| Just War - WWJD|
So, this topic has been coming up again and again in my life.
Dr. Barrier asks the question, "Should the Church support a just war?" http://www.crosswalk.com/church/pastors-or-leadership/ask-roger/should-the-church-support-just-war.html
My current beliefs have changed dramatically over the past two years. That's is, I used to believe in the idea of a 'just war' but...now have come to the conclusion that Jesus encouraged martyrdom (lying down your life for others), not war.
If we were to strictly look at the words of Jesus, I don't see how a person could be honest with the text and to say what Dr. Barrier said, "My conclusion is that there is a time to turn the other cheek and a time to fight back." *(I have no issue with Dr. Barrier but I do with the belief, which I'd like to discuss the belief here)*
We are to be like our Master (later declared our Friend). To be like a lamb before slaughter. To be Abel, not Cain.
For what it's worth, the Catholic Church believes in a 'just war'. I even watched a video stating that many people of the early church were military people, eventually culminating with formally approving of a 'just war' to 'protect the state'.
The Orthodox church doesn't believe that there is any 'just' war. Protestants seem mixed.
My question is what is the Kingdom of God, in relation to wars on this earth? What is 'the way/rule/reign of God' on earth look like, in relation to wars on this earth? What did Jesus teach/lead us to do?
| 2014/11/11 2:12|
| Re: Just War - WWJD|
I see two different things going on here. There is the persecution that is coming on us, and then there is the persecution that is coming on others.
I believe that we are to be like Christ ( the Lamb before the slaughter) when we are being persecuted. But I do not have the same belief when others that have no way of defending themselves are being harmed.
If a theif comes into my home and is going to kill my wife and three children are you saying that I should turn the other cheek? Some would say yes and I see where they are coming from. But as a husband and father I am to be like Christ to my family. I am called to love my wife as Christ has loved the church. So when I look at how Christ loves His church, would He allow Satan to come against His church and afflict us and not declare war on satan to defend His bride? Would Christ not do everything in His power to defend and protect His bride? I would say yes, He absolutely would. He also tells us to be armed in the war against satan and his kingdom. So therefore I do believe in protecting those that Christ has given us charge and authority over even to the point of killing if need be. For Christ appeared to destroy the works of the devil.
I also think we need to realize that there is a huge difference between being persecuted for being a Christian and just being persecuted because of wickedness. The way we respond to persecution of any flavor does play a huge role, but I think we need to realize the vast seperation between being be-headed because of Christ vs. being be-headed for being an American. One is a tragedy, the other is glorious. I fear that we in America have become more American than Christian.
Now, what do we do when other people outside of our immediate authority are being persecuted/afflicted- for example ISIS? I look at it this way, I believe the Bible says to plead the cause of the orphan and the widows. And to care for the orphans and the widows. What if there was a terrorist group who started going around killing all the orphans and the widows for the sake of their deity? What are we to do as Christians? Obviously this is hypothetically speaking, and I pray this never happens. With the command we have been given in scripture to care for those and to plead their cause, what are we to do?
Us going and feeding them may prolong life, but it will not stop the killing of those being slain. Us building orphanages may protect for a while, but it will not stop the killing of those innocent children. That is like going and reaching the prostitutes, but never dealing with the problem of the men who abuse the prostitutes! I personally believe that both aspects of this discussion can be Chrsit like. Because going and feeding the ones who are being afflicted by evil is extremely Christ like! Helping women caught in prostitution is extremely Christ like! Building orphanages for children without homes is extremely Christ like! These are things that I am being convicted of right now as I type this! So please do not take it the wrong way.
But on the other hand if the evil and wickedness is not confronted head on and cast down, then the problem will continue to persist. And sometimes war may be the answer. Ultimately war/killing from our hands is not the answer. Christ destroying/killing through His power is the answer. And that is not a physical killing, but a spiritual killing of the sin and demonic powers of the ones consumed with wickedness. I am not saying I am right at all whatsoever on this issue, and really am open to hearing others sides of this issue. If there is a way of reaching those demon controlled people that are killing innocent children for the name of their deity without war, God reveal it. For God so loved even those, of who I am chief.
| 2014/11/11 10:36||Profile|
| Re: |
I like how you broke up the discussion to two distinctions. Being persecuted as an individual and others being persecuted.
