Militancy, within the church, is under fire today in certain circles. The word militancy is defined as being vigorous, active, or aggressive. As we look around us, we see that many brethren are opting for a non-militant, non-controversial religion. In study of the New Testament, we take note that multiple passages can be cited to show that the church is to practice militancy. We have been told to “fight the good fight” (1 Timothy 6:12), and to “stand fast in the faith” (1 Corinthians 16:13).

If the world is to be brought to its knees before the cross of Christ, then we must become militant. There is as much of a need for the church to “contend for the faith” (Jude 3), today as there was following it beginning. Likewise, there is as much of a need for the church to be able to “give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15) now as there was in the first century.

As the church, it is past time for us to come to the understanding that we are engaged in spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6:10-17). We need to understand that this war is against every false way and every evil force (Psalms 97:10; 119:104). In this article let us consider Christianity, A Militant Religion.

REASONS FOR NON-MILITANCY – First, a dislike of dogmatism. Dogmatism, as used here, is defined as asserting an opinion pertaining to a doctrinal issue. It is interesting to note that many who are opposed to dogmatism are dogmatic in their opposition. Secondly, a dislike for controversy is often brought up. Controversy cannot be avoided in Christianity (Philippians 1:7, 17; Titus 1:9; Luke 12:53). Thirdly, there is the call to close our ranks with those of the denominational world that are around us. In other words, a call to ecumenism, post modernism, or the emerging church movement, which is nothing more than the spirit of compromise. Sadly, we have those who are willing to fellowship anyone and anything so long as it is called religion.

REASONS FOR MILITANCY – First, we see that Jesus was militant. In study of the life of Jesus we see that He displayed His militant attitude in driving out those who would make merchandise of the temple (John 2:14-17). He further showed such militancy in dealing with the temptations that came in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11). As it drew near to the time of his death, Jesus continued to be militant (Matthew 22:41-46). Secondly, we see that the early disciples were militant. We have a number of clear examples of this in men such as:

Stephen – Acts 7:51-60

Peter – Acts 4:13-20; 5:27-29, 41, 42

Paul – Acts 9:20-23; 17:2, 17; 18:4

Thirdly, we are commanded to be militant. There are numerous New Testament passages which refer to the necessity of militancy in the church (1 Thessalonians 5:21; 1 Peter 3:15; Jude 3; Philippians 1:7, 17; 1 Timothy 6:12; 1 Corinthians 11:1; 16:13; Philippians 2:5; 1 Peter 2:21). One cannot study these and other scriptures like them, without seeing the need for militancy in the church.

Having seen the example of Christ, the early disciples, and the direct commands relative to militancy, how can we continue to cry for non-militancy? Surely, we can see that we are to be militant in the proclamation of the truth and in the defense of it regardless of whenever, wherever, and by whomever it is challenged.