Sword vs Word
April 11, 2010
The Christian faith was never intended to be advanced by the sword and although there have been occasional violations of this rule in history, for the most part we have seen the visible church advance by the Word not by the sword. This is actually one of the things that differentiates Christianity from many other religions.
The past century has been brutal for Christians. There have been more martyrs than in any other century in Christian history. The sword came down hard on the church in the last 100 years. But another thing happened in the past century. There was more numerical growth of the visible church than in any other century in Christian history. A whole continent (Africa) changed from only having a small percentage of Christians to being a majority Christian (over 50%). Southeast Asia also saw the church expand like wildfire. For example, South Korea went from being about 2% self identified Christians to being more than 50% Christian.
The moral of the story? We don’t shy away from the use of the sword because we think the gospel is unimportant. Instead we shy away from the sword because it is too weak. The word beats the sword every time.