Over the last few months I have made some replies, on Facebook, to comments made by one Ray Gano of Prophezine ministries. These have usually been replies to statements seeming to advocate violence against ISIS, and Muslims.
This is a tough subject, and one I do not take lightly. This has been on my mind for several weeks, I knew it would take some time, and it has. Since the article is so large I am going to break it down into smaller parts.
I also hope that Mr. Gano does not think I am picking on him alone, I see this same type of mindset in a lot of places, including World Net Daily, a website I visit frequently. While they make some good points, their answer is more like the Catholic answer of the Middle Ages, than the answer the bible supplies. I would encourage the reader to read Gano’s article “Stand or Bow Down? Fight or Cower? To Every Thing There is a Season – A Call To Stand”
While I do recommend the article, I find that I must disagree with his main thrust, but he certainly makes some valid points. It is not wrong for Christians to defend their family. Neither is is wrong to own weapons, for the purpose of self, and family defense.
One of the first problems I have with this article is the implication that because people of other religions are in danger from ISIS that we should join with them to defeat this common danger.
“It will not matter if you are Jehovah’s Witness, Mormon, Buddhist, Hindu, Pagan, Agnostic or Atheist. In their minds all of us are all the same… Infidels.”
So, should we join hands with these groups to defeat Jihad? He does not bring up any biblical verses to back up this idea, and I think it is because there are none.
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove (expose) them. Ephesians 5:11
The problem I am seeing is that this just might be a good way to build the army of the Antichrist! When Christians join with the other religions, the only prophetic significance I can see to such an action is the creation of the Mother of Harlots.
Whenever Christians compromise with the world it is always Christians who compromise biblical values. Jerry Falwell and the “Moral Majority” being a prime example of this.
He goes on to compare Christians with the knights of the middle ages. Most of the knights of the middle ages were Roman Catholics, and they were responsible for killing millions of bible-believing Christians!
“During the Middle Ages when an opposing force posted a red dragon on a white background this signaled to the other side that no quarter, no mercy, would be given or nor would it be expected. No prisoners would be taken and every person, men, women, and children; anyone of any age will die and die a brutal death.
The force that posted this standard was proclaiming their utter brutality with absolutely no mercy what so ever.
The black flag of Islam stands for the same thing… No quarter, no mercy, no prisoners, all will die.”
Millions of Christians have died at the hands of these “knights”, and by doing so they glorified their Lord Jesus Christ. They have not lost their reward, although Gano implies that they wasted their lives! The knights, on the other hand, were lost men who have mostly been residing in Hell, awaiting judgment day!
I say mostly, because I believe some of them converted to Christianity later on, but I can’t give you names. I have read a few stories of lords, and priests who converted to Christianity and were ultimately burned at the stake. Some of them, such as Cranmer, Latimer and Ridley, had overseen executions themselves, before meeting the same fate, after becoming Christians.
He goes on to post The Knights Code of Chivalry as if it should be our model;
“The Knights Code of Chivalry was described in the “Song of Roland” and is describes the following traits …
- To fear God and maintain His Church
- To serve the liege lord in valour and faith
- To protect the weak and defenceless
- To give succour to widows and orphans
- To refrain from the wanton giving of offence
- To live by honour and for glory
- To despise pecuniary reward
- To fight for the welfare of all
- To obey those placed in authority
- To guard the honour of fellow knights
- To eschew unfairness, meanness and deceit
- To keep faith
- At all times to speak the truth
- To persevere to the end in any enterprise begun
- To respect the honour of women
- Never to refuse a challenge from an equal
- Never to turn the back upon a foe
The Knights Code of Chivalry described by the Duke of Burgandy”
There is some good advice in this code, but the knights themselves were ignorant of the bible, and depended on their own understanding (or their priest’s) of what is “honour”, or “justice”, or “mercy”. You cannot really understand what these concepts mean unless you read the bible, without pre-conceived notions!
I am concerned because Gano does not define concepts such as Justice or Honour. It is as if we all know what these entail, but in fact he leaves it up to our own subjective reasoning. Our rock is the Word of God, not a dictionary, or our cultural definitions, or our own logic.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: II Timothy 3:16
5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. 7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. Proverbs 3:5-7
Please don’t get me wrong, I have no death-wish. I am not one who would go out seeking martyrdom. I would also caution any Christian that for you to go and visit a Muslim nation as a tourist, you are taking your life into your own hands, and placing it in the hands of infidels. (An infidel is an unbeliever, thus all Muslims are Christian Infidels)
Indeed I would echo Gano in pointing out the fact that Jesus did tell his followers, at one point, to go out and buy swords;
Luke 22:36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.
Still, we know from history how the early Church behaved. Did they buy swords and convert the Roman Empire at the edge of the sword? No sir!
Did they lead insurrections against the pagan Romans? No sir!
The Roman Empire killed millions of Christians! The more they killed, the more Christians there were! At times the Romans fed entire families to the lions, and Nero was known to dowse Christians with wax and burn them to light his garden at night, yet it is in this murderous context that Paul wrote;
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Romans 13:1
Paul was eventually put to death by the very man he was referring to as a “higher power” here. This is a matter of faith. Do you trust God enough to allow Caesar to take your life? Paul is correct that the government should not be a source of terror to believers. In fact, what Paul was saying is that these leaders can take your life, and still you should not be afraid of them!
This is the opposite message to the one I am reading in Gano’s article. I don’t think he understands what the Lord intended us to understand. Neither does Phil Robertson. It looks to me that fear of ISIS, and other Jihadists, is driving their motivation.
If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:26
Jesus did not mean literal “hate” for one’s family, or even one’s own life, he meant that your love for Him must be so great that your love for all these other things will seem like hate. Do you love Jesus that much? We ought to make that our goal.
(End of part 1)