“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth.
I did not come to bring peace but a sword.”
Many of our Christian Brothers and Sisters have interpreted this declaration by Jesus to mean a literal sword - military might - for a righteous cause. I am not sure that was what Christ meant.
The concept of righteous war developed during the time of Constantine, when it became necessary for the new Holy Roman Empire to justify it’s military might. Prior to that there is no indication that during the first three hundred years of the church the disciples of Christ endorsed war in any way.
Some of us tend to assume that “War and Peace” are opposites, like evil and good, death and life; that is necessarily true either. What is true?
Christ’s use of the word “sword” speaks of something else. It is not a gun, nor a cannon, nor a bomb. It is instead, “the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God” (Ephesians 6:17).
Hebrews 4:12 tells us that, “the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword…”
Just like our spiritual ancestors, the Jews, we are a militaristic, war-like people, proclaiming God’s righteousness with our guns.
Aren’t we Christians using the wrong weapons? Jesus said, “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” (Matthew 5: 44)
We have missed the point I think. We will never win the war on terrorism, defeat the forces of evil, or bring peace on Earth with metal swords and guns. That response only breeds more hate and more hate breeds more wars.
Where does peace on earth begin? As the song says, “let it begin with me.”
Shouldn’t that be the resolve of every Christian?”
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