Mark R Lindsey

Enduring Violence, and God’s Call to Protect the Weak

In Uncategorized on May 12, 2018 at 9:07 am

Should a Christian stay in a physically dangerous place? No. And we Christians must provide protection!

1. Jesus’s language assumed persecution would mean the danger was avoided. Jesus presumed that when you’re chased, you run.

Matthew 10:22-23 — “and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.”

2. Violence toward a woman in marriage violates God’s law. We must never tolerate sin but always work against it.

Colossians 3:19 — Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.

3. Christian leaders are to “shepherd” — and our Biblical model of care necessarily includes physical protection. To “bind up the injured” cannot be any less than working for safety and protection for the vulnerable.

Failing leaders as bad shepherds: Ezekiel 34:4 — The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them.

God as good shepherd: Ezekiel 34:16 — I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice.

4. John Bunyan wrote how there is no Christian principle that means staying while persecuted.

“He that flies, has warrant to do so; he that stands, has warrant to do so. Yea, the same man may both fly and stand, as the call and working of God with his heart may be.

Moses fled, Ex. 2:15;

Moses stood, Heb. 11:27.

David fled, 1 Sam. 19:12;

David stood, 24:8.

Jeremiah fled, Jer. 37:11­–12;

Jeremiah stood, 38:17.

Christ withdrew himself, Luke 19:10;

Christ stood, John 18:1–8.

Paul fled, 2 Cor. 11:33;

Paul stood, Acts 20:22–23. . . .”

5. If a Christian leader teaches a truth and it’s unpopular, then that’s to be expected, and Christians should support that truth, while admitting the teacher is always error-prone and fallible. Jesus told us to expect to be hated (John 15:18-20).

But if a Christian leader sins by genuinely teaching falsely, and doesn’t repent of it, he should be held to account publicly.

1 Timothy 5:19-20 Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear.

Praising the trust in God held by one person in one instance that already occurred doesn’t necessarily make a recommendation for other people. Just enduring hard things doesn’t make us Holy.

But it’s difficult to see other examples of trust and bravery, and not try to make inferences. Hebrews 11 is full of examples of good and bad people are cited for trusting God. In nearly every case, we cannot follow their actions as examples because we’re not living the same lives. But we who believe Jesus died for us to bring us to God can trust that God is with us, and provides for us, and will always protect us — this year, and in a billion years. “I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice.”

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