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Should Christians Fight In Wars ?

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#1
Should Christians Fight War ? Part 1


Our country is once again engaged in war. As always there are those who oppose war and those who support war. Where are we to be as Christians? Is there one and only one position that we must adopt? It has been said that ‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing’. Do we consider ourselves the “good men”? Do we have a civic, moral or even a Christian duty in such matters? Are Christians obligated to protect innocents from evil? What are our limits and guidelines regarding war and fighting? Let us examine these questions.

Christians often disagree about war. Some Christians believe that war is permissible provided it follows the rules of a just war. Other Christians adopt a pacifistic position, believing that violence is never right and that war is always wrong. How do we justify this? How can two Christians read the same Bible and come up with two diametrically opposed positions? Let’s begin by looking at some of the presuppositions for these arguments.

First, let us examine the position of pacifism and non-violence. This conclusion can only be arrived at by selecting the verses that deal with peace and ignoring the rest of the Bible. There is also a problem with the total definition of Jesus Christ. A reading of Revelation 19:11-21 will explain this. While peace on earth is a message and a future reality, is not a total Biblical picture of the subject of war, peace or Christian responsibility for today. A nation following the way of total pacifism would be a short-lived nation today. Drug lords, terrorists or another criminal elements would overrun it. A pacifist would idly sit by and allow tyrants to terrorize people. An example of this would be Adolf Hitler or the present day regime of terror that has been brought down in Iraq.

In our present world, strict nonviolence is irresponsible and ineffective. Christianity is more than a simple set of laws, but rather a personal relationship with a God that requires us to be discerning about what actions should be taken in each situation. One must recognize that society is always at war physically and spiritually. The use of violence and physical force is absolutely necessary in the form of police and other officials just to maintain order. The acts of just war are as acceptable provided that the motives behind them, over which a Christian always has control, are Godly. Romans chapters 13 & 14 deal with government, its’ purpose and its’ relationship to lawbreakers.

In the 13th century Thomas Aquinas drew up the Just War (justified war) principle. He thought that although war and killing were horrible things there were times when it was reasonable to fight. These were his conditions:

1.

1.It must be started by the proper rulers of the country.
(i.e.: to preserve freedom)
Unless we have been to a country that does not have freedom, it is difficult for us to understand how it is to live in oppression. Your freedom was purchased at great courage and price by someone else.
2.

2.The reasons for going to war must be good (just) and have the right intention. The war must have the intention of establishing a good or correcting an evil.
(i.e.: to stop the spread of evil)
Civil armies and authorities are not a threat to those who do not break the law. Paul said in Romans:
Romans 14:3-4 “For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.”
There is a reason that we have police and military officials. There IS evil in this world. We must defend ourselves against it.
Jeremiah 17:9 say “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”
Man was born in sin. We are wicked and evil without Christ’s salvation.
3.

3.It must be as a last resort.
(i.e.: all alternatives have been tried)
War must never be our first response, but must never be excluded as an alternative. We must try to reason with wisdom. But some evil people cannot be reasoned with. They are operating on a different set of morals and values and have to be dealt with differently.
Proverbs 12:15. “The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.”
Proverbs 14:16 “A wise man fears the LORD and shuns evil, but a fool is hotheaded and reckless.”
4.

4.No more force than necessary should be used and civilians must be protected. The just purpose must be maintained during the hostilities
(i.e.: must defend and protect the innocent people)
Force is necessary, but it must be tempered with wisdom. We must protect innocent women and children. We must protect the resources of the land when possible. We must give charity when possible.
1 John 3:17 “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?”
5.

5.It must be waged by acceptable means.
This means that we should only use the force necessary to accomplish the goals. It would be wrong to obliterate the whole country for the evils of a few.
6.

6.Victory must be assured.
Fighting a war in such a manner that is does not achieve it’s desired goals creates more problems for the innocents than it resolves. It sends a signal to others of a lawless mindset, that continuing in their ways will continue to be both possible and profitable for them.
7.

