The Christian Response to God’s Enemies - The Warrior's Journey®

The Christian Response to God’s Enemies

Author: Chaplain, COL Scott McChrystal, USA (Ret.)

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“Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.” (Acts 9:1-2) 

C.S. Lewis (Oxford professor), his wife Joy Davidman (poet), Lee Stroebel (investigative journalist), Malcolm Muggeridge (Journalist and Author), Peter Hitchens (journalist and brother of Christopher Hitchens), Alister McGrath (chemist and theologian), Mortimer Adler (philosopher and educator), Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Nobel laureate), Francis Collins (geneticist), Simon Greenleaf (co-founder of Harvard Law School), and George R. Price (geneticist). What do they have in common? They were all atheists who converted to Christianity. And this list could be increased a thousand-fold. 

Now think of the fiercest enemies of Christianity today. Perhaps they’re crusaders for sexual deviancy, militant atheists, or radical Muslims.  Then ask yourself, “What is the Christian’s response to such enemies of the faith?” It’s not to call down curses upon those who blaspheme the name of Jesus (see Luke 9:53-55; 23:34). It’s not to ask God to destroy His enemies, for we were all once enemies of God (Romans 5:10) and children of His wrath (Ephesians 2:3). It’s not to “fight fire with fire,” for our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of wickedness (Ephesians 6:12). And our weapons are not worldly, but spiritual (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Nor is the Christian response to burn with hatred against God’s enemies, for Christ told us to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44-45). 

What was the church’s response to Saul of Tarsus when he waged war on the faith? Many fled his persecution – as Jesus authorized them to do (Matthew 10:23). But no believer tried to physically harm him.  But did Christians pray for Saul’s conversion? If they heeded Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:44, I suspect they did. And remember, when the apostles asked Jesus, “Who can possibly be saved?” Jesus answered, With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God” (Mark 10:26-27). 

And however incorrigible Saul of Tarsus seemed to be, Jesus Himself broke through Saul’s hard-headed defenses and took possession of his soul. And he who was once the greatest opponent of the Gospel became its greatest champion – Paul the apostle. In his later days, Paul confessed that he had once been the very worst of sinners. Yet God saved him and left him as example of His grace, so that people would thereafter say, “If God could save Saul of Tarsus, He can save anybody” (1 Timothy 1:15-16).   


  • Are you distressed when you witness repeated attacks on the Christian faith? 
  • Isn’t it better to pray for God to save His enemies than to destroy them? 
  • It’s better to make our enemies our friends. Let’s pray for Christ’s enemies. 

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