Posted by: sean | April 21, 2008

2 Corinthians 10.3-6

2 Corinthians 10.3-6
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, 4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, 6 and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.

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Responses

  1. I see this as a passage referring to the “battle against sin” in an individual’s life. Paul was writing to a church whom he was rebuking for a number of actions, and behaviors, none of which were physical confrontation. Taken out of context and “plucked” from scripture, alone, sounds like a teaching on the use of physical confrontation, but in reality has nothing to do with the use of physical force.

  2. in your interpretation the statement, “we do not war according to the flesh,” really means, “we do war according to the flesh?”

  3. No. Of course not. What I’m saying is that the passage as a whole has nothing to do with physical battle with other people. This has to do with the battle within with our own temptations and evil desires. When Paul spoke of the flesh, he was speaking of the desires, behaviors and temptations within ourselves. See the 2 Corinthians 12:7-9.

    Reading verse 4 alone sounds very much like Paul is referring to physical “warfare” and “weapons” but when read in context with the surrounding verses it’s plain that this is far from the topic that Paul was writing about.

    My point wasn’t that this passage means that we SHOULDN’T be pacifists, I was pointing out that it has nothing to do with whether or not we should use force or whether we shouldn’t.

  4. This has to do with the battle within with our own temptations and evil desires.

    Is it not true that one of the greatest temptations is to hate our enemies rather than love them?

    The passage is not directly addressing war (none of the Christians in the first few centuries ever even considered joining the military). However, what it is saying is that we do not fight our battles the typical, kingdom-of-this-world way. We use God’s means to win victory over temptation. The idea is that we are in the midst of warfare; we are on the battlefield; but we are not fighting against the “barbarians” with swords rather we are fighting against the temptations (including the temptation to kill) with our God-given spiritual weapons.

    Just a note also, the nature of this site is like blog in the sense that the last items to be posted come first (top of the page). It may do you well to start from the beginning in the Scriptures Section–that is, if you are open to considering this viewpoint.

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