Editor Aug 07 : 17:55
In my many years as a Christian I have never met a fellow Christian who didn’t love or wasn’t inspired by David’s encounter with Goliath.
In my many years as a Christian I have never met a fellow Christian who didn’t love or wasn’t inspired by David’s encounter with Goliath. We love how bold he was. We love his courage. But I believe that most of us don’t really love David for who he really was rather we love him metaphorically. We often speak about “Goliath’s” in our lives to represent obstacles and so we love David in the same way that we view him: allegorically. I believe that if David were alive today as a member of our congregation he would be despised by the very Christians who love him in Scripture.
Consider this: David essentially enlisted in the army. This, in and of itself, would bother many present-day believers. As a member of the United States Army myself I have been approached by many believers and asked how it is that I could be in the army and be a Christian. Some have asked weather it was not in conflict with my faith in God to be a part of the army. Still others ask if I could kill a person in the line of duty as a disciple of God. These are only the Christians “bold” enough to approach me, what of the others not so bold?
It strikes me as a prevalent and contagious form of amnesia and sometimes a sort of mental disorder the way many Christians approach the Bible and their lives. Not only was David a member of the armed forces but he was also a killer. Notice I did not say that in the events where he killed in the line of duty that he was a murderer (as one sister mistakenly and ignorantly accused him of) but a killer nonetheless. This distorted view of what murder is is also seen in Christians who take such a decisive and authoritative view of the evil of capital punishment which, as in the case of war, was also commanded by God as a form of justice and punishment, not as a form of revenge or anger which are at the very heart of murder according to Jesus in Matthew 5.
Ironically, many Christians who hold such a view of capital punishment aren’t as hard lined about the things God is unequivocally repulsed by. Proverbs 6:16 states: “There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood… The Shedding of innocent blood has been euphemized by the world and accepted by some Christians as the right for a woman to choose. One sister, in defense of a woman’s “right to choose” that while she personally would never do it she doesn’t believe the government should make moral judgments into law. Well what of the fact that Scripture teaches us that the governing authorities are instituted by God and are in place as an agent of his discipline. Is it not true that all laws are moral judgments of one kind or another? Wouldn’t homicide be deemed a moral judgment conjuring up “Thou shall not commit murder?” Following this sister’s logic to its full conclusion would we not have to do away with all laws and help usher in the lawlessness from Satan described in 1 Thessalonians?
In another recent conversation a sister approached me and asked who I was voting for in the general elections and when I told her it was the candidate who upheld pro-life views and other godly values she preached to me about the importance of universal health care. Even if I believed that universal healthcare was a worthy cause, would that supersede the word of God? Is this not a new gospel when the issues that God cares about and is explicit about are minimized while the issues the world cares about are exalted as a new righteousness? I digress a bit, but these things are connected in that they illustrate a disconnect between our life and our doctrine. In many cases we are either blind about what the scriptures teach as pertains to real life situations or we are in denial.
Back to King David. His involvement in the military was well and good under the old law but clearly in New Testament times we are forbidden to be soldiers. Not so. Remember who Jesus was most impressed with in New Testament times: a soldier who possessed a faith greater than that of any other in all of Israel. And who did God use to open the kingdom of God to the Gentiles? A centurion named Cornelius. These men were held up like no others and neither was called to repent of being soldiers.
David was insulted by Goliath’s defiance of God, God’s people and army, and so he joined the battle, killed Goliath, and chopped off the head of this enemy of Israel. Today many Christians would see David as rash. Why not talk to the Philistines? "Let us try diplomacy David", would be the call of many. Today Jews and Christians are confronted daily with an enemy who are devoted to their destruction. While we cheer about the overblown metaphoric Goliath’s in our lives we completely ignore and sympathize with millions of real Goliath’s who pose eminent danger to the people of God. Many of us have become arrogant enough to believe in our hearts that God’s way of dealing with our common enemy is too harsh and that we have a better, more compassionate and civilized way.
David is just one example of what I believe is duplicity in the hearts of many Christians. There are many issues that we take for granted as knowing how God feels about them when in reality it is Satan masquerading as an angel of light that we are taking our morality lessons from. The Bereans examined the Scriptures to see if what the honest and trustworthy apostle Paul said was true. Should we not much more examine the Scriptures to see if what Obama or CNN or _________________ says is true?