You said that turning the other cheek applies when we suffer but not when our family does.
"So when I look at how Christ loves His church, would He allow Satan to come against His church and afflict us and not declare war on satan to defend His bride? Would Christ not do everything in His power to defend and protect His bride?"
Christ does defend us but not in our worldly view. The early church were martyrs, not 'defenders'. Peter was rebuked by Jesus at the Garden, "If you live by the sword, you die by the sword."
Also, I think Jesus, in that context, applies to your separate view of 'others suffering'. Jesus didn't command a multitude of angels to defend, instead He was loving to His enemies, which is every believers call.
Also, our weapons 'aren't of this world'. I don't know of any 1st gen or 2nd gen Christian who 'defended by force' their beliefs and loved ones.
You also separated 'why are we being persecuted'.
"I also think we need to realize that there is a huge difference between being persecuted for being a Christian and just being persecuted because of wickedness."
Yes, Job was persecuted, IMO. But, how did Job react?
"What if there was a terrorist group who started going around killing all the orphans and the widows for the sake of their deity? What are we to do as Christians? "
This is a really good question.
"Us going and feeding them may prolong life, but it will not stop the killing of those being slain. Us building orphanages may protect for a while, but it will not stop the killing of those innocent children. That is like going and reaching the prostitutes, but never dealing with the problem of the men who abuse the prostitutes! I personally believe that both aspects of this discussion can be Chrsit like. Because going and feeding the ones who are being afflicted by evil is extremely Christ like! Helping women caught in prostitution is extremely Christ like! Building orphanages for children without homes is extremely Christ like!"
I believe this is a solid answer. Love beats hate.
"But on the other hand if the evil and wickedness is not confronted head on and cast down, then the problem will continue to persist. And sometimes war may be the answer."
I used to have this view but...I don't think any of Jesus' teachings taught this. War is never the answer.
My perspective is this; that we are to turn the other cheek, to flee, to protect. Protection doesn't look like fighting. It does look like suffering and fleeing. As a church proverb says, "Love the hell out of them."
I'm not saying any of this is easy. Jesus wasn't easy to follow. "Sell everything. Take nothing when you preach. Be merciful. Love your enemies." His message wasn't easy.
| 2014/11/11 17:45|
| 2014/11/12 3:29||Profile|
| Re: |
Hmm, I missed that thread. I have a few threads saved, to read. So, I'm adding another. :)
It seems this topic is very intricate.
It speaks to:
1. God/Christianity in Politics.
2. Self defense
3. Protecting others
4. God's manner of justice (how does He execute justice)
5. The kingdom/way of darkness and light.
Probably touches other topics but...this is no simple topic.
| 2014/11/12 4:37|
| Re: |
yea even the old and new covenant and there relationship and context with what Jesus taught
| 2014/11/12 4:42||Profile|
| Re: |
Some years ago I was led to take a stand on non resistance by the Holy Spirit. Being saved for 9 years and then getting baptized in the Holy Spirit really changed a lot of doctrinal mindsets I had picked up during those 9 years.
Defending myself, war, killing etc. was a topic the Holy Spirit was dealing with ME on. As I began to share with other Christians what the Lord was sharing, I met with a lot of resistance. I was asked what would I do if someone broke into my home and was going to harm my wife in some way.
Very valid question. As I pondered that thought my response was that I am not believing or fearing that someone coming into my home was ever going to be a possibility. I pray for divine protection and believe it is promised in Gods word for me and my family. This is my belief and confession daily.
Job said that, that which he greatly feared had come upon him.I would tell people that I do not live day to day wondering, fearing, or believing someone is going to break into my home and try and kill or harm me or my wife. If that sounds foolish to some, and I am sure it does, I am totally ok with that because if your belief is otherwise it does not change how I would feel about you one iota.
Every man has to be fully persuaded in his own mind. For several years I attended a church that believed in self defense, politics, war, carrying concealed weapons. It's a long story how I ended up there for 5 years but it was by Gods leading. Many men in this church carried weapons in church which at the time I had no idea. I left the church in 2009 and went back for a visit a couple years later.
