Christian Militia

The phrase Christian militia (“Soldiers of Christ”) can be traced back many centuries. Until around the fourth century CE, however, given the Church's original condemnation of warfare, it had no connection to the bearing of arms. Instead, it referred to monks struggling alone against bodily temptation. Not until the 11th century did the Church explicitly declare that Christian soldiers dying in war would go directly to heaven. De Laude Novae Militae (A Celebration of the New Militia), a recruitment pamphlet written for the Knights Templar (ca. 1120), promises that those serving as God's ministers can slay heathens and apostates with impunity, for in doing so, they commit not homicide, but malecide: the killing of evil. “To die for Christ and to kill his enemies, there ...

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