Saying No to Militancy

I’d like to share one of my favorite articles by Pastor Hal Bekemeyer. This guy has been around the grace movement about as long as I’ve been alive (yes, he’s that old but don’t tell him I said that). He is also a regular co-host on our Grace Life Podcasts. I crack jokes and Hal gives wise counsel (most of the time). I also call him the “Dean of Theology of the Bekemeyer Grace School of Hard Knox” of which I’ve been a student for many years but, for some reason, I haven’t been able to graduate. I’m smart! I promise! But I take comfort in the fact that Timothy had been mentored by Paul roughly 15 years or so, and THEN the only thing Paul told him was, “thou hast attained” (1 Tim. 4:6). At least Timothy had Paul. I have, like, 12 pastors who keep me in check. LOL

In any event, Hal once wrote an article on militancy. He was once militant. He saw the error of his ways. He lived to tell about it. And in 6 short paragraphs, this article packs quite a wonderful wallop. I love it! Enjoy!



Saying No to Militancy

By Pastor Hal Bekemeyer

And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, {25} In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; {26} And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” (2 Timothy 2:24-26)

In my younger years I often fell into a rhythm of militancy when expressing my doctrinal understanding and convictions. It required a great deal of time for the truth of “the servant of the Lord MUST NOT strive” (emphasis mine) to sink in. After years of ministry it has been my observation that a militant presentation of truth is a fruitless endeavor. At times it has appeared that one has been successful in making converts to ones point of view only to discover that a new militant has been created. This suggests that the person influenced was not persuaded of truth but was, in reality, a militant looking for a cause.

Strife only breeds more strife as indicated in Proverbs 15:18 when Solomon writes; “A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.” Our apostle of grace, Paul, exhorted believers to “let nothing be done through strife or vainglory.” I can with honesty attest that I have never witnessed one spiritual victory gained through militancy. Militancy is not about gentleness but conquering. Militancy is not about teaching but replication and rigidity. Militancy is not about patience or meekness but the properly timed strike, and triumph, and the pride of a vanquished foe.

Someone once said that Christians, in the spiritual battle, are often guilty of shooting their own wounded. Perhaps not, but it does often appear that believers are quick to throw another believer under the bus, so to speak, rather than to extend themselves in sincere ministry and edification. Paul makes it clear that the battleground of the Lord’s servant is the mind. To win the mind requires gentle, patient, and meek instruction which enables the errant to recover themselves. The result of a campaign of this nature is capitulation to truth, not the conquest of one will over another. Truth becomes the victor, not the Lord’s servant.

For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. {15} But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.” (Galatians 5:14-15)

For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. {18} For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. {19} Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.” (Romans 14:17-19)

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