The author of this blog does not advocate hate or unprovoked violence against any group. The purpose of this blog is to provide the very best information regarding philosophy, mindset training, and technique for the Christian Martialist in their broader Biblical, theological and cultural contexts. Nothing posted here should be construed as promoting or excusing hostile speech or acts toward anyone.


Recommended Reading:
The Greatness of the Great Commission by Ken Gentry (Available free online -- click here)
He Shall Have Dominion by Ken Gentry (Available free online -- click here)
"Imagining the Kingdom" by N.T. Wright (click here) (Note: I do not endorse all that Wright says in this essay, let alone in his other works; nonetheless, I see his insights into the nature & centrality of the Kingdom in the life of Christ and the early Church a welcome corrective to much contemporary scholarship.)
Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw Him, they worshiped Him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:16-20)

You can see from the passage above that Jesus commissioned His Church to bring all nations of the world under His authoritative rule. Unlike Islam, however, the Church does not fulfill its mission of conquest by militaristic means.God has mapped out an entirely different strategy for His people.

This raises the question of the place of the Christian Warrior with respect to the overall execution of the Church's marching orders. The purpose of this page is to define the strategic objective, lay out the strategy and tactics to achieve that objective and to show the place of Christian Martialism in achieving that objective.

I will begin with a general discussion of the Christian's life goals.

Ultimate Goal: The Glory of God

Christians should set all of their goals, institutional and individual in terms of how they relate to the ultimate goal, which is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. Believers most directly fulfill this ultimate goal in corporate and individual worship as they ascribe to Him glory and honor in their praise and adoration.

In addition, Christian service in the form of good works can also count as worship (Romans 12:1; Hebrews 13:16), when offered to the Lord from a sincere heart (Colossians 3:23).

Acts of service involve proximate goals, or goals that lead to the ultimate goal of God’s glory. We find the Church’s major God-given proximate goal in the Great Commission.

Proximate Goal: The Great Commission

First, notice that the Great Commission has both an individual and a societal aspect.
  1.  Individual – “Preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15) is the evangelistic emphasis, the application that you will normally hear about in terms of Christ’s commission to His Church. The individual component is foundational, and without it, real societal change cannot take place. God must call and regenerate the souls of individuals through the ministry of His people before there can be a true REFORMATION of the surrounding community.
  2. Societal – “Disciple the nations” (Matthew 28:19) encompasses the societal aspect of the Great Commission. In this text, the word nations refers to people groups distinguished by common language and culture. The Kingdom of God must not only challenge the surrounding culture, but also provide Scriptural alternatives by precept and example.
In addition, notice that the Great Commission imparts a global vision – disciple the nations – but that its fulfillment requires local application. You can see this in the book of Acts, where Jesus tells His disciples, You shall be witnesses to Me, both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

The disciples fulfilled this by preaching the Gospel and founding churches in villages, towns and cities beginning in Jerusalem and fanning out into the wider world.

Proximate Goal: The Local Application 

  1. Individual – Proclamation -- through Gospel words and Gospel deeds -- of Christ's atonement and reign from Heaven , and the training up of covenant children in faith and service to God.
  2. Societal – Formation of Christian communities -- congregations -- in order to demonstrate a culture based upon the Royal Law of Christ to a watching world (with ever-widening circles of influence: families, neighbors, businesses, etc.). 
It is in light of this hierarchy of goals that the Christian warrior purposes to live out his calling before God and man. Now that you've seen the basic outline, let's flesh it out and then talk about application.

Mission Impossible?

Let me paraphrase what Jesus said to His disciples in this Great Commission: "Since I am the ultimate authority, I want you to take over the world and bring all its nations under My rightful rule. You are not to do this by force of arms or political machinations. You are to conquer the world by converting and discipling the nations. You must also transform their pagan/humanistic cultures by teaching them to observe everything I've taught you. You won't be in this alone and in your own power, for I will be with you."

Any way you look at it, that's a pretty tall order. It goes way beyond what we normally think of as evangelism, or even world missions. In fact, it's so far out of line with what most churches teach, that evangelical Christians tend to dismiss it out of hand. Here's a dialogue based on actual objections raised to me by people who call themselves Bible-believing Christians.

Objection: It won't work; it's impossible.

Answer: While I believe it is possible, it makes no difference; it's the mission assigned to us

Objection: This would sidetrack us from the main business of the Church: saving souls.

Answer: It's the mission our Lord assigned to us, and it includes saving souls.

Objection: That's not how I interpret the passage.

