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Allan

Are we athletes of the spirit OR soldiers for Christ ?

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Hi all, need some help here..pretty please :wave:...forgive me if this has been addressed here but any thoughts on are we actually meant to be 'soldiers for Jesus' ? I vaguely remember fartindale sharing about Ephesians 6 expanded translation referencing athletic equipment but cannot reconcile it with 2 Timothy 2: 3,4 talking about us as 'soldiers for Christ' ?? Somewhere in the back of my bourbon and coke soaked mind I remember fartindale saying the word for 'soldier' used there was 'palak' (aramaic for endurer or laborer) BUT new testament was supposedly written in koine greek, not aramaic !! Wordwolf ? Mark S ? Twinky ? Anyone ?? 

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Martindale was keen that we weren't "soldiers," because the battle was won when Christ rose from the dead, taking captivity captive.

He was very keen that we are "athletes of the spirit" and claimed that much of the imagery was actually athletic in its terminology.  However, it is difficult to reconcile Eph 6

13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

with athletic necessaries.  Helmets, belts, shields and swords are not standard athletic gear except in games that are really modified war-games (sword-play or fencing, for example).

But then there's Heb 12 which exhorts us

let us run with endurance the race that is set before us

which clearly isn't a warlike expression, as soldiers shouldn't be running races or anywhere except perhaps charging towards the enemy.

And 2 Tim 4 is a bit of both

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race

I would prefer to view athletic or war-like terminology and references more as appeals to different groups of people, to try to catch their interest in a place they already understand.  To a marathon runner, you might explain the gospel in terms of preparation for a long and gruelling race; the Christian life isn't a one-off quick sprint.  To a soldier, you'd explain in terms of preparedness for assault, and discuss battle tactics; we do face difficulties and opposition.  To a parent, you'd explain in terms of tenderness for your children. To an agriculturalist, you talk in terms of seed growth.  To an artist, you might explain the gospel in terms of light and perspective.  You get the idea!

I wouldn't get hung up on it, Allan.  These are all just figures of speech designed to catch the eye and imagination.  

What is more important is the attitude of heart.  Love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, whether we are soldiers, sailors, runners, fishermen, farmers or whatever.

1 Cor 16 (and similar found elsewhere)

Everything should be done in love.

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Thankyou Twinks !! I was thinking along those lines as well...love and bless ya heaps and 'hoping' Brexit turns out well for ya'all !!! My God majority of politicians are evil aren't they ?!

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If you can bring yourself to concede that, maybe, every word of it isn't really mathematically accurate or scientifically precise, it probably won't bother you nearly as much.

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BREXIT!!!!!!!:mad2::mad2::mad2:  Political infighting! :mad2::mad2::mad2: 

If it all gets too much, I shall slope off back to NZ!  (Actually, am going there tomorrow) :dance:

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how long for ? darnit, we going next month for 5 days...you may be shocked by the prices of accomodation there now !!

 

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5 weeks, and I don't care about accom costs.  Staying with friends, when we're not in a tent or in the bush, maybe in a hut someplace.  :eusa_clap:

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lcm was desperate to put his own mark on twi.  The height of his career, not counting twi, was his time in college, where he "rode the bench" on the football team.   There, he was a Christian, and crossed paths woth the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a group that has used the phrase "athletes of the spirit."   After college, he got involved with twi, and met vpw. vpw had shamelessly ripped off people like Glenn Clark (founder of "Camps Farthest Out") - who occasionally used the phrase "athletes of the spirit."

 

From here, I give you SPECULATION- but it's really well-informed speculation that fits the facts and the people involved. So,, my speculation....

lcm heard the phrase in college and didn't make a big deal about it.  He was gullible enough to be spellbound when he saw vpw in action. vpw, as was his fashion, spun sermons ("teachings")  out of other people's work and writings. At some point, vpw plagiarized Glenn Clark on "athletes of the spirit."  lcm- who thought of himself as an athlete above all else- latched on to that idea.  This is the man who appeared in 2 photos in "TW-LiL", with one of them in a Bible meeting and the other leading people jogging.   Later, when he was trying to make his mark on twi, he needed something his and not vpw's.  All he had was athletics- so he used that. He built up all the twi "AOtS" stuff from that- anything that wasn't later plagiarized from the John Travolta film "Staying Alive."   He convinced walter, at some point, to spin a thin veneer of re-imaginings of verses to support his obsession. 

 

The Bible uses a metaphor of running in a race a few times, each in passing. It uses a metaphor of us as gardeners, and as buildings.  It also mentions boxing in passing once, and fighting in a few places.  In Ephesians, it's rather straightforward that it's all a military metaphor, and lcm really had to rewrite the verses to say otherwise.

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Thanks heaps WW ! Ephesians 6 mentions 'wrestling' so I'm sort of going along with Twinkies explanation, with 'athletic' terminology being the predominant imagery and pretty much all of it being the good ol figures o' speech anyhoo :)....hey Twinks I'll pm you, we may be able to catch up in enzed !

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Ephesians 6:10-17    (KJV)

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

 

Ephesians 6:10-17 (NASB)

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

===================================================

This is pretty straightforward. The words translate as you'd expect them to- sword from "sword", and so on.   In Eph 6:11 it even begins with the "whole armor"- Greek word "panoplian", the soldier's full battle-gear and kit. Eph 6:11 and 6:13 say we're to be fully-equipped soldiers, prepared for battle.  In these verses, we see a soldier with armor protecting his upper thighs (a big target for Roman-era weapons in that same era), a breastplate, greaves (armored boots, in essence), a shield, a helmet and a sword.  All of that clear, none of that ambiguous, and all of that straightforward.

