Militaristic Christianity

May 30, 2007

I am often troubled by how some Christians are quite violent and militaristic in their theology. Ethics Daily has an article today that demonstrates such a problem. It mentions that LifeWay recently released Bibles that are stamped with a seal of a branch of the U.S. military (they are called the Holman CSB Military Bible). The Bibles include other militaristic features along with Scripture, such as the texts of "Battle Hymn of the Republic" and "Onward Christian Soldiers." The intentions of LifeWay were to provide spiritual guidance to members of the military and their families. They should be applauded for that! However, I am troubled by the militaristic stamp they literally placed on the Bible.

Making this even more troubling is that the Bibles were released at an event over the weekend that included a speech by former SBC President Bobby Welch, author of You, The Warrior Leader. I have previously mentioned serious problems with Welch's violent rhetoric in the book (see post here). I hope all Christians will pray for the members of the armed forces and thank them for their service. But I hope we will be careful not to create a "holy war" or "crusade" by making it appear that our troops are the army of God. For some excellent thoughts on the issue of Christians and war, check out a recent blog post by Dr. Rodney Reeves (one of my favorite former professors): Just Jesus.