Vol.V No.IX Pg.1
November 1968

Carnal Weapons

Robert F. Turner

In a fit of anger, being highly provoked, Joe lashed out with his fist. The blow had scarcely fallen when Joe regained control of himself, was shocked that he had so reacted, and apologized for his rashness. Considering the public nature of the deed, Joe publicly acknowledged his sin at the first opportunity, and asked both man and God for forgiveness. He now endeavors to live a quiet, godly life, "forgetting those things which are behind" (PHI.3:13).

But Joe had struck with his fist, and that is a "carnal weapon" — so Bill spreads the news. The Bible says, "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal" (2CO.10:4). and Bill can quote it word for word. He "uses" the incident time after time to discredit Joe. He "uses" it to cast reflections upon the church of which Joe is a member. He "uses" it in place of scriptural authority for his own faith and practice. "Just look what Joe did!"

And it never occurs to Bill that the incident has become his carnal weapon. He is blind to the fact that he wields, day after day, deliberately and maliciously, a weapon every bit as carnal as the one Joe used in an unguarded moment. If Joe was in error — and he certainly was — Bill is in error, and compounds the error day by day.

Carnal weapons are not limited to guns and clubs. In fact, the "war after the flesh" which provoked Paul's statement in 2CO.10: was one waged by his spiritual enemies; the false teachers who made light of Paul's bodily presence and questioned his authority (vs. 7-18)

It is sectarian and carnal to ridicule, quarantine, or by other like methods seek to overcome those who differ with us religiously. "Party" battles may be fought with prejudice-producing labels, but one does not "fight the good fight of faith" with such weapons. And this applies as much to conservative brethren as to the more liberal. Will we never learn?

One error can not justify another. I am not a big man physically or spiritually, because I call — or even prove — another to be small.