Why doesn't this go without saying?

an-Nahar on the Defense of Mhardeh (from Notes on Arab Orthodoxy).
Abu Fahd affirms that bearing arms is not part of their Christian belief, which calls for mutual forgiveness and peace, however he states that "we were compelled to bear arms in order to defend our history, our civilization and our dignity. We did not choose this of our own free will, but we will not permit our land and our families to be violated." As regards the Church's approval of their bearing arms he says, "even if the Church does not openly support bearing arms, she is with us implicitly because our existence is part of her existence."
Why do Christians require an apologetic just to stay alive and hold on to their land? Do Church hierarchs realize the Church is contiguous with her people, and no people, no Church?


August said…
There's a whiff of the old gnostic anti-created world in many corners of Christianity, as if people keep forgetting God is Creator and also mentions Himself as the God of the living here and there, which would suggest He is pretty interested in the living and would probably like more of them.
How many times does it seem like a death cult instead, just with weird rules, like no DIY death and a studious ignoring of implications of biology? We get these churches and schools being shut down because there haven't been enough babies for- what, fifty years now?
It all ought to go without saying, but I am increasingly sure that a lot of people just aren't smart enough to understand basic things even when they are explained, and very often these are the people running things.
Unknown said…
Jesus did say to sell your cloak and buy a sword.
Northern Refugee said…
I've seen this among many of the Churchians in my little corner of Tennessee. It seems that, to them, the Church is an intellectual abstraction, rather than a living entity consisting of its members. So you get the spectacle or supposedly right wing evangelicals purchasing, I mean adopting, third world babies. Its an intellectual exercise, a way to prove John Locke right; these Haitian babies are blank slates, and we can make them into conservative Baptists, by God. I think it also explains the penchant for overseas missionary work. Never mind the poverty (spiritual mostly, but material in some areas) here at home; it is easier to work out theories of evangelism in distant, foreign lands. Less messy, too.

And so, the churches die. The Mormons and the muslims don't share these delusions. They evangelize, but they also understand the importance of giving their members a sense of purpose and a status within their community.

These are momentous times. Within our lifetimes we will see formerly massive denominations, like the Episcopalians, go the way of the Shakers, and new majorities arise. Not for the better, I might add.
Toddy Cat said…
What sect of Christianity do these folks belong to? If it's Orthodoxy, why do they think that war is not a part of their religion? As far as I know. Orthodoxy has never been pacifist - lots of warrior Saints, and all. Certainly, the Orthodox Eastern Roman Empire resorted to arms when necessary.
Anonymous said…
St. Stephen of Romania (Stephen III or "Stefan cel Mare", canonized 1992) would be a good patron for these guys. Not merely a soldier, he was one of Europe's winningest generals against the Turks. E.g. (all info from Wikipedia):

"He was victorious in 46 of his 48 battles, and was one of the first to gain a decisive victory over the Ottomans at the Battle of Vaslui, after which Pope Sixtus IV deemed him verus christianae fidei athleta (true Champion of Christian Faith)....

"[At Vaslui,] [t]he Ottoman casualties were counted as 45,000, including four Pashas killed and a hundred standards taken.[44] Jan Długosz writes that "all but the most eminent of the Turkish prisoners are impaled",[45] and their corpses burned.[35] Only one was spared – the only son of the Ottoman general Isaac Bey, of the Gazi Evrenos family, whose father had fought with Mircea the Old.[43] Another Polish chronicler reported that on the spot of the battle rested huge piles of bones upon each other, next to three immured crosses...[35]

"According to the Polish chronicler Jan Długosz, Stephen did not celebrate his victory; instead, he fasted for forty days on bread and water and forbade anyone to attribute the victory to him, insisting that credit be given only to "The Lord"."

The Antiochian Orthodox are generally pacifist, as people who are way outnumbered tend to be.
Toddy Cat said…
That's obviously a pragmatic position rather than a theological one. If I were a Christian in the middle of an Islamic country, I'd probably try to keep my head down, too. But they obviously don't think that war is a mortal sin, or they wouldn't be fighting. Anyway, I guess that this just shows how far Christians in the Middle East have been pushed.