Fighting in wars

michael_legna's picture


I am starting this new thread in response to something you said in the Interpreting Scripture with Scripture thread.

I agree with all you say about the fact that to truly believe in Jesus we must obey His teachings, but I think we differ on some aspects of what those teachings are. That is why I cannot agree with the following:

drp said -
Back to your question about my point. In both World Wars and in other arenas (of which N. Ireland is only one), “believing Christians” assaulted each other with all sorts of weapons. They “believed”, but can we say they “followed”? They were firmly within an orthodoxy (Protestant or Catholic), but were they Christians in their behavior? (Mt 23:3)

I see no indication of any change on the part of the leaders of the various “Christian” nations. Do you? They still “believe”, but are they any better at “following”?

If not, where do we turn? Is it possible to find good, practical leadership in the bible? And just what must we do to “follow” Jesus?

Of course Jesus taught us to love one another, but love does not always involve peace.

That is why Paul tells us:

Rom 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

Sometimes in order to protect the weak or to stand up for truth and virtue one must resist evil.

Jesus Himself resisted evil when he drove the sellers out of the Temple (Lt 21, Lk 11).

I myself have made a personal decision never to take another life (because it removes that person's last chance to accept Christ as their savior) but I can certainly see defending myself and family and loved ones short of the point of force intending to cause death, and I can certainly see how others may not be led to that same decision through their understanding of Christ's teachings.

I guess I would ask you where the Scriptures teach in a consistent, unified method that we cannot go to war, fight and even kill to defend that which is right? What is the specific Scriptural basis for this, and how does it address all the scriptures which speak to the followers of God and Christ who did just that?

But of course this needs to be a separate thread so the moderator does not remove the posts as being off topic. :)

allranger's picture

"War and peace can be either

"War and peace can be either good or bad for the common good. The virtue of love compels the Christian to exercise prudence in judging when war is called for, and to exercise courage and self-control in making decisions to go to war and in fighting. War is not a vice. War is not necessarily opposed to Charity. Peace in not a virtue, and those who make an idol out of peace often find themselves supporting a political order that is not worth preserving. St. Thomas follows St. Augustine in conceiving peaces as the tranquility of order that all things desire. War is one means to this peace. This bears repeating. Because true peace can only concern the good, peace is not a virtue in itself. Peace can be both pleasing to God (a just peace) or displeasing to God (an unjust peace). Just citizens should keep the peace and fight just wars (when necessary) because these are meritorious acts of Charity."

The Virtue of War. Reclaiming the Classic Christian Traditions East and West by Alexander F.C. Webster and Darrell Cole, page 138.

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Just because you are intolerant it does not follow that I am arrogant.