War And Christianity.

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by LysanderShapiro, Aug 23, 2013.

  1. Here are some quick questions. I may be biting off my than I can chew because I suspect I'll get some really strenuously wordy answers, but I'm willing to take that risk.

    Here are the questions--hopefully they are clear:

    1. Is war every justified? If so, when?
    2. If the enemy uses torture techniques, is it just for us to do the same?
    3. When is it OK for us to be the aggressor?
    4. does Probability of success matter in war?
    5. Can conquest be justified in war?
    6. If there's a great risk of war being perpetual, shall it be pursued?
    Happy discussing, friends!
  2. On point 4, Luke 14:31,32. Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.
    So yes, probability of success does matter.
    I'll leave the rest to others.
  3. 1. Yes.

    Joshua 6:21 (NASB95)
    21 They utterly destroyed everything in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword.

    Deut 20:17/p
    "But thou shalt utterly destroy them, namely the Hittes and the Amorites, the Canaanivites and the Perizzites as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee".

    The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name. (Exodus 15:3)
    • For there fell down many slain, because the war was of God. And they dwelt in their steads until the captivity.
    • There is… a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. (Ecclesiastes 3:8)

    2. UNknown

    Joshua 23:13
    then you may be sure that the LORD your God will no longer drive out these nations before you. Instead, they will become snares and traps for you, whips on your backs and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land, which the LORD your God has given you.
    (God may send people to beat you for your sins).

    Having served in the military and the effects of real life, sometimes the situation changes your perspective.
    Let me ask you a question---If you have an enemy in your grasp, and you know that this enemy has planted a bomb in the city where you and your children live, and you have been told that it will kill 5,000 innocent men, women and children in 2 hours.......what would you do to get the location of that bomb?

    3. Never.

    4. See calvin above.

    5. Yes.

    Jesus’ second coming will be exceedingly violent. Revelation 19:11-21 describes the ultimate war with Christ, the conquering commander who judges and makes war “with justice” (v. 11). It’s going to be bloody (v. 13) and gory. The birds will eat the flesh of all those who oppose Him (v. 17-18). He has no compassion upon His enemies, whom He will conquer completely and consign to a “fiery lake of burning sulfur” (v. 20).
    6. I do not think War should be sought after.
    It is an error to say that God never supports a war. Jesus is not a pacifist. In a world filled with evil people, sometimes war is necessary to prevent even greater evil. If Hitler had not been defeated by World War II, how many more millions would have been killed? If the American Civil War had not been fought, how much longer would African-Americans have had to suffer as slaves?
  4. I enjoyed reading your response.

    I guess I should clarify that when I am talking about war, I'm not meaning so much spiritual war or the second coming of Christ, but rather war waged by man. Wars between countries. Wars between governments and their own people. Etc. etc.

    I should have been more clear.
  5. You were fine. I understood my brother.
  6. I appreciate it, Major, but I do think I worded it poorly, only because the answer you gave didn't align with what I was trying to ask. It's my fault, not yours.

    Unless you did answer it properly and I'm misunderstanding how your answer applies to war in the sense that I mean it.

    The question is overall asking about foreign policy that aligns with Christian practice. For instance, did Iraq or the Civil War or our current involvement in Afghanistan seem to undermine Christian practice or work within in it? Maybe there were parts that were valid in Christianity and other parts that disrupted Christian virtue.

    I hope this makes sense.
  7. Well to start with, there is no such thing as a Christian country. I do not believe that the Lord wants a theocracy this side of the resurrection, and even then, it will be family not government.
    Jesus told us that there would always be wars and rumours of wars up until the end, so we are not going to be living war free.
    We are called to obey the rulers set over us as all authority comes from God. So if our governments are at war, we are to a greater or lesser extent at war also.
  8. I see said the blind man.

    I really think that calvin has the right answer in his post. God places kings in power and we live under their rule for better or worse.

    We have people who are believers in Christ who live in this country, but we as a nation are a long way from being a Christian nation.

    If you are asking if a Christian should be involved in war I would say yes and if you ask the people in S. Korea, and Poland, and England etc. they would say thank God we have been.

    Remember.....whether right or wrong, this nation was born in war. We are the result of war. God has blessed this nation and IMHO He has done so for one reason. So that in the days of the Second Return of the Lord Jesus Christ, we as a nation would be able to be the protector of Israel militarily.

