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. :)

ibjmn2's picture


If one looks to the first 200-300 years of the church, we find our brothers refusing to bear arms and it cost them their life. I think the church bows at the altar of the state way too much. Also, if we look at what our Lord taught about loving our enemies, and how the state teaches us to hate them, So what is our response to the state? Also turning over tables is a far cry from putting 2 in my enemies head.
Also, Jon Dymond wrote:

"Be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another; love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous, not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing.

Be at peace among yourselves. See that none render evil for evil to any man. - God hath called us to peace.

Follow after love, patience, meekness. - Be gentle, showing all meekness unto all men. - Live in peace.

Lay aside all malice. - Put off anger, wrath, malice. - Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.

Avenge not yourselves. - If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink. - Recompense to no man evil for evil. - Overcome evil with good.

Now we ask of any man who looks over these passages, what evidence do they convey respecting the lawfulness of war? Could any approval or allowance of it have been subjoined to these instructions, without obvious and most gross inconsistency? But if war is obviously and most grossly inconsistent with the general character of Christianity - if war could not have been permitted by its teachers, without any egregious violation of their own precepts, we think that the evidence of its unlawfulness, arising from this general character alone, is as clear, as absolute, and as exclusive as could have been contained in any form of prohibition whatever."

John Novak