Saturday, March 1, 2008

Christian Martialism: Ego vs. Service

I came to know KB because we worshiped at the same church. He had been in the USMC for . . . I think it was about 13 years. Before he left the Corps, he was training to become an instructor in the Marine Corps Martial Art Program (MCMAP).

Before I met him, this man with a warrior's heart tried to organize a group of Christian young men who would train together and function as a service organization. The service part of the plan was to patrol the roads carrying 5 gallons of gasoline, bottled water, a cell phone and a tool kit. The object was to find motorists in distress, help them and then give them a piece of Gospel literature.

KB called his group the Paladins (after Charlemagne's knights of the palace guard). I thought it was a neat idea, but he told me the members of the group didn't want to get involved in the service aspect. They just wanted to learn to fight. Because of that, KB disbanded the group.

I think disbanding was a wise move. I guess a young man will always be enamored and impressed with the idea of becoming a warrior. But if the purpose is only to inflate his own ego, then he will never be a true paladin, a Christian Martialist.

The whole idea of Christian Martialism is service to the King and Shepherd of our souls through serving and protecting His Church. Our service includes true worship, support of the local church (time & tithe), and submission to the government & discipline of the spiritual leaders whom Christ has appointed. It's simple; it's humbling; and often it's hard.

A Christian Martialist wannabe can't resist bragging that he's a warrior, and how important he is. The true Christian Martialist does not advertise his unusual calling. For him, it's not a matter of ego; it's a matter of service.

Sheep rarely understand the sheepdog and his role. They'd like to think that peace is normal and automatic. They don't appreciate the idea that it often takes force and blood to purchase peace and safety, and they resent those who bring such realities to their attention.

Therefore, the Christian Martialist trains, studies and watches without fanfare or recognition. He knows who he is, and so does his Master. That is as it should be. And that is enough.
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