    Someone once wrote and I can not remember who....."All that has to happen for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing".
  9. By no means do I mean in regards to theocracies...

    Maybe I'm still being too vague.

    What are your thoughts in the Just War Principles and do you think most wars are often violating the Just War Principles?
  10. #10 calvin, Aug 24, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2013
  11. The Just War Theory was written as Christian ethics, but with the idea that they would be adapted. So both I suppose.
  12. Maybe if we dissect individual wars, it might make for a more streamline discussion.

    Here's an example; the American Civil War. Here are the facts...

    Waged by the Lincoln administration to stop people in the south from seceding.

    The south had states rights, could legally nullify federal laws if they weren't constitutional and secede. Lincoln was afraid of losing those southern states because of the tariffs he enacted for their ports.

    The end result restricted secession, killed hundreds of thousands of soldiers (probably still some residual).

    Though one upside was the end of slavery.​
    Slavery aside, Lincoln's war had very little to do with it as he said the famous line "if I could save the Union without freeing any slaves, I would do it. And if I could save it by freeing all of the slaves, I would do that. And if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would do that." Other countries have managed to end slavery by peacefully--the Union never attempted their method.

    I know criticizing the Civil War is seen as taboo, but I think using this one is a good exercise in evaluating when war is just and when it is unjust. When I say just, I mean within Christian ethics, which aligns with the Just War Principles.

    Was the Civil War itself a just war? Why or why not? Were some of the activities justified? While the slaves were freed, did the ends justify the means of war if there could have been a peaceful way of freeing them?

    If things could be done in peace, should every peaceful attempt to exhausted before making a declaration of war? Lastly, is it OK if war is waged without a proper declaration first?

    Thanks for including the link by the way, Calvin.
    1. No
    2. No
    3. Never
    4. No
    5. I'm sure it is.
    6. No one EVER thinks that way.
  13. 1. What if it's in self-defense?
    4. Why not?
    5. How so?

  14. 1. The war itself doesn't get justified because you are defending yourself.
    4. For the same reason as 1.
    5. No one looks at war in the long term. It is always short term, even the world wars. It's why many countries pull out of wars.
  15. I'm a bit confused what you mean the war itself doesn't get justified because you are defending yourself. I guess one example is if a country has been attacked, would it be just or unjust for that country to respond? Keep in mind, I'm not saying all bets are off because of that, but does defense bring an element of validity to war?

    I like that you gave very straightforward answers though. Although I noticed for number 6, you answered "No one ever thinks that way." I would disagree with you, but let's pretend that I do agree with you that no one ever thinks that way--that no one ever insists on continuing a war that has become perpetual...would it still be OK or not OK?

    Number 5 was in response to conquest. When is conquest justified in war according to Christian practice? I would disagree with you, but perhaps you have a great answer for this. Doesn't conquest often mean being the aggressor?
  16. Yes. It is justified in matters of the defense of the nation or other matters to stop injustice, evil, or tyranny.

    Torture is not just. But let me caveat that with not everyone is going to agree on what "torture" is. In my world, torture does not include sleep deprivation, temperature manipulation, threat of physical injury, or anything else that does not have lasting effects. Yes, I understand this is a slippery slope. In my mind, however, the line is pretty clear. This is why interrogation operations require the highest levels of supervision.

    It's okay to be the aggressor when by virtue of your status, position, or location that you act in order to stop injustice, evil, or tyranny.

    No. If your cause is just, you have a responsibility to act regardless of the probability of success.

    Yes, although finding a just reason for conquest is difficult. One just reason, in my opinion, is Israel's annexation of the Golan Heights. This is key terrain for the region and the area Syria utilized to launch its attacks against Israel. If a country is faced with perpetual aggression from a neighbor, I consider it justified to annex terrain from my enemy in order to create a "buffer zone" to protect my citizens.

    I'm not sure this question is really meaningful or relevant. If the cause is just, a nation has a responsibility to fight regardless of how convenient the outcome might be.
    KingJ likes this.

  17. Defending yourself may be right, but the war is not justified. It takes two.

    Well I was dealing with realistic situation that bring about war, NOT hypothetical scenarios, but my answer would still be NO.

    The question was CAN it and I said it probably is so yes it can be. From a Christian perspective there should be NO wars, so NO it can't be.
  18. If a concept makes it “right” for an individual to defend himself …. is that same concept will it "right" as well applied to a group of individual, his household, a community, a nation?

    I think so.

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