Reformed Baptist Fellowship

Paul: War-Monger for the Truth

In Reformed Baptist Fellowship on December 31, 2009 at 2:21 am

The widening influence of a sub-biblical world-view within Christian circles manifests itself in many ways: the diminishing emphasis upon the reality of God’s Word as the certain touchstone of truth; the lack of passion for its study and application; the odd and strange appearance of those who lay claim to the name “Christian” and even “Reformed” and yet who do not mind redefining almost every single aspect of what it has always meant to be Christian or Reformed.

I was recently referred to these words:

I did my time as an “apologist”. The more I move away from it, the more I feel I’m finding a balance and a peace I never knew, and never would have known, had I continued being a War-Monger for The Truth.

Now, it is always best to acknowledge any possible truth in a statement, and surely I know of some who call themselves apologists and who are disagreeable just for the sake of being disagreeable. But since this same writer has applied the phrase “War-Monger” to me, particularly, in the past, I have to wonder: was Jude being a “war-monger” when he exhorted us to agonize for the faith once for all delivered to the saints? Was John being a “war-monger” when he wrote 1 John and took specific aim at the proto-gnostic docetists who were troubling the Christian congregation? And surely the Apostle Paul lacked all balance and peace when writing Galatians, let alone Colossians!

You see, there are two motivations for doing apologetics, one wrong, one good. You can do apologetics because you are afraid of challenges, and feel that your defense of your faith somehow insulates you from those challenges and bolsters your faith. That leads to bad, unbalanced apologetics. Or, you can do apologetics because you honor and value the Word of God and the truth of God and hence seek to honor Him through the offering of a defense of His truth, knowing this brings God glory, and is the necessary action of one who believes what you believe. That’s why I do apologetics. What kind of peace, I wonder, does one find when the battle continues to wage around us? It is the peace of surrender, the peace of compromise. It is the peace of defining the enemy as my friend, the peace that no longer stands firm but instead “goes with the flow.” It is a peace I pray God will never let me seek.

James White
Alpha and Omega Ministries

  1. On the one hand, I don’t want to be at “friendship with the world” but on the other I want to be a “friend of sinners” as Jesus was a friend of sinners. May God grant us all the boldness to testify to Christ and His Word, as well as the compassion to speak the truth in love, remembering we were just like them, dead in trespasses and sins. I not only want to see God glorified in the truth proclaimed but also in the salvation of lost sinners. Speaking about myself, I need to keep these two truths in mind because if I don’t have love, then I will just be a clanging cymbal. And if I don’t testify to the Gospel, then I am not speaking words that are the power of God for everyone who believes.

  2. I suppose there is a “peace” that comes from the absence of conflict. James, not knowing the context of the quote you included in your essay, I can’t respond specifically. There is much joy to be had in the Christian life. We rejoice when sinners are converted. We rejoice at the blessings of family and friends. We rejoice over the promise of eternal life. But your joy is not static; it’s constantly under attack by the world, and even by forces of darkness. It is for this reason that we must contend for the truth. Paul commanded Timothy to teach these truths to faithful men who will teach others also (2 Tim. 2:2). If we are to hand the truths of the kingdom to future generations, are they not worth contending for?

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