But to the point. Swords. Not everywhere in the Bible are they portrayed negatively. Take this passage, a favorite in American Christian culture: “Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than a two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge intentions and thoughts of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 Here I want to mention Narnia again. When Father Christmas gives Peter his sword, he warns him, “This is a tool, not a toy.” Toys are for fun, tools are for getting a job done. When seen as a sword, the job of the word of God is to defeat evil. Under no circumstances is its job to prove the biblical knowledge of the person wielding it, or to cut people down. The word of God is sharp, sharp enough even to separate the sin from the sinner. Cutting down the sinner instead of the sin would be like killing on the battlefield all those whom the White Witch had led astray, instead of killing the Witch herself and giving the others the opportunity to come over to Aslan’s side.
But how does one effectively wield such a sword, especially today? Absolutely not in blind anger, hacking away at everything and everyone we feel might threaten our precious truths. Tools cannot be used effectively under the influence of rage; rather, we must be calm and guided by reason, and motivated only by love of God and our fellow man. The sword of truth is a brilliant light in the darkness of evil, when in the hands of a Christian with the courage to use it and the love to use it correctly.