Yes indeed, there is a jihad (exertion or striving) in Christianity. Jihad in Christianity is tied to the faith 100%. There is no mention in the New Testament of this “striving” (jihad) being tied to anything except the spiritual life, for the term jihad in Christianity means striving against sin.
Jesus taught about jihad.
- He told his disciples “Strive to enter in at the narrow gate…”
- In Luke 13:24. He wanted them to put their sight towards the faith in him and in his life as an example.
- The Christian gate is narrow because it requires faith in Jesus and what he did to save us.
Jesus’ actions speak as well.
- When the Roman soldiers arrested Jesus and led him to the Roman governor, he asked Jesus, “Am I a Jew? It was your people and your chief priests who handed you over to me. What is it you have done?” Jesus said “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place” John 18:35-36.
- Never did Jesus ask his followers to fight for him or for their beliefs; instead he commanded them to love their enemies. Jihad in Jesus teaching is a spiritual jihad only.
Jesus’ disciples taught about jihad as well.
- Paul in 1 Timothy 6:12 said, “Fight the good fight of the faith”; and in 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” Paul never raised a sword against anyone!
- 2 Peter 3:14—“ So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.”
- 2 Peter 1:5-7—“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.”