bandage for the wounded. If instead of using prayer to make us feel better about ourselves, we pray for others around us.
Am I really supposed to be a soldier?