My soul hath long dwelt with him that hateth peace. I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war. (Psalm 120:6-7)
No Christian should rejoice at what we saw Wednesday. No matter which side is responsible for the things that happened at our nation’s capital, whether Antifa or MAGA, we should all be concerned. I doubt we will know the truth of the matter for a while. We are watching our republic implode at this very moment. And it ain’t pretty.
I believe either side fully capable of storming the capitol building. We have all witnessed the Antifa mobs and their riotous destruction this summer. We saw the media’s duplicity in covering them. Did Antifa members put on MAGA hats and enter the capitol? I wouldn’t be surprised. Neither do I deny the possibility that Trump supporters did this. I say this as a Trump supporter: a faction of Trump supporters truly are a basket of deplorables. The Trump movement includes this strange mix of conservative Christians and extreme libertarians. I met some of those libertarians this past October on a quick stop at Virginia City, Nevada. As my son and I made our way up to the main drag, we found the city street lined for nearly a mile and a half with a thousand Harleys. To my horror, when we got on the street, we encountered topless women waving Trump signs and flags. We got out of there as quickly as possible. I pointed out to my son, just because they support Trump doesn’t mean they are our people. The libertarian wing of the party of Trump wants something very different than Christians.
We find ourselves in a lose-lose situation here. The integrity of our elections is gone. A significant part of the Republican party believes that this election was stolen. The fact that both sides have dealt with this as a power play, one side trying to outmuscle the other, rather than an honest examination of the situation, has produced an extreme amount of distrust on both sides. The media – both mainstream and social – have only served to stoke the fire with their draconian efforts to suppress one side.
Do I believe either side capable of Wednesday’s capitol invasion? You betcha. On the one side, we have Antifa, who has a vested interest in causing chaos and disruption in our country. They want to tear down more than just our statues. They are absolutely bent on razing the entire structure of America.
On the other hand, a significant part of America feels helpless, hopeless, and frustrated. You can’t destroy the integrity of the elections without a significant amount of collateral damage. And in this case, many now feel that the last vestige of a free people has been taken away. Whether it be fraud or apparent fraud, we now face a terrible reality. The number of Americans who now feel disenfranchised is not insignificant. Many now feel that civil war is our only recourse.
I do not say so as a war hawk. Far from it. I find no pleasure in this reality. But I have had the conversation far too often over the past few weeks. From what I am reading, Americans have bought 17 million guns over the past year. The ammunition aisle at the local gun shops remind you of the toilet paper aisle back in March. The man who repaired my water heater this week told me that in the past month, he went from owning three guns to owning nine.
The Bible teaches us to count the cost before we enter a war.
Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.
What has been casual conversation is about to turn deadly serious. Yet, I believe far too many are flippant on this issue, and have not counted the cost. No Christian should be anxious for war. These things are entered into far too casually. We will not find the exit so readily available. I do not argue that there is no cause, or that we should not fight to take our country back. If we reach a point where war is inevitable, we should embrace the Patrick Henry ethos. But we should not clamor for such a thing.
Consider what a civil war would look like. Our first civil war was regional. This one will resemble more closely the French Revolution. It won’t spill into our neighborhoods; our neighborhoods will be the battlefield. There will not be clear-cut lines anywhere. Some churches will splinter as a result. Christians have never been more divided on an issue than on this one. Republicans are deeply divided on the issue. Families are deeply divided. I am pleading with you, do not clamor for it. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
Most importantly, our ability to worship freely and to proclaim the gospel would be greatly hindered under such circumstances. Urban warfare is a very different thing. Churches will become primary targets. Antifa, BLM, and rabid atheism wants the opportunity to bulldoze our churches. They hold up signs saying, “If Jesus returns, kill him again.” They won’t spare us. Missionaries will be stranded. Those in parts of the world that are antagonistic to America will find themselves extremely vulnerable.
The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church. But it does not follow from this that we should be longing for the opportunity to shed our blood. The early church scattered to avoid persecution. (Acts 8:4; 11:19; 14:2-7) Let that sink into your heart. That wasn’t a cowardly thing on their part. They treasured the life God had given them, and they spread the gospel in other places.
God’s people love peace and pursue peace. No Christian should be begging for civil war, and any such movement should come from another part of America. When it comes time for us to defend ourselves or fight for our nation, let us play the man. But war is not our first option. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal. The Bible contrasts the carnal with the mighty – so then, carnal weapons are weak. We wrestle not against flesh and blood. Principalities and powers and the rulers of the darkness of this world will not be brought down with testosterone. They will be brought down with the gospel.
Let’s pursue the war on our knees, praying for the souls of men. Let’s pray for our children, our families, our churches, each other, and for our nation. Let’s be happy, praying warriors. Then, lets prepare to protect our families – spiritually. After all, the war is inevitable. It is already here. It has been for our entire lives.