7.War must be aimed at a just peace.
All war must have peace as a goal.
http://www.christianarsenal.com/Christian_Arsenal/AP_War.html
 
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#2
What is the real cause of war? Part 2

Proverbs 13:10 says, “Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.â€

Prideful and selfish men want things that don’t belong to them. They will do evil and illegal things to get what they want. They don’t listen to reason and the wisdom of other people. When we are faced with this type of evil, we must first reason and then fight if necessary. We are commanded as Christians to get rid of evil.

James 4:21 says “Get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.â€

Evil is caused by pride, selfishness and rebellion against God.

Isaiah 5:20 “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.â€

Is it ever right to fight?

Ecclesiastes 3:8 says, “a time for war and a time for peace.â€

God recognized that all evil would not be resolved by reasoning and wisdom. Sometimes force would be necessary for righteousness to prevail. Some people try to say that Jesus was a pacifist. While he never fought in a war, he understood war and the necessity for it. In Matthew 24:6, Jesus says, “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.†Such things must happen. War must happen. There has been war on this earth since the beginning of time.

Consider this, according to Dr. Terry Fields:
· In the last 3421 years of recorded history there have been only 268 years without war.
· In the 5560 years of recorded time, there have been 14, 531 wars (about 2.6 per year).
· In the last 185 generations there has been only 10 generations who knew peace.

Nine times in the New Testament we are told to resist. The Greek word anthistemi is used and means to set oneself against, oppose, withstand, stand your ground, take a firm stand. It is not saying to passively sit by and let things work themselves out, but to stand against the opposition, sometimes forcefully. This word is also used in Ephesians 6 where Paul was writing about the Full Armor of God. The armor is to be used to “stand your groundâ€. Look at those listed in the Heroes of Faith in Hebrews chapter 11. Many were men of war. Look at the lives of Gideon, Samson and David. These were men of war in the list of men of peace. God recognized that there would be times war was necessary and that in doing the business of war that it was still possible to be someone who He loved and cared for and that would still have a relationship with Him. Look at the life of Samson. You certainly could not call him a pacifist dedicated to non-violence. This man with all of his faults did God’s will.

The sixth commandment Thou shall not kill or Thou shall not murder?

For many, this verse says that all killing is wrong. It would be nice if all killing were unnecessary. One day it will be, but not due to liberal views or pacifists. What do we do with Exodus 20:13? We obey it. The Hebrew word here is ratsach. The meaning of the word has to do with murder, slayings or assassination. The command here has to do with death associated with murder. This does not say killing is wrong. C S Lewis once said that all killing is no more murder than all sexual intercourse is adultery. There are several instances in the Old Testament where death is a prescribed punishment for various crimes. Murder, rape, witchcraft, bestiality, and idolatry are a few mentioned in Exodus 22. There are several instances of where the nation of Israel was commanded to go to war and to kill those who they were at war with. If you look at Numbers 32:6-15 and Deuteronomy 3:12-17, you will see God’s opinion on pacifism when a just war is being waged. If you look at Numbers 30:7, you will see that a war was commanded and the killing of all the males of this group was commanded by God. We live in a fallen world and God recognized that there were times when this extreme measure would be necessary. He provided guidelines for its implementation. We are not to administer death on our own, hence the sixth commandment; we are to administer death only under restricted conditions.


AP War
 
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Part 3

The God of the Old Testament and the new improved pacifistic Jesus?

It has been said by countless Biblical and Theological illiterates, that all that killing and violence was under the God of the Old Testament and now we deal with a “new improved kinder gentler God†in the New Testament. Was there a regime change in Heaven? Were there elections and a change in office? Did the Old Testament God retire and turn the reigns of creation over to the New Testament God? Was it merely shift change and the OT God is going home and the NT God is taking His shift? Exactly where did the Old Testament God go and the New Testament God come from? Those who make such statements truly show ignorance on a monumental scale.

The fact is that we are dealing with the same God. The changes that we see are the unfolding if His plan for the redemption of mankind.

