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

Please explain

How could German Christian ministers and priests bless the German army and send it off to war while the enemy Christian ministers and priests were blessing their armies and sending them off to war also? How could a Christian soldier maim and kill other Christian soldiers? How can one part of the Body of Christ do evil to another part?

A Dutch book written in 1660 by T.J. van Braght, The Bloody Theater or Martyrs Mirror of the Defenseless Christians, describes all the known martyrdoms from the first century to 1660. It also attempts to describe the faith of the Christians that allowed them to submit humbly to death, even the most horrible of deaths. It is a long record of those who died that they might live, who chose the lowest path so that God would raise them up to the highest. They testified to their faith in God with their blood. They accepted the evil of violence from others without returning the evil. Can we say that they were wrong and that they should have resisted with force? Or do we honor them for their faith?

When Jesus was questioned by Pilate, he said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, then my disciples would be fighting that I might not be delivered up to the Jews; but as it is, my kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36). Jesus is truly king and members of his kingdom do not fight as members of the devil's kingdom do, killing and maiming their fellow man, but they fight a spiritual battle against spiritual forces that are far more powerful than human enemies.
The evidence indicates that Jesus and his apostles opposed the use of violence as a means of settling disputes. The early Christians followed this path of 'defenseless Christianity' and many suffered martyrdom at the hands of violent men. It is something for us to consider.

John Novak