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What does it mean to be a Christian Knight? – Introduction

January 6, 2012

I have had this blog active for a couple years now and I realize that I have never tried to explain the origin of the name. The name “Knight” for me started in cyberspace as a handle on various message boards and over time it expanded into a perspective on how I see my Christian walk.

I have always been fascinated by the idea of knighthood. In medieval times knights were the heroes that people looked up to. They represented the highest form of service, morals, and faith. Of course, I am speaking of the ideal and not necessarily the reality. Men like King Arthur, Sir Galahad, and Sir Percival likely never existed in real life. However, the legacy remains as a standard for valor and virtue that mirrors the Christian life in many ways.

There are three principle areas where the standard of knighthood and the Christian run in parallel. They share similarities of Service, Conduct, and Warfare. The following is a brief introduction to each of these which will be expanded upon in upcoming articles.

Service: Knights of old were first and foremost servants. Their lives, possessions, and honor were pledged in service to their lord and king. The parallels between the knight’s devotion to his lord and the Christian’s duty to Christ should be obvious. As a Christian, my life is not my own, I have been bought with a price (1 Co. 6:20.) He is the King whom we serve. This is not a partnership; it is a dictatorship with Christ as our Lord and Master.

Conduct: One cannot think of the knights of old without thinking of the code of chivalry. This code governed the life of the knight and their conduct with others. As a Christian I also have demands on my conscience that my King has required. We are free from the curse of the Law but we are under obligation to Christ for the salvation we have in Him. Our conduct does not earn our salvation but it does reflect the gratitude we have in the salvation He has provided and demonstrates that we are His. (James 2:26.)

Warfare: A knight’s primary duty was in the arena of war. He was no mere foot soldier but a specialized warrior and commander. He defended his king and lord with the sword and lance. As a Christian I am not involved in physical warfare for His Kingdom but I am a soldier in my King’s army for the ongoing spiritual war. I am called to arm myself (Ephesians 6:12-20,) defend the truth (1 Peter 3:15,) and protect those in need (Galatians 2:10.)

I believe that the ideal knight is a good analogy of the Christian life. Many in the church today are very comfortable with treating Christ as Savior, Lord, Mediator, and Friend but we need to also remember that we are under the monarchy of the King of kings and in His service. Just like the real knights of old we may fail to live up to this standard from time to time. Unlike them we have a merciful King who has paid our debts and stands ready to forgive. Our honor for serving this King should far outshine the knights of old. Our King is far greater than any earthly potentate.

In my Christian walk it has often helped me to think of my relationship to Christ as that of a knight’s service to a benevolent King. Do not misunderstand. I hold very dear the fact that Christ is my Mediator, Savior, and Friend. The relationship we have with Christ is far more intimate than the lord to the vassal and the love we are to have toward Him is far more personal than even the greatest earthly relationship. Regardless, in our western culture we have grown very used to thinking democratically. Our leaders are typically elected by the majority and their human faults are laid bare for all to see. We have lost the sense of respect for our leaders that was held by the knights of old for their kings. All too often this is translated to our relationship with God.

I make it my goal to serve Christ with the same honor and integrity equal to the ideal knight (2 Corinthians 5:9.) To be a Christian Knight is to accept Him as Lord and devote your Service, Conduct, and Warfare to His cause. Do I fail in this from time to time? Absolutely, but praise God that my King is also my Savior and Friend. I call upon my Christian brothers and sisters to join me in pursuing the goals of being a Christian Knight. This is no new thing but maybe thinking of your Christian walk in this manner will help you stay on task and remember whom you serve when temptations come.

I will expand on the Knight’s duties in future articles.

 

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