There are times when we as Christians are called to arms, as the song goes, "onward Christian solders." As they said in the Middle Ages, "if the cause is just…"of course most of the causes were not just. But for us, if there is a situation that must be defended, we need to prepare ourselves and be willing to fight for our Lord. Conflicts that are worth fighting for are such as moral and value issues, spiritual warfare, evil desires, or physical attack.
"When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong." (Galatians 2:11)
If someone is going to assault you or a family member and all means available to involve the authorities is exhausted, then we fight. I personally do not get into fist fights, but as a youth pastor, I was on a trip where one of my girls was being assaulted and I had to respond to that situation with physical force or the girl would have been raped. There have been numerous times I had to keep bad intentioned people away from my group to protect them and even use physical force. We as leaders must protect the people God entrusts to us. In working in some inner-city areas, I hired security to prevent potential problems with various events. Yes we are to trust in the Lord, but we are also to use commonsense and practical judgment. As Jesus told His disciples to buy a sword, we to need to follow suit. I do not believe we need to literally be buying swords and wearing guns like the old west. But, we do need to protect the people under our care.
A case in point, several years ago I was doing some intervention counseling with a couple. The husband was severally beating his wife. So I put her into a battered women's shelter. He then came to me very violently, threatened my life if I did not disclose her location. The police were immediately called, but there was nothing they could do. I heard that the husband found her location so I took some elders with me to the women's shelter to protect the wife. She got scared and left the shelter and went home. The husband was in the process of literally killing her when we showed up; the police were called and we had to wrestle him to the ground. He was a very big man. I had to knock him out in order to subdue him. It was one of those situations that you may never have to deal with, but they do accrue. By the way, it took the police over two hours to show up as we sat on him; life in the inner city of America.
He said to them, But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36
We need to realize we have an enemy who is nearly eternal, and fully desires to interfere, steal, and destroy us. So, we are called to wage war on Satan and his onerous cohorts. We can do this by prayer and various techniques found in spiritual warfare resources available in most denominational resources centers and Christian bookstores.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. James 4:7-8a
We need to battle our sinful nature and the evil desires that come from that nature. If we put no effort in self-discipline, then we will not last long in tough situations or grow to be fully used by our Lord.
Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation--but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. Romans 8:12-14
Conflict is almost always necessary when the forces of darkness encroach upon the Christian Life. It is necessary to stand up for the rights of the unborn. It is necessary to fight for morals and values in our schools and government. It is necessary to not yield to Satan and our evil desires. For, if we do not take a stand, our fall will be close at hand.
The Problem of Conflict: Proverbs 3:5-6; 20:30; Job 23:10; 36:5; Matthew 5:13-16; Romans 5:3-5; 8:28-29; 2 Corinthians 1:9; Ephesians 4:1-6; Philippians 1:27-30; 3:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; James 1:5-8; 1 Peter 1:6-7
Principle Scripter to How to Understand, Solve, and Prevent Conflict: Genesis 4; Psalm 37:4; Proverbs 3:4-6; 18:13; Matthew 5:9; 7:5; 15:18-20; 18: 15-20; Luke 6:27-36; 19:1-9; Romans 8:28-29; 1 Corinthians 6:1-8; 10:31-11:1; 13; Galatians 5; Ephesians 4:22-32; 5:1; Philippians 2:3-6; 4:2-9; Colossians 1:17-20; 3:12-17 James 4:1-3; 1 John 14:15
© 1989, 1998, 2007 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D., Francis A. Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership Development www.churchleadership.org