Liberal Christianity has labeled Jesus Christ a pacifist. They take selected verses and build their case for this. Once again, if you are going to use the Bible as a source for your arguments use the entire Bible. If you do not, what you end up with is YOUR opinion and not solid biblical concepts. Jesus did advocate peace. Jesus also recognized that in this fallen world that this would never be possible. Fallen man is why Jesus came into this world. Jesus was not a pacifist, he was a peacemaker. There is a profound difference.

If Jesus was a true pacifist, the cleansing of the temple in John 2:15 would not have happened. The following passage is totally inexplicable for a pacifist.

Matthew 10: 34-35 “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.â€

The same can be said for the following:

Luke 22: 36 “Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.â€

Revelation 19:11-21 “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.â€

Will the world ever have permanent peace?

If you look across the main entrance to the UN, you will find this verse, “They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks†This is taken from Isaiah 2:4. It is a wonderful thought and a time all look forward to. However, it is not the UN or anything any country does that will bring us that peace. We are told that we are progressing and that we are going to be able to work out all of our differences and “just get alongâ€. The last century was the bloodiest and war filled century humankind has ever seen. We are deluded and arrogant beyond description if we think we can achieve peace without the Prince of Peace.

President Woodrow Wilson was involved with an organization that was similar the United Nations. It was called the League of Nations. His concept of peace that was to be brokered was to be a peace among equals. He maintained that a defeated foe could never be brought to peace. He insisted that only two equal parties could negotiate a peace. This may sound good and look good on paper, but the reality was that it failed miserably and the League of Nations was dissolved. In the same manner, the peace that will brought to this world will not be brought by diplomats acting as equals negotiating what is seen as peace.

Peace will come to our world only when Jesus returns. Jesus is coming back as a warrior with his army to put that peace in place.

Revelation 19:11 “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.â€

There will be no need for armies or weapons. Jesus will be the righteous and just ruler.

Isaiah 2:4 “He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.â€

If you read the last few chapters of Revelation you will see that there is no negotiation with the enemy, no concessions or conditions to surrender, and no possibility for the problem to happen again.

A thought to ponder.

It is disturbingly curious that the liberals can protest the war, complain about the killing Iraqi soldiers, voice opinions against our own troops and government, speak in support of terrorists and in the same breath complain about legislation that banned partial birth abortion. I guess this would make the bumper sticker of choice for them, “Save a tree, hug a terroist, kill a babyâ€
 
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#4
Thanks for your thoughts, Lewis W.

Ecclesiastes 3:8 says, “a time for war and a time for peace.â€
Yes, there is a time for both.




Lewis said:

In the 13th century Thomas Aquinas drew up the Just War (justified war) principle. He thought that although war and killing were horrible things there were times when it was reasonable to fight. These were his conditions:

*snipped for brevity*

7.War must be aimed at a just peace.
All war must have peace as a goal.
I am reminded of WWII when the USA dropped the bomb on Hiroshima.

It was horrendous.
But that one horrendous act said, "STOP, ENOUGH", and peace followed.



Lewis W said:
Peace will come to our world only when Jesus returns. Jesus is coming back as a warrior with his army to put that peace in place.
It will be wonderful to have no more necessity for war.
 
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That 3 part article is very informative, and I am surprised that only 1 person has said anything, when ware effects us all, and we are still in a war. Who here thinks that President Bush was justified declaring the war that we are still in. And George W Bush is a Bible believing Christian.
 
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lovely, i have done the dance.i was in afghanistan.

i dont agree with the iraq war, but if we started it then lets ensure we win it.

afghanistan sooner or later we must pull out, as that is in violation of the just war clause war if we are just there to rebuild and make a satellite.
 

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This nay not be reality, but I don't think there are many Christians who would disagree with your stance. It seems most of the pacifists I know are more the "tree hugger" humanist types. I know some members here who will disagree, but they seem to be the few with loud voices.

This might be why few have responded. Jesus said Himself there's no greater love than for one to lay down his life for another. While this would be the picture of Him giving His life for us, I can see it applying to our willingness to protect the defenseless in times of war.

I've always supported Bush's decision to fight back on terrorism. We're seeing (even in the news today) how Obama's lack of support is beginning to open the door for domestic terrorism again. This was kept at bay under W.
 