Answer: But that's what the passage says in clear terms -- disciple all nations and teach them to obey Christ.

Of course the mission is not easy; it is, in fact, well-nigh impossible. So is healing the blind, lame & sick with a touch, raising the dead and saving sinners in rebellion against God. Yet, Jesus has done all these things, and He has promised to be with us as we carry out our mission.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it -- and the King leaves no room for the idea that His command is optional -- requires that you think strategically and tactically about how to accomplish it. A serious consideration of Matthew 28:16-20 will require that your church recognize and organize itself in terms of that mission. It will also require that you teach your converts a new, Biblical worldview, and that you teach them to think self-consciously and to act in terms of that worldview.

In other words, to understand the Great Commission correctly and purpose to obey it will necessitate enormous changes in the way you view and conduct yourself, your family and your church.

The Nature and Mission of the Church

Most churches are so bogged down in the details of daily existence that no one in a position of leadership or in the pew seems to think about the bigger picture. Who are we? What are we doing here? How does First Church of Cannery Row fit into Christ's blueprint for His Church?

This shortsightedness results in most churches becoming religious associations dedicated to preserving the status quo. They do not think of their church's mission in terms of bringing their greater community under the reign of their Savior through evangelism and discipleship. If they think of evangelism at all, it's in terms of increasing their own little association in terms of numbers, income and/or status in relation to other churches in the area. Or, for some, evangelism means rescuing a few souls from hell, with no larger goal or context to which they can relate their efforts.

I have shown on the Community page that synagogue was a name for the national Assembly of Israel. I have also demonstrated that local synagogues or assemblies were the smallest administrative unit of the Nation of Israel. Also, that the Old Testament uses synagogue and congregation as synonyms.

This means that when Jesus said, "I will build My Church...." in Matthew 16:18, He was not introducing a new or strange concept to His disciples. He was, in effect, saying that He would build a rival national Assembly to that of apostate Israel. You can see that in the parable of the wicked vinedressers, Jesus states the issue in just such national terms:

Therefore I tell you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and will be given to a nation bringing forth its fruit. (Matthew 21:43).

The Church of Jesus Christ is a New Covenant nation constituted on the day of Pentecost, with Jesus as its King (compare Matthew 21:42-43 to I Peter 2:7-10).

This means that a local assembly (church or congregation) of the Messiah, Jesus, is the smallest administrative unit of the national New Covenant Assembly in Heaven (see Hebrews 12: 18-24). In short, our local churches are outposts of Christ's kingdom. These outposts are scattered more or less deeply in enemy territory. As New Covenant Kingdom communities, they should follow the strategic and tactical plans for conquest as laid down by Jesus and His apostles.

Strategy and Tactics

Jesus proclaimed His coming kingdom in terms of a new nation. This new nation did not have one specific region or land mass to which it laid claim. Rather, this nation's boundaries are as broad as the authority of its King. The world belongs to Him and His kingdom. It is our assignment to occupy all that territory in His name. For that we need to know something about strategic planning and tactical operations (ops).

Let's begin with strategy. Jesus' life, ministry and teaching reveals to us His strategy. He came to the covenant people with a purpose: to call out a remnant that would form the core of His new nation. For example, He called and sent out twelve to take the kingdom vision to the people of the Covenant. He told them not to tarry long, trying to convince everyone, but to deliver the message to those willing to receive it (Matthew 10:11-14). In today's world, when there are so many people of the covenant who have lesser visions for the church, we might take the same strategy -- getting the Great Commission Vision out to anyone who is willing to receive it, and letting God call them to become the core of His re-formed New Covenant Kingdom.

The Kingdom Parables can also serve as sources of information about the King's strategy, if we see them as such. They talk about spreading the kingdom through dissemination of the Word, about policy toward counterfeit sons of the kingdom, about the gradual growth and victory of the kingdom, etc. Thus, as the Church looks to the future, it must do so in terms of its appointed strategy as well as its appointed mission.

Before you look to the future, though, sometimes it helps you gain perspective if you look back. Thus, to better understand and apply the mission and strategy set down in Scripture to the world situation today, perhaps it would help to look at a monumental failure to accomplish that mission as seen in world history.

The early North African Church of the fifth century (Period of Augustine) had become a bastion of the faith. Seminaries flourished – the greatest teachers and apologists coming from there. The whole society had become generally Christian, but had adopted dualistic theology in its last century. The problem was that Manichaean (dualistic) philosophy had infected the church. This form of mysticism taught that the world is evil. Anything physical only hampers the Christian life. Thus, spirituality is determined by what one does not have. Furthermore, premillennialism, familiar bedfellow with mysticism, had convinced the Christian world that Christ would remove them from carnal encumbrances. He did, but not the way their theology anticipated. 

