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Old 02-16-2008, 07:53 PM
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Default Christians going to war?

Can it be right for Christians to ever go to war? If so, under what circumstances? If not, why not? What does the Bible, which is superior to human reasoning, say on this matter?
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Old 02-16-2008, 08:03 PM
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Joel 3:9 Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up:
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Old 02-18-2008, 09:50 AM
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"Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also." Matthew 5:38

Notice that Jesus anticipates the one who would ask "What do you mean 'Resist not evil?' " by immediately offering the answer " whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also"

This doesn't leave any room for retaliation. Some might argue that this is for individuals and not nations. However, nations are made up of individuals.

Furthermore:

"Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven"
Matthew 5:43-45a

I want to suggest hat it is VERY DIFFICULT to "love your neighbor" when you have an M16 pointed at their head with an intent to kill them.
Was this Jesus' way...obviously not "To me belongeth vengeance and recompense..." Deuteronomy 32:35a

P.S. When Jesus states "Ye have heard it said..." who had they heard "it" from? From God Himself! So Jesus is basically saying that that was the way things were in the beginning but now things have changed (Old Covenant/New Covenant).
Paul expounds on this in 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13. He tells us to "...covet earnestly the best gifts..." and then says "...and yet I shew you a more excellent way."
And what is this "more excellent way".

Love.

And he takes 13 verses to illustrate the more excellent way to us.
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Old 02-18-2008, 10:01 AM
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Would not the Lord want us to "love our enemies" I too am in question considering the weapons of our warfare are not carnal.
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Old 02-18-2008, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scaramouche View Post
This doesn't leave any room for retaliation. Some might argue that this is for individuals and not nations. However, nations are made up of individuals.
Sure they are, but individuals and nations are different entities in Scripture.

It's clear that Matthew 5 is talking about personal revenge, because Christ did not come to deny the law (eye for an eye). Interpreting this passage as applying to nations would make Christ out to be denying the law. Therefor, we must understand that lawful retribution (justice) is a function of the government, not a personal one.
1 Peter 2:14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.
Clearly, Christ was not a pacifist nor does he demand his followers be pacifists, since he told them to be armed in Luke 22:36 for travel on perilous roads.

Anyway, this is not the same topic as the original post. The question was about war, not "turning the other cheek." God very clearly is a "man of war" (Exodus 15:3) and war is a function of nations (Joel 3:9). There is nothing anywhere in the Bible that tells Christians that they can not be part of their nation's military forces, but I would suggest that any Christian considering military service should be sure that God is calling him to be used as a man of war and to kill other men. God has clearly called many men to that purpose, but let that calling be sure.
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Old 02-18-2008, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajneal View Post
Would not the Lord want us to "love our enemies" I too am in question considering the weapons of our warfare are not carnal.
It has nothing to do with governments. Our personal warfare is spiritual, but to apply that to government is confusion. We are not called to govern nations, much less govern nations according to spiritual promises.
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Old 02-18-2008, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scaramouche View Post
P.S. When Jesus states "Ye have heard it said..." who had they heard "it" from? From God Himself!

No, that is wrong. Christ said "it is written" when he is speaking from Scripture. "Ye have heard that it was said" is a reference to Jewish interpretation of the law, not the law itself. Take for example a few verses down:
Matthew 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
"Hate thine enemy" was tradition, not from God. These are both examples of Christ correcting error; error that was from traditions of men. Just like men were in error teaching it was proper to "hate thine enemy," they were in error applying "eye for an eye" to personal vengeance.
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Old 02-18-2008, 11:37 AM
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With all due respect when Jesus said ,"if my kingdom was of this world then would my servants fight.............we need to understand we are called to be armed, this is of a truth, to put on the whole armor of God, Yes those ones who are of this world will fight for what they determine to be "freedom/peace" yet we as believes understand there is no peace saith the Lord unto the wicked, if we live by this sword we will die by it, if we live by the sword of the Spirit as Jesus said we will have life. "the Words I speak are spirit and they are life. Jn 6:63. This is where we find to die is gain...........if you seek to save your life you shall loose it but if you loose your life for my sake and the Gospel the same shall find it. I am in no way trying to be contentious nor looking to be disagreeable just stating my Faith.
Peacefully and humbly submitted.
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Old 02-18-2008, 12:44 PM
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Sorry, I'm using this format for quoting but I haven't figured out how to quote properly.
I'm responding to DILIGENT's response.