 

What did lcm do?  He talked walter into some nonsense (and walter went along with it like a good corporate stooge)  where he rewrote some of the meanings.  They said that the "shield" wasn't a shield, but a thrown target like some people trained with- which lcm later claimed was a discus.  They said that the "sword" wasn't a sword, but a spear- which lcm later claimed was a javelin, athletic equipment and not a weapon.   Later lcm swapped out the "helmet" for a garland wreath with no Scriptural justification. 

 

When vpw wanted to claim something, he claimed it and ran extensively- then had walter or others construct the rationale to support it no matter what it was. lcm did the same thing. He wanted to say we were athletes, so he said it- and assigned others to construct the rationalizations, no matter how flimsy.   (Back then, once I looked up "panoplian", I pretty much knew this couldn't hold water.)

 

Do you want to claim we're any of these things?  I suppose you can, with "soldier" having more reason than most, and certainly more than "ambassador" since that only came up once. Me, I'd try not to stress ANY of them too much. Each MADE A POINT and was probably not meant to be taken further than that.

 

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10 hours ago, Allan said:

Hi all, need some help here..pretty please :wave:...forgive me if this has been addressed here but any thoughts on are we actually meant to be 'soldiers for Jesus' ? I vaguely remember fartindale sharing about Ephesians 6 expanded translation referencing athletic equipment but cannot reconcile it with 2 Timothy 2: 3,4 talking about us as 'soldiers for Christ' ?? Somewhere in the back of my bourbon and coke soaked mind I remember fartindale saying the word for 'soldier' used there was 'palak' (aramaic for endurer or laborer) BUT new testament was supposedly written in koine greek, not aramaic !! Wordwolf ? Mark S ? Twinky ? Anyone ?? 

Hi Allan: In using my biblical study software. the Greek word translated as "whole armour" from Wordwolf's quoted Ephesians 6, only has three usages in the entire New Testament. The three usages are Ephesians 6:11 , 6:13 and Luke 11:22.  This is Strong's #3833. Here is a definition from Thayer's Greek Lexicon. The  usage of this Greek word looks figurative and symbolic and not literal. As an example, I don't think Paul actually wore military clothing. But then perhaps he should have while at least trying to be peaceful with the hateful people. Regarding the usage of the word "soldiers" from the New Testament , the Greek word for this is used 26 times in the New Testament. Half of these usages are in the book of Acts. In looking at the usages of this word, it is mostly used as a literal soldier, especially in the book of Acts. However, it can also be used figuratively or symbolically.

Quote

NT:3833 panoplia, panoplias, hee 

(from 
panoplos
 wholly armed, in full armor; and this from 
pas
 and 
hoplon
),

full armor, complete armor 

(i. e., a shield, a sword, a lance, a helmet, greaves, and a breastplate, (compare Polybius 6, 28, 2 ff)) Luke 11:22;

Theou
, which God supplies (W., 189 (178)), Eph 6:11,13, where the spiritual helps needed for overcoming the temptations of the devil are so called.

(Herodotus, Plato, Isocrates, Polybius, Josephus, Sept.; tropically, used of the various weapons at God's command for punishing, Wisdom 5:18.)   

 (from Thayer's Greek Lexicon, Electronic Database. Copyright © 2000, 2003, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)
 

 

Edited by Mark Sanguinetti

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Thankyou Mark ! great help...I've come to the conclusion it's figurative, symbolic and used as exhortation to endure as an athlete, farmer, parent, soldier would and to stick to a commitment..God bless !! 

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Thankyou all for your help indeed. The athletic terminology is pretty straight forward, as is the soldiers gear etc...I guess the question IS THEREFORE, how is salvation a helmet ? How is the gospel of peace our footwear ? How is our righteousness a breastplate ? I figure the Word of God as a sword symbolises us speaking and wielding it (offensive and defensive ) and our faith as a shield used to believe to put out the fiery darts....the not  'shadow boxing' (beating the air) to tell us to make each 'punch' count ...and the keeping in the lanes as an exhortation to...stay the course ?

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Do not assume and "either/or."

Problem solved

 

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If you want to get into some thoughts about how they MIGHT apply, I recommend this book:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1426320.The_Shining_Sword

https://www.christianbook.com/the-shining-sword-charles-coleman/9781933573052/pd/573058

"The Shining Sword," by Charles G. Coleman.

It's a work of fiction, and an allegory. It's written for children, but it's readable for adults who don't mind reading books written for children. (Some adults are fine with that, but other adults have issues with that.)

In one chapter, we see someone getting outfitted with the full armor of Ephesians 6, in verse order, with each piece explained to him as he receives it.   My favorite part is that the shining sword comes last, along with its explanation...but then he's advised there's ONE MORE.  He's handed a silver trumpet, on which is written the word "PRAYER". (Ephesians 6:18.)  An explanation follows that one as well.  We do see some of the gear in use in the book, notably the sword, shield and trumpet.

It's not authoritative, but it's a nice presentation of some ideas on how that could apply.  Also, with the exception of a single sentence in the entire book, you won't have a problem between the allegory and your personal theology.

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Thankyou WW ! Does it have pictures ?? :rolleyes:...One sentence huh ? I'm gonna have to look into it now to see if I'm guessing right lol

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