Thursday, June 15, 2006


BIBLES FOR BAYONETTES: The Battle cry of LOVE

Leaping forward you land heavily, the air rushes out of your lungs in a whooossshhh, yet you don’t have time to think about that. Readying your weapon you start to fire, rapidly, the echoes of your team around create a crescendo of gunfire. Your target lies in front, 50 meters of open ground lie between you and the enemy. You continue to fire, desperately trying to empty your magazine and suppress the enemy. Cordite smoke burns your nostrils and hot brass cases rest amongst the undergrowth and over you. Empty now there is one action left, the enemy is down, you are still 50 meters away. You ready for the charge, 50 meters seemingly a marathon away, 50 meters of open terrain, 50 meters where you aren’t shooting, 50 meters where you are going to have to run towards the enemy guns. The order comes, in an animal like way you rise up and start across the gap, adrenaline kicks in, your mouth opens and out comes a sound, a half roar a half scream, encompassing both fear aggression and defiance. A war cry of hate directed to the enemy as you charge towards him, a war cry coming from the inmost being of yourself.

It struck me on relay 3 of the importance of Love, and that as Christians we are described as soldiers but our warfare is very different. We have a battle cry of Love. When soldiers charge they give a war cry, to help boosters themselves and to scare the enemy, it is an aggressive cry that comes from within. A war cry of love is a different thing; first it is not from within us but from God. We are humans and our nature is faulty, Grace allows us to be changed, God’s work in our lives lets us have a battle cry of love. It is one that is not about aggression and anger, but one of submission and peace. Love is about the other person and as Christian soldiers our battle cry is love. That is love of God for us, the love of God for the lost and the love of us for the lost, our battle cry is God’s love shown in the Gospel.

Soldier fight with the aim to dominate. The more numbers, the better terrain, the heavily fortified. The bigger tanks, the better weapons the more disciplined and well trained. The stronger the better. All these are part of winning wars. Christian soldiers have the reverse; the gospel reminds us of our weak and helpless state. It also promises help in that. Christian soldiers do not rely on their own strength or action but on God. Christian soldiers are actually at their most effective when they are in a state of recognised weakness and dependence before God: ‘God chose the foolish things to shame the wise, God chose the weak things to shame the strong’ 1 Corinthians 1:27.

Soldiers fight with the aim to minimalise their own casualties and maximise the enemies loses. They dominate the field in order to eliminate the enemy. Christian soldiers recognise that it’s not about our lives. In fact our Captain himself went to the cross to die. Our fight as Christians is not about preserving our own lives but about fighting for the lies of those who are against us. We hold out the gospel to them, in an effort that they may be saved and NOT die! We in fact approach this with a minimal view of our own lives: But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ’ Philippians 3:7-8. Soldiers fight to keep tier own lives and take others; Christians fight to save others lives at risk of their own.

In battle many things can go wrong, accidents, luck, weather, surprises all occur. The result of the battle is not known till just before the end. Uncertainty marks a soldiers life. Christian soldiers already know the outcome; we have victory through Jesus our captain. He has won the fight for us and the result is known. Where as solider live in uncertainty, we should live in victory, yes there are battles to be fought and uncertainty in life. However the war is won, we are victors!

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:57










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