A false prophet, Mohammed, came down from the mountain with a monistic world view and totally eradicated Christianity in that area. The pacifistic, pietistic church was no match. Did God bless this view of spirituality No. The church has never regained that area of the world. Today, it is still the toughest mission field. Perhaps that is because missions generally have the same theology as the early North African Church.
(James Jordan, "The Church as a Shadow Government" in The Tactics of Christian Resistance, Christianity & Civilization #3)

The Church in North Africa had neglected the implications of Christ's command to disciple the nations and to teach them to obey His every command. (Matthew 28:19-20) Moreover, they had neglected the strategy He had laid down in His teaching.

Two Kingdom Parables

Look, for example, at two of our Lord's parables:

The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof. Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. (Matthew 13:31-33)

The first parable expresses the breadth of the Kingdom of God. From a small and seemingly insignificant beginning, it grows to dominate the field -- the earth -- in which it stands.

The second parable teaches that the rule of the kingdom is not something imposed on society from outside. It involves a transformation of the social fabric from the inside out. This means not only winning souls, but also placing converts into Christian communities where they can function in a Biblically oriented alternative to the surrounding culture.

Now, I'm not referring to some schlock-y, evangelical, smile-Jesus-loves-you ghetto that apes the prevailing culture. I'm talking about a city set on a hill (Matthew 5:14) that shows new Christians (and the world) how God intends for His people to function in communion and community.

This strategy entails a commitment to display the glory of God through institutional and cultural expressions that conform to His Word. I believe that Christ's Great Commission requires that we thoughtfully structure our community of faith as laboratories of the Spirit such that any observer can see what Christianity looks like when applied to marriage and family, education, business, architecture, self defense (and you knew I would get there, didn't you?) or any other social expression that you can think of.

The Church in the U.S. has made some piecemeal efforts in some of these areas -- notably in Christian schools, home education and family nurture -- but it has lacked the vision of community life in a comprehensively Biblical context. To be faithful to the fullness of the Great Commission, churches must think of worship services, Bible classes and prayer meetings as the hub rather than the whole of Christian community.

When communities of believers accept the mission that the King has laid upon them, they will see that the answer to the ever growing tyranny of Washington lies neither in political action nor in armed revolt. It lies, rather, in a faithful demonstration of the way things ought to be done -- God's way (Deuteronomy 30:16).

James Jordan, in the essay quoted above, has referred to this function of the Church community as a shadow government.

When one sphere like the state collapses, the church is left to fill the gap. She cannot, however, take the place of the state and pick up the sword. Like a Christian wife married to a rebellious husband, the church must bring the civil sphere to obedience by proper activity in its own category. The best description of this role is shadow government. A shadow government is understood as representing the true government, acting and waiting in the shadows for the present system to fall. When it does, the shadow government becomes the ruling government, or appoints another to take proper rule.(op. cit.)

Jordan makes it plain that he's not advocating that ecclesiocracy (political rule by church) displace civil authority. He simply means what Jesus said: that it's the Church's job to show nations how to govern themselves under the rule of Christ.

As the institutional structures of society -- including but not limited to civil government -- become moribund and begin to collapse under the weight of their humanistic presuppositions, the King intends for His people to be waiting in the wings with alternative solutions that follow His principles (i.e., that really work).

Parable of the Banyan Tree

Earlier I referred to the parables of the mustard seed and of the leaven in the dough. It occurs to me that had His listeners know of the banyan tree, Jesus might have combined the two parables into one.

The Kingdom of God is like a banyan tree.

The banyan tree, which grows in India, Southeast Asia and Indonesia, is a variety of fig with a distinctive growth pattern. Birds eat the figs of the banyan, and when they relieve themselves, some of the seeds lodge in crevices of other kinds of trees, which become the hosts.

The seeds germinate and send down roots towards the ground, and may envelop part of the host tree or building structure with their roots . . . .

Older banyan trees are characterized by their Aerial prop roots that grow into thick woody trunks which, with age, can become indistinguishable from the main trunk. Old trees can spread out laterally using these prop roots to cover a wide area. (Wikipedia)

You see, the banyan tree grows parallel, alternative structures to the host tree and eventually displaces it altogether. This precisely depicts God's kingdom as we see it portrayed in the teachings of Christ.