Fighting in wars

michael_legna's picture

drp,

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. :)

drp's picture

A new thread ... for a new topic ...

What a concept! :-)

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?
First part: I'm not sure I can ever meet your standards of "consistent, unified method". But here goes:
The Hebrew scriptures are full of 'wars and rumors of wars'. Some are attacks on God's people in which they defended themselves with their army. Recall that Jehovah was establishing them in the Promised Land, and he gave them permission to defend themselves, and to go on the offensive against the "inhabitants of the land." The secular record of the Canaanites is that they were very bad people. (See below) In every case of action against people, Jehovah (1) gives advance warning of his judgment against stubborn ones (remember the Flood); (2) shows a way out (Joshua 2:8-13); and (3) fights only for religious principle, which only he is qualified to determine. I can't think of any of man's wars that meet these strict guidelines. (The social historian Studs Terkel called WWII "the last good war". That's his opinion, not mine.)
There are also counterexamples of Jehovah's followers who did and did not follow his lead: David listened to Abigail's voice and avoided bloodshed; Joab came to a bad end because he had only military solutions to problems, even those of his own making.

Second part: As to the followers of God and Christ who did [go to war/fight/kill], can you tell me which biblical Christians you mean? I'm not aware of any. (Jesus in the Temple a notable exception; I'll touch on it later, if you insist.)

Add Canaanites, from our Insight on the Scriptures:
Added to their other degrading practices was that of child sacrifice. According to Merrill F. Unger: "Excavations in Palestine have uncovered piles of ashes and remains of infant skeletons in cemeteries around heathen altars, pointing to the widespread practice of this cruel abomination." (Archaeology and the Old Testament, 1964, p. 279) Halley's Bible Handbook (1964, p. 161) says: "Canaanites worshipped, by immoral indulgence, as a religious rite, in the presence of their gods; and then, by murdering their first-born children, as a sacrifice to these same gods. It seems that, in large measure, the land of Canaan had become a sort of Sodom and Gomorrah on a national scale. . . . Did a civilization of such abominable filth and brutality have any right longer to exist? . . . Archaeologists who dig in the ruins of Canaanite cities wonder that God did not destroy them sooner than he did."
Wow. Sex, violence, and demonism. Just right for TV. :-(

Unless etc. all scriptures are NWT
Doug

Unless etc. all scriptures are NWT
Doug




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