Throughout the epistles of 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus there is a very prominent theme of soldiers fighting for Christ and opposing Satan and his angels.
Paul charged the young preacher,
Timothy, to "war a good warfare" (1 Tim. 1:18), to
"fight the good fight of faith" (1 Tim. 6:16), and
encourages him to be a "good soldier of Christ" (2
Tim. 2:3). Paul, in his farewell address, declared,
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the
course, I have kept the faith" (2 Tim. 4:7).
Clearly, fighting for the cause of Christ
should be the desire of every faithful Christian.
Interestingly, though, in 2
Timothy 2:23-24, Paul tells Timothy not to gender
strife - but to be gentle. Is it possible for us to
fight for Christ, and yet, not gender strife and be
gentle? I believe we can and must, and briefly, I
would like to suggest something for us to think
about as we go about to accomplish this vitally
I believe there are two types of
fighting in which men find themselves involved.
There are those, on the one hand, who fight with
reckless abandon, who jump into a situation without
thinking, having no regard for the innocent parties
involved. Their job is to accomplish the task no
matter what. Then there are those who keep a cool
head while in the midst of fighting, those who are
aware of the innocent parties involved and try to
keep them from being hurt. This is the type of
person who will not drop an atomic bomb when a hand
grenade (or even a pea-shooter) would have easily
done the job.
I believe when Paul says, "fight"
and then later says "don't strive, but be gentle,"
he was pointing out that when one fights for the
Lord he must have the proper attitude, purpose, and
method. We do not want to have the attitude of some,
it seems, whose attitude declares, "Let me at that
false teacher so I can rip his eye balls out!" Is
this person's motive or purpose what it should be?
We are to "contend earnestly for
the faith which was once for all delivered unto the
saints" (Jude 3) - we are to fight the good fight of
faith" (1 Tim. 1:18), but at the same time we are to
do so with the purpose of saving souls. "Seek and
destroy missions" have no place in Christianity, but
we are to "seek and save that which was lost" (Lk.
19:10). We must "speak the truth in love" (Eph.
4:15). "If any among you err from the truth, and one
convert him; let him know, that he who converteth a
sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul
from death, and shall cover a multitude of sins"
- via THE SOWER,
a weekly publication of the Arthur Church of Christ,
Arthur, IL. Ron Bartanen, who serves as minister and
editor, may be contacted through the congregation's