Does it get any better than that?! I couldn't agree more. Over the years I have constantly compared the Christian walk to that of a warrior! Christians could be performing at such a higher level, and studying the ways of warriors could only help.
There are many reasons why I believe that Christians would be better off to study the ways of warriors. I do not advocate this from the aspect of spiritual warfare. (I believe that the enemy was dealt with on the cross.)
The only enemy I speak of is the enemy of our mind in our fight for focus on the mission. My mentor calls it the "mission mentality." I have always translated this as a warrior mentality.
Recently a very good friend of mine gave me a powerful book, The Code of the Samurai. It was originally written by Taira Shigesuke in the mid-to-late 1600's to reinforce to the Japanese culture the importance of the bushido, or "way of the knight or warrior."
After a period of peace time, the warrior class (samurai, once merely military attendants, had risen to their own caste of warriors or knights, called bushi) seemed to be getting fat and lazy. They were given to much wine and revelry.
The discipline that had allowed them to vanquish the invasion of the Mongols and establish a new militaristic government for hundreds of years had cause a complacency. So those who were still set apart and understood the importance of the warrior principles wrote a book to codify these principles.
Wait, are we talking about Japanese Bushi or American Christianity here?!
Good question! There are many parallels in this book that are scaldingly intriguing.
The concept that a warrior should "always keep death in mind" resonated within me. The author points out that this is so that the warrior will not make foolish decisions. Brawling happened often in that era. Why should a warrior partake in a meaningless brawl and risk getting hurt when he could be called on to fight in a battle for the entire society the next day?
Will a warrior keep his affairs in order, watch after and love his family to the utmost, and only spend his time on things that matter if he is not focused on the fact that he could be called on at any time to give his life for his calling? (Wait! Again, am I talking about bushi or Christianity??)
One of my favorite chapters is about the monk-warriors. It goes on to say that monks are far more disciplined warriors because in peace time, they continue their studies of religion and faith as if they were still in battle. They keep their mind sharp at all times. Their battleground is the battleground of focus.
Now, I could spend a TON of time speaking of the way of the Christian warrior-knight, and I may in the future. For now, see if you can't slip by Books-A-Million or Barnes and Noble and flip through it. Or buy it online here: The Code of the Samurai.
Tell me, do you ever wish your Christian walk experienced more vigor? More excitement? More passionate dedication to your faith?
I have said recently that Christianity needs a few more Muslim extremists. Why would I say that?
- A) Muslim extremists are not really extremists. There are simply practicing and non-practicing Muslims. Read the Koran. The "pacifist" Muslims are practicing a different interpretation of the Koran.
I say that we could use some Christian extremists, not because they need to act extreme but because we have either practicing or non-practicing Christians. Practicing Christians will always be labeled extreme in the same way that practicing Muslims will always be labeled extreme.
- B) Because the mission is not getting done. America was founded on Christianity. We have had 300 years to build a stronger church. Instead we, the American Church, are spending so much time trying to hold together a crumbling establishment when we ought to have a totally solid, Christian empire here that is reaching out to the nations. We need the Christian Extremists.
I am all for the amenities our country provides and the peace our government ensures, but I call on Christians to return to our Monk-Warrior state of mind; an ever-readiness for the battle, a passionate burning fervor for the mission.
This is what I read when I study warriors.