"Sure they are, but individuals and nations are different entities in Scripture."

***I agree with you completely.
The goal of government is to keep peace and sway evil (Romans 13:4). However, nowhere in the Bible is the Christian told to assist government in any way in this endeavor.
Why? Because our current worldly governments are just that, worldly. No government on Earth reflects the heart of God to seek and save that which is lost. So government's purpose is to supress evil (and they seem to be doing a lousy job at it...collectively speaking)


"It's clear that Matthew 5 is talking about personal revenge, because Christ did not come to deny the law (eye for an eye)."

***"You have heard it said...BUT I SAY..." Christ is showing us a more excellent way here and the language is evident.

" Therefor, we must understand that lawful retribution (justice) is a function of the government, not a personal one."

***Again we agree.
However, I go a step further than you by declaring that this implies that Christians should not concern themselves with the affairs of men on this subject (i.e. enlistment in the Armed Forces, fighting this world's wars, etc.) because Christ stated plainly that His Kingdom was NOT of this world.


"Clearly, Christ was not a pacifist nor does he demand his followers be pacifists, since he told them to be armed in Luke 22:36 for travel on perilous roads."

***SPOT ON!!! Jesus was not a pacifist, as you said. Pacifism requires activism and Jesus did not come to Earth to be an activist. However, he did preach non retribution and I don't think it would be fair to build an arguement for carrying swords (or whatever your weapon of choice) based on one verse. Especially since several verses later he corrects Peter for using the very sword He told them to carry. Another Gospel says He told him to put away his sword because the one who lives by it, dies by it.

I admit I don't know exactly what Luke 22:36 is saying in regards to Christians and weapons but I know that He spoke so much against violence, retribution, and vengeance that one verse cannot erase it all away.

"God very clearly is a "man of war" (Exodus 15:3)" and war is a function of nations (Joel 3:9)."

Yes, GOD is a man of war not us.
We, Christians are called to love our enemies and bless them that persecute us.
War, indeed, is function of nations but again, nowhere are we Christians either commanded or encouraged to engage in war except the clear statement of scripture to engage in spiritual warfare.

We wrestle NOT against flesh and blood.
If that's true, what business do I have carrying a rifle around trying to destroy flesh and blood?

I honestly don't mean to come across as condescending, I just really believe the Bible is clear on this subject.
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Old 02-18-2008, 01:13 PM
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You are creating a contradiction in Scripture where there is none. In the OT, they were commanded to love their neighbours (it is not just an NT command), and they were commanded by God to go to war at various times against their enemies (which were also God's enemies - I'm sure you are not stating that God is not a God of love because He fights against His enemies!).

In the OT, the believer were to defend their families and homes, their countries. There is nothing in the Bible to indicate that we are no longer to do this.

Matthew 5 is dealing with being taken to court and being smitten by the judge or officers - and to not resist, turn the other cheek, give them your coat, go the extra mile willingly rather than being forced to do so.

Matthew 5:38-42 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

We see Jesus and Paul actually obeying these commands. They accepted the smiting and abuse of the officers - though Paul exposed their misuse of the law.

You agree that governments have the right to wield the sword. Well, our governments use the armies and navies, etc. to make terrorists and wicked countries pay for their crimes. If you are part of that army, then you are wielding the sword they have given you to fulfill their purpose. That doesn't contradict Scripture. Of course, I would make sure I knew what the conflict was about and that it did not go against God's Word before getting involved.

I couldn't imagine myself wielding a weapon - though if I was drafted and was required to fight by my government, I would obey them as the Bible commands me to do.
 

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