Fast Facts is a weekly email program where we provide our readers with relevant and practical resources to contend for the faith (Jude 3) and to be ready with an answer (1 Peter 3:15). We trust that these quick and helpful tools will give you greater confidence in sharing the truth of Jesus Christ.

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A Christian View of War – Part I

  • This week many proud Americans celebrated Veteran’s Day (11/11/13), a national holiday honoring those who have served in our nation’s armed forces.
  • While many Christians have participated in military service throughout history, the topic of the proper view of warfare in the Christian faith is one that has historically caused much consternation and debate. Four key biblical insights can give us some helpful guidance on this topic.
  • First, death and violence were not a part of God’s original created order for humanity and will one day be done away with forever (Romans 5:12; Genesis 6:11-13; Revelation 21:3-5; Isaiah 2:4). In the meantime we live in a fallen world in which war is an unfortunate reality.
  • Second, war is something that God has at times condoned, participated in, and will participate in again in the future (Exodus 15:1-18; 17:8-15; Numbers 31:1-3; Deuteronomy 2:26-31; 3:1-7; 20:1-4; Joshua 5:13-6:27; 2 Kings 19:32-36; Revelation 6:1-2; 19:11-21; 20:7-10). Thus, it cannot be said that all war is inherently evil.
  • Third, in Exodus 20:13 the sixth commandment admonishes us, “You shall not murder.” What’s interesting to note about this commandment is that it is only directed against murder, the wrongful taking of another human life. Scripture assumes a distinction between murder and certain other forms of killing, such as capital punishment or warfare, which it allows for (Genesis 9:5-6; Exodus 21:12-14; and passages cited above).
  • Fourth, in allowing for certain other forms of killing, God has ordained human governments, not private citizens, as the agents of justice, retribution, rewards and punishments (Matthew 5:38-39; Romans 12:17-13:7; 1 Peter 2: 13-17). Therefore, it may at times be appropriate and just for human governments to use deadly force to oppose evil.
  • Based on the biblical insights listed above, Christians throughout the centuries have formulated some guiding principles as to how and when human governments may rightly participate in warfare. These principles have become known as the “Just War Tradition”, which we will examine further next week.

For more information on warfare in light of Scripture, please check out the Apologetics Study Bible for Students, available in our online store.

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This Week’s Fast Facts

Fast Facts on Worldviews – Part X

  • Over the past 10 weeks our Fast Facts series has explored the various worldviews that have influenced Western culture over the past two centuries.
  • The primary lesson to be learned in humanity’s spiritual journey these past two hundred years is that apart from an embrace of God’s revealed truth in Scripture, societies are destined for disaster. This is the lesson we learn from history, but it’s also what God’s word has revealed to us for over 2,000 years (Romans 1:18-32).
  • Culture is simply worldview externalized. What an individual, a nation, or society thinks and believes about God will directly impact all areas of life. Thus, for true societal transformation to take place, it must begin with heart transformation.
  • For us as believers who are concerned with the direction our culture is heading today, what this means is that our primary motivation must be for declaring the Gospel and calling people to repentance and making Christ the Lord of their lives. Apart from genuine heart transformation, all of our other social ministry endeavors will simply be temporary band-aids masking humanity’s true need.
  • The most important message we can share with the world today is that single most important truth expressed by Jesus Christ, himself, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

For more information on sharing the Gospel with those caught up in false worldviews, please check out the book Apologetics For A New Generation, available in our online store.

Follow CMI on Twitter at @jasoncarlsoncmi.

This Week’s Fast Facts

Fast Facts on Overcoming Boredom in Church

  • Many people wrestle with boredom in church. Often the pursued solution to this boredom is to find a “bigger” and “better” church experience. But what if this approach doesn’t satisfy?
  • Maybe you need to consider the possibility that your faith has become more “me” centered than “He” centered? Maybe a new church isn’t the answer, but a new posture in worship? Here are 3 words that have the power to forever change your experience of church.
  • “Rejoice”... As you prepare to go to worship, begin by embracing an attitude of gratitude. Reflect on the Lord’s goodness and his many blessings in your life, and thank him for them.
  • “Revere”... Focus your heart on who God is and the amazing reality that he loves you! The more you meditate on the reality that the sovereign Creator of the universe loves you, and has lavished his amazing grace upon you, the more your heart will be bent towards praise.
  • “Refocus”... Follow Paul’s admonition in Romans 12:1-2 and ask God to refocus your heart’s priorities. As you enter worship, say to the Lord, “God, my one desire today is to honor you. Please use this service to transform me, and further conform me to your holy will.”
  • By practicing these 3 “R’s” you can adopt a new posture in worship and experience the fullness of joy and blessing that’s available in gathering for worship at church.

For more information on God’s purposes for worship and the Church, please check out the Apologetics Study Bible for Students, available in our online store.

Follow CMI on Twitter at @jasoncarlsoncmi.

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