“When those who were around Him saw what was going to happen they said, ‘Lord, shall we strike with the sword?’ And one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus answered and said, ‘Stop! No more of this.’ And He touched his ear and healed him.” Luke 22″49-51 NASV
When Jesus was attacked he healed – he didn’t hurt. Human nature is to hurt those who hurt you – yet Jesus has a divine nature, and He gives it to those who follow Him with all their heart. Unfortunately, when we are startled awake – as Peter was in the Garden – we instinctively use our weapon the wrong way.
The New Testament is filled with teachings about “fighting the good fight,” “putting on our armor” and wielding “the sword of truth.” So how are we supposed to know how we should use our sword, in real practical terms?
After studying the scripture for over two decades I’ve boiled it down to the separation between ideas & individuals. When it comes to ideas – especially those that “set themselves against God” (2 Cor 10:5) – we are to use the “sword of truth” to lovingly destroy them. This is Biblical. Yet when it comes to the individuals held captive by those ideas we are to love them unconditionally and treat them with respect. This too is Biblical.
The problem is that in our culture humanist thinking has taken root. And the Humanist Manifesto adamantly rejects the dualistic nature of mind and body, which is a technical way of saying there is no difference between ideas and individuals. If you reject someone’s idea you are rejecting them as an individual. When this is the backdrop of cultural thinking it’s really tough to be a Biblical Christian in today’s America.
Last Monday night at Charlotte’s City Council meeting it was difficult to be a Biblical Christian – but it was possible, because we have the nature of Christ. As hundreds of Charlotte residents voiced their support/concerns for the “Transgender Bathroom Bill” the battle of ideas waxed hot.
I personally received death threats, vile images posted to my twitter account, and dozens of hateful tweets. Yet, nothing but love filled my heart, which simply is amazing grace on a wretch like me!
As Christians we must be careful to not use the sword the wrong way by attacking the individual as well as the idea. This is not Biblical. I want to encourage Christians to be Biblical Christians in the midst of a world that is very confusing for a lot of people. We can and should fight against ideas that hold people captive, especially when those ideas seek to establish themselves in Ordinances that will naturally compromise our basic freedoms. Yet, we must love the individuals that support those ideas and seek to kindly lead them to the truth.
It’s tough to walk this fine line today, but we can do it – and we must do it because only the “truth of God will set the captive free.” And when/if we are attacked we always heal and never hurt.