By Theodore Shoebat
Major Church leader, Bishop Bagobiri, of the Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan in Nigeria, said that it is the duty of Christians to take up arms to defend themselves and their brethren against Boko Haram, calling the jihadists as being a part of “Satanist driven Islamic organizations”. He said:
The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes it as an act of love towards one self and carried out in defense of God’s gift to life, which we are merely custodians. The theological authorities of the Church are emphatic: Love towards oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality.
Therefore, it is legitimate to insist on respect for one’s own right to life. Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow. Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one’s own life than of another’s.
The Magisterium is further explicit on this subject matter when it teaches that ‘legitimate Defence can not only be a right but grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others. The Defence of the common good require than an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm.
It must be stated clearly here that in light of the above official church statement, that the exercise of self Defence does amount to un-forgiveness, nor is it to be seen as an act of vengeance or vendetta.
Christians must do everything within their powers to protect their lives from being snuffed off by Satanist driven Islamic organisations. Christian communities that observe absolute pacifism have all ceased to exist, according to researchers into Christian persecution
Surely this is a call to crusade, not in the sense of an actual war, but in the sense that it is a call for one to take up his cross and defend the Church against persecution. For that is the eternal significance of crusade.
Surely this is a call for Christians to partake in the greatest act of love, that of placing your life for the lives of your brethren.
Surely this is a pristine presentation of the Christian spirit.
St. Peter tells us, “love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8) For this reason, does the Christian warrior purify his own soul, when he takes up his cross, arms himself with spiritual armor and temporal weapons, and exemplifies the greatest act of love, illustrating the words of Christ:
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:3)
When the Christian warrior fights for the defense of the defenseless, and for the Faithful, he follows all of the Law of God. Christ said:
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 22:37-40)
The militant defender of the Christian Faith, when he strives against the enemies of God and His Church in holy war, he loves God with all of his being. For what greater evidence of love is there, than to sacrifice not just a little, but all, that is, one’s life? The holy combatant loves God with every fiber of his being, committing himself to the first commandment of the Law of Love, “Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30)
Many will say that this commandment cannot be applied to physical warfare, but only spiritual warfare. But this is an inadequate interpretation. For when Josiah “slew all the priests of the high places,” (2 Kings 23:20), and “burned the chariots of the sun” (2 Kings 23:11), how does the Scriptures describe his glorious crusade against the pagans?
And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the Lord with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him. (2 Kings 23:25)
The command of Christ, the first and great commandment, is directly applied to holy warfare in the Scriptures, and therefore does this application apply to Christian holy war. Christ loved His Father with all of His strength, mind, heart, and soul, when “He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables.” (John 2:15)
Thus does the Christian crusader follow His Savior when he picks up a sword to defend the Christians, who are temples of the Holy Spirit, as Christ picked up a whip to defend His Father’s Temple. In the words of St. Bernard:
By all these signs the knights clearly show that they animated by the same zeal for the house of God which of old vehemently inflamed the Leader of knighthood himself, who, having his most sacred hands armed, not with a weapon, but with a whip which he had fashioned from lengths of cord, entered the temple, ousted the merchants, scattered the coins of the money changers, and overturned the chairs of the pigeon vendors, considering it totally unfitting to defile this house of prayer by such traffic.” (St. Bernard, In Praise of the New Knighthood, ch. 5, 9)
The Crusader most definitely follows the second commandment of loving one’s neighbor and one loves himself. For to love one’s self entails defending one’s self from an attacker, and so therefore to love one’s neighbor is to as well defend him from an attacker. What better way to obey this commandment, then, than to defend the Church and one’s brethren from persecution?
The Christian fighter strives with all of his being to defend his friends, carrying out the greatest form of love, “to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:3)
The Christian crusader sacrifices so much of himself, putting his life near its end, willing to give it up for the sake of Christianity, denying himself and following Christ, obeying the words of his Divine Master:
If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. (Matthew 16:24)
These words truly embody the ultimate spirit of the warrior: he takes up his cross, for he fights the devil with the image on which Christ destroyed the works of the devil, and he denies himself, placing himself fully on the Providence of God, “strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man” (Ephesians 3:16), and committing fully with the precept of the Apostle, glorifying “God in your body, and in your spirit,” (1 Corinthians 6:20).
So militant are these words of Christ, that one Crusader, in the time of the First Crusade, applied it to the holy war against the Muslims:
When now that time was at hand which the Lord Jesus daily points out to His faithful, especially in the Gospel, saying, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me,” a mighty agitation was carried on throughout the region of Gaul. (Its tenor was) that if anyone desired to follow the Lord zealously, with a pure heart and mind, and wished faithfully to bear the cross after him, he would no longer hesitate to take up the way of the Holy Sepulchre. (The Gesta, ed. Edward Peters)
Because the Crusader loves God with all of his being when he fights the heathens and the heretics, because he loves his neighbor, willing to fight and die in defense of him, he then follows all of the law. For on these two virtues — loving God and loving neighbor — “hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40)
The warrior and defender of Christendom, therefore, has within his heart the words of Solomon:
Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. (Ecclesiastes 12:13)
Let the saints be joyful in glory;
Let them sing aloud on their beds.
Let the high praises of God be in their mouth,
And a two-edged sword in their hand,
To execute vengeance on the nations,
And punishments on the peoples;
To bind their kings with chains,
And their nobles with fetters of iron;
To execute on them the written judgment—
This honor have all His saints. (Psalm 149:5-9)
The saints are there to take up arms to destroy the heathens, and “execute judgment”. This is the truest essence of Christian militancy, the purest actions of the Faith, to unite the spirit of Orthodoxy with the sword, the Sword of Christ with sacred warfare, to fight for the path of truth and bring to flames the crooked road of falsehood. The warriors have “praises of God” in their mouths, “and a two edged sword in their mouths”, for in their spirits lies meditations upon the Law, while their hearts charge with arms to establish and defend the eternal precepts.
This is the heart of Christendom, this is the whole duty of the Church Militant, to defeat the devils with the Armor of God, and their followers with the armor of sacred combat. The crusader strikes the devil with the Sword of the Spirit, and conquers the followers of Satan with the sword of battle.