Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Church Militant

For some reason, a church militant scares people. And so it should; the whole of human history is filled with the militancy of all kinds of human groups and cultures — any militant body is designed as an organisation that wins fights.

But why is a church militant different from a state militant, or a civis militant, or a polis militant? Could it be that people actually think that churches should be peaceful and non-militant? The way doves are supposedly emblems of peace? Even the Buddhists have a history of warfare.

The words of the Church's head are these:
Do not think that I came to bring peace on Earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man's enemies will be the members of his household
You can find these words in the tenth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew. In the equivalent readings in Luke's gospel, he says:
I have come to cast fire upon the Earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished! Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division...

And so endeth this part of an ancient lesson.

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