What should a Christian's stance be toward war?
What attitude should a Christian have toward war?
Does not God tell us to avoid war?
ECC 9:18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.
2 Co 10:3-6 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.
PS 68:30 Scatter the nations who delight in war.
Now look at these verses that support war.
PS 144:1 Praise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.
PR 20:18 Make plans by seeking advice; if you wage war, obtain guidance.
PR 24:6 for waging war you need guidance, and for victory many advisers.
ECC 3:8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
ISA 13:4 Listen, a noise on the mountains, like that of a great multitude! Listen, an uproar among the kingdoms, like nations massing together! The LORD Almighty is mustering an army for war.
JOEL 3:9 Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare for war! Rouse the warriors! Let all the fighting men draw near and attack.
Does not God tell us to forgive?
Eph 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Luke 23:34 Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." Note: Jesus forgave, and the men never asked for forgiveness.
Yet, look at this verse, and emphasize the word "if".
Luke 17:3 "If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.
Does not God tell us to hold our anger?
PS 4:4 In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent.
PS 37:8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret--it leads only to evil.
PS 86:15 But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
PR 29:11 A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.
Eph 4:26, 27 "In your anger do not sin" : Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.
Eph 4:31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
Col 3:8 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.
Jas 1:20 for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.
Yet, there are many verses that tell of God's burning anger. Even God gets angry.
ISA 42:25 So he poured out on them his burning anger, the violence of war. It enveloped them in flames, yet they did not understand; it consumed them, but they did not take it to heart.
NU 25:3 So Israel joined in worshiping the Baal of Peor. And the LORD's anger burned against them.
NU 32:13 The LORD's anger burned against Israel and he made them wander in the desert forty years,
DT 9:19 I feared the anger and wrath of the LORD, for he was angry enough with you to destroy you.
ISA 5:25 Therefore the LORD's anger burns against his people; his hand is raised and he strikes them down. The mountains shake, and the dead bodies are like refuse in the streets.
Does not God tell us never to take revenge?
Romans 12:19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord.
EZE 25:15, 16 "This is what the Sovereign LORD says: `Because the Philistines acted in vengeance and took revenge with malice in their hearts, and with ancient hostility sought to destroy Judah, therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am about to stretch out my hand against the Philistines,
MT 5:38, 39 "You have heard that it was said, `Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.
Yet, these verses speak for revenge.
Jdg 16:28 Then Samson prayed to the LORD, "O Sovereign LORD, remember me. O God, please strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes." Note..and we know how God answered that prayer!
Dt 19:10-21 You must purge the evil from among you. The rest of the people will hear of this and be afraid, and never again will such an evil thing be done among you. Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.
LEV 24:17-22 " `If anyone takes the life of a human being, he must be put to death. Anyone who takes the life of someone's animal must make restitution--life for life. If anyone injures his neighbor, whatever he has done must be done to him: fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. As he has injured the other, so he is to be injured. Whoever kills an animal must make restitution, but whoever kills a man must be put to death. You are to have the same law for the alien and the native-born. I am the LORD your God.' "
Confusing, huh? It seems God straddles the fence. Sometimes we fight, sometimes we turn the other cheek. We are not to retain anger, but then God burns in anger. We are to leave revenge to the Lord, but yet he helped Samson take revenge. Does this mean we too can pray to God for Him to help us take revenge? Does this mean God could use America as his means to punish those who have attacked us, to "purge the evil among us?" What stance are we to take on war? There does not seem to be a clear answer in the Bible, huh?
People take the Word of God and use it to justify their "side." They choose a verse, out of context, and use it to support the course of action they are taking. Is this what we are to do? Should we choose a verse and say "this is why we are going to war?" or "we are going to turn the cheek again?"
The answers lie in the Will of God. What is His Will? His Will could be different for each circumstance, henceforth the differences in Bible verses. We need to pray and ask Him for guidance to follow His Will. If we are to "muster an army", we must do it under his direction. The Lord, Our Rock, needs to be the one "training our hands."
God gave His Life for us. He shed His Blood for us. Without Him, by His Grace, we can do nothing. Therefore, who else should be turn to at a time like this?
In addition, I truly believe the Lord allows us to protect ourselves. If a bully is threatening you, you should walk away. But if a bully begins to throw punches, do you stand there and take it? Our bodies are the temple of Holy Spirit (1 Co 6:19) and God expects us to take care of our bodies. That includes protecting them from harm. On the same line, if you fight back and are seriously winning, should you 'finish the job.' No. So, how does this relate to the actions taken upon America? How can we guarantee our safety? Protect ourselves? And yet, these attacks on America are not bullies, they are snipers! And what about hurting innocent people while going after snipers?
So, what stance should a Christian take toward war? I stand for God. Eph 6:11-13 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
So, what attitude should a Christian have toward war? I will stay true to God that's my attitude! I will seek Him and His Will. ISA 58:2 For day after day they seek me out; they seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right and has not forsaken the commands of its God. They ask me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near them.
Written after 9/11/2001 tragedy