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This nay not be reality, but I don't think there are many Christians who would disagree with your stance. It seems most of the pacifists I know are more the "tree hugger" humanist types. I know some members here who will disagree, but they seem to be the few with loud voices.

This might be why few have responded. Jesus said Himself there's no greater love than for one to lay down his life for another. While this would be the picture of Him giving His life for us, I can see it applying to our willingness to protect the defenseless in times of war.

I've always supported Bush's decision to fight back on terrorism. We're seeing (even in the news today) how Obama's lack of support is beginning to open the door for domestic terrorism again. This was kept at bay under W.
true mike,as that is because obama is too nice to muslims and show weakness. by nice i mean pc.
 
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Yes I supported George, and I still wish he was president. And I still support the capture of Osama Bin Laden and his death if need be.
 
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Yes I supported George, and I still wish he was president. And I still support the capture of Osama Bin Laden and his death if need be.
I supported him also.

But I was neither shocked or awe stuck by his "shock and awe" plan.
I think he dilly-dallied around a little too much, and should have gone in with guns a blazing until they cried "STOP, we've had enough! We won't bother you anymore".
 
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#11
While I am not a big fan of war, I do understand that there is a purpose to everything that occurs. As was pointed out in scripture above there is a time for peace and a time for war. In short...there is a time, reason, and season for all under heaven.

My support is always with our troops, but I do very much await the day when there will be no more war, tears, pain, or suffering of any kind.
 
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Yes I supported George, and I still wish he was president. And I still support the capture of Osama Bin Laden and his death if need be.
death of osama, i wonder if we will ever know where he is and capture him.
 
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death of osama, i wonder if we will ever know where he is and capture him.
If America is anything like South Africa, you will capture him, send him to jail for a couple of years, release him, and make him president of the US. And then, of course, the UN will name an international public holiday after him.

War is horrible, no matter from which side you are looking at it. The soldiers, their families...
I'm a mother. I will have a complete breakdown if my child would have to go to war.

But land is important to God and He Himself lead many wars to obtain land for His children.
 
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If America is anything like South Africa, you will capture him, send him to jail for a couple of years, release him, and make him president of the US. And then, of course, the UN will name an international public holiday after him.

War is horrible, no matter from which side you are looking at it. The soldiers, their families...
I'm a mother. I will have a complete breakdown if my child would have to go to war.

But land is important to God and He Himself lead many wars to obtain land for His children.
is that in reference to the man that lead the revolution and was a criminal. nelson mendella?
 
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Some Christians Jason, would not fight even if America was invaded.
 
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true, some wouldnt. and how they could let the persons rape, and such like their family is beyond me.

i wonder..nah i doubt the invaders would be so kind to us anyway.

that is getting to hypotheticals anyway.
 
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First, let us examine the position of pacifism and non-violence. This conclusion can only be arrived at by selecting the verses that deal with peace and ignoring the rest of the Bible.

I very much doubt this - we'll see if the "rest of the Bible" really does support participation in war, this side of the cross. I trust that we all understand that just because God advocated war in the past, which He clearly did, this does not make it a "timeless truth" that war is an acceptable activity for the Christian.

There is also a problem with the total definition of Jesus Christ. A reading of Revelation 19:11-21 will explain this.
Here is part of this text:

<SUP>11</SUP>And I saw <SUP class=xref value='(AK)'>(AK)</SUP>heaven opened, and behold, a <SUP class=xref value='(AL)'>(AL)</SUP>white horse, and He who sat on it is called <SUP class=xref value='(AM)'>(AM)</SUP>Faithful and True, and in <SUP class=xref value='(AN)'>(AN)</SUP>righteousness He judges and wages war. <SUP id=en-NASB-31031 class=versenum>12</SUP>His <SUP class=xref value='(AO)'>(AO)</SUP>eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many <SUP class=xref value='(AP)'>(AP)</SUP>diadems; and He has a <SUP class=xref value='(AQ)'>(AQ)</SUP>name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. <SUP id=en-NASB-31032 class=versenum>13</SUP>He is clothed with a <SUP class=xref value='(AR)'>(AR)</SUP>robe dipped in blood, and His name is called <SUP class=xref value='(AS)'>(AS)</SUP>The Word of God. <SUP id=en-NASB-31033 class=versenum>14</SUP>And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in <SUP class=xref value='(AT)'>(AT)</SUP>fine linen, <SUP class=xref value='(AU)'>(AU)</SUP>white and clean, were following Him on white horses.....

