Whenever there is a fight in our Christians world, Christian pacifists begin to cry out for peace. They claim fighting hurts the cause of Christ. The Bible tells us we are to contend for the faith. The word contend is a shepherding word. Shepherds would tend their sheep which means they were with the sheep for the purpose of provision and protection. Shepherds didn’t look for a fight. They fought only when necessary to protect their sheep.
Believe it or not I do not like to fight. If you hung around me a little while you would know that I love to laugh and try to get along with people. People who work with me in ministry are a bit surprised at my reluctant nature to start or get into a fight.
Throughout the Bible we see fighting that was ordained by God. In almost every case He had to say to his servant “fear not” because most of the time these men did not really want to fight. God called them to the fight.
I am in a fight now. I didn’t start the fight. When I realized the fight had come to me I thought, “Oh well, here we go again.” I am 71 years of age and I would prefer peace over fighting, but there are times when I am called to fight because I must contend for the sheep. Let me give you five reasons I fight.
I fight when truth is attacked. Don’t tell me that I am supposed to get along with people who attack the truth of God’s Word. I refuse. When you attack the truth you are attacking my Lord. Roll up your sleeves my friend because I will fight when you attack truth, and that includes when God’s Word is attacked.
I fight when Christ is attacked. When my Lord is attacked and cursed by this world I am prepared to fight. I will fight those who deny the virgin birth, the sinless life, the vicarious death, or the bodily resurrection. I fight for Christ when he is attacked.
I fight when my Christian family is attacked. I am referring to those who love the Lord and are doing their part to reach the lost for Christ. When I see a brother trying to reach lost souls being attacked by liars, then I am going to fight for my brother. I have spent my life fighting for preachers and servants of God who were being attacked and I don’t plan to stop now.
I fight when my calling is attacked. There are those who have tried to stop me from doing that which God has called me to do, even in recent days. I plan to fight because I am not going to stop serving the Lord simply because someone tells me that they have control over me. Sorry my friend you are in for a fight.
I fight when the gospel is attacked. Jesus died to save sinners. That means all sinners, not just the ones against whom you hold no prejudice. When you tell me a certain segment of sinners can’t be saved, roll up your sleeves and bring a lunch because you’re in for a fight.
Now those of you who are pacifists and think that fighting hurts the cause of Christ may I ask you a question? If America is attacked by terrorists, should we not fight? If your family is attacked in your home should you not fight? I am a bit confused by that kind of thinking. Contending is fighting. Fighting can get dirty. I wish I never had to fight, but it is what I have at times been called to do.
Perhaps you think that is alright to fight as long as it does not get personal. Really? How do you not get personal? Paul got personal and called out the names of those who fought against the advancement of the Gospel. Even Christ got personal with the Pharisees. Explain how you can contend against error without making it personal against those who are fighting things you value. I don’t want to pick a fight with a person but I am ready when called upon to do so. If you happen to be guilty of the things above, prepare for battle.
A pacifist Quaker couple living in the country woke up to the sound of something breaking downstairs. The wife woke her husband. “Samuel, listen.” “I think there’s a prowler. Thee needs to go see.” The Quaker got up, grabbed a hunting rifle and just as he came to the top of the stairs, sure enough, there was the prowler opposite him below, frozen at the sight of a gun pointed at him. The Quaker, aiming the gun right at the man said: “Friend, I mean thee no harm, but thou art standing where I am about to shoot.”
You see, even pacifists know there is a time to fight.