I suggest that it is rather clear that this is a metaphorical picture - white horses, eyes of flame, etc. Sure, there is an image of armed conflict here, but it is easily possible that the author is appealing to a war image without intending to endorse actual warfare as an acceptable practice for the Christian.

A nation following the way of total pacifism would be a short-lived nation today. Drug lords, terrorists or another criminal elements would overrun it. A pacifist would idly sit by and allow tyrants to terrorize people. An example of this would be Adolf Hitler or the present day regime of terror that has been brought down in Iraq.
I don't think the Iraq example is one you want to bring up. An entire generation of young Middle eastern people now see the US as an invading power. Sure, Saddam was bad, but that doesn't justify another nation invading a country. Besides, you really do not know what the result of pacifism would be. In South Africa, a situation that seemed destined for a bloody civil war was defused, largely through Bishop Desmond Tutu's appeal for a peaceful resolution.

You are appealing to common sense here - and that is a tricky thing to do for a Christian. What did Jesus say to Pilate?:

If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm."

I suggest that this a rather clear statement that non-violence is a feature of the kingdom that Jesus is initiating.
 
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#19
Ecclesiastes 3:8 says, “a time for war and a time for peace.â€
You have to be careful about taking every statement in the Bible as it represents the teaching of God. The author of Ecclesiastes also said this:

As he had come naked from his mother's womb, so will he return as he came He will <SUP class=xref value='(S)'>(S)</SUP>take nothing from the fruit of his labor that he can carry in his hand.
<SUP id=en-NASB-17414 class=versenum>16</SUP>This also is a grievous evil--exactly as a man is born, thus will he die. So <SUP class=xref value='(T)'>(T)</SUP>what is the advantage to him who <SUP class=xref value='(U)'>(U)</SUP>toils for the wind?

The writer laments in the futility of work - as if it come to nothing. This is clearly not what Paul believed:

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in <SUP class=xref value='(CM)'>(CM)</SUP>the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.

I suggest that the writer of Ecclesiastes is expressing his opinion on what he thinks is the futilty of work - but he does not have the big picture that God does.

Or what about this from Job:

But <SUP class=xref value='(J)'>(J)</SUP>man dies and lies prostrate
Man <SUP class=xref value='(K)'>(K)</SUP>expires, and where is he?
<SUP id=en-NASB-13193 class=versenum>11</SUP>"As <SUP class=xref value='(L)'>(L)</SUP>water evaporates from the sea,
And a river becomes parched and dried up,
<SUP id=en-NASB-13194 class=versenum>12</SUP>So <SUP class=xref value='(M)'>(M)</SUP>man lies down and does not rise.

Now as we see later in the chapter (chapter 14) of Job, it becomes clear that Job is basically unclear as to the ultimate fate of human beings. And in the text above, he gives voice to an opinion that, from this side of the cross, know is false - the dead do indeed rise.

So it is simply not good exegesis to invoke this one line from Ecclesiastes and suggest that it legimates warfare.
 
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#20
I think he dilly-dallied around a little too much, and should have gone in with guns a blazing until they cried "STOP, we've had enough! We won't bother you anymore".
Do you really think Jesus of Nazareth would be for "going in guns blazing until they cried 'stop'"? I very much doubt it. Does this sound the words of a man who is in favour of blasting the enemy they say "enough"?

Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews

Now I suggest some of you will say that Jesus wanted to go to the cross and that perhaps His followers were co-operating by not resisting.

Well, what does Jesus actually say by way of explanation. His explanation for their non-violence lies in the very nature of the kingdom that He is about to initiate. Jesus is already King - the scriptures are clear on this. Since this is so, His followers need to follow the "rules of the kingdom". And that means not using violence.
 
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