What a change I saw in the environment of this church. They had security cameras all around and the men/ushers look just like and dress like the men who protect the president of the USA. They have the earbuds and walkie talkies the whole thing. The Pastor has said if anyone ever comes in there with any idea of a gun fight they are going to have one.
While I pray nothing would ever happen, I believe one day I might see this church in the news headlines. I remember a sermon this Pastor was teaching on a Sunday. He had told about how he and his family were living in a very small building 800 sq ft, on the church property. One night there was a banging on the door that was very loud and persistent.
He asked who it was several times with no answer,just persistent banging. He finally told this person through the door that he had his family inside and that he had a gun and that if they came in he was going to KILL him, with emphasis added. He was stressing the point of self defense.
Later in the same sermon he shared a story of a family who were in the mission field in a very dangerous area. There van broke down and the husband had to go for help. He left his wife and children in the van and told the wife to lock the doors and let no one in under any circumstance.
After he left, a man approached the van and walked right up and tried to open the door, the wife and kids were terrified. As he tried doors on both sides he could not get in, he then went toward the back door which the wife realized they did not lock.
As she jumped over the seats and her children to lock the back door he opened it before she got there and he had pulled out a knife and had a crazed murderous look in his eyes and he raised the knife as if to stab her.
Now for the Pastor who in a similar situation earlier in the sermon who had a gun would have shot the man dead. But this woman did not have a gun, she had something more powerful.
As this man had the knife raised she said, In the name of JESUS I rebuke you, he looked at her with a strange look. She said a second time, In the name of JESUS I rebuke you, he looked at her and then he looked at the knife in his hand. He was paralyzed. She said a third time, In the name of JESUS I rebuke you, he then looked at the knife but could not bring it down, then he just dropped it and ran away.
This sermon was not given to differentiate between whether one would use a carnal weapon or a spiritual weapon. This was not the Pastors point, however for me it was a huge lesson that there is power in the name of Jesus Christ when wielded in faith.
I realize that there are a lot of caveats and scenarios people will raise. The "What If's" if you will.I cannot answer to those nor is it in my heart to debate, argue, or convince a man against his own will.
While I do not agree with the stance of the old church I attended when it comes to weapons, war, and non resistance. I still love these people and count them as my brothers in Christ. I will not judge their hearts or their position in Christ. They are Gods workmanship, His clay, He is the Potter, not me. His arm is not shortened that it cannot save.
God has raised up and He has ordained the various military's in the world, ours, and Israels, etc. I thank God for our military, I pray for these men, women, and families. To many it sounds hypocritical, however this is not my intent or rationale.
I can say that I am thankful for the freedoms I enjoy for now and for those who gave their lives for this freedom. I am thankful that Hitler was stopped, and that the Iron Dome is protecting Israel. But ultimately, All the Glory goes to the God we serve.
These are my two cents on the subject. I will not debate my position but will answer and sincere questions on the matter. I refuse to get into the ring and fight, if people choose to do so, I let them get into the squared circle and wrestle with God on the matter.
I have had many matches in this same ring with God, He always comes out on top by Gods grace.
| 2014/11/12 10:08||Profile|
| Re: |
As has been noted, this issue was explored extensively in a recent thread. But there are always new people tuning in, and these questions will neither go away in the near term nor come to complete resolve here.
As a combat veteran, I lean a little more toward the guns. But I have also had some experience in demon deliverance and thoroughly appreciate that there is power in our connection to Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit to invoke His authority in the presence of great personal danger. I have seen it happen, and it is life-changing to hear the Word of Power come from your own lips and see the power of God. As Christians, this should be our first line and best defense.
But in the discussion I believe wisdom would separate out Jesus' actions in the atoning work on the cross from the principles of self defense. Even in the Garden we see some conflict between the rebuke to Peter for whacking off Malchus' ear, then suggesting that carrying one sword was enough. Enough for what?
There are two ways to get someone to do what you want them to do- reason and force. Since we are charged with presenting the gospel to the world, and since we consider it to be reasonable (from James 3:17) we might also reasonably assume that force is not necessary to preach the gospel. Is it fair to say that when force is used to suppress the gospel, resisting that force is appropriate to get the conversation back to reason?
One thing guns do in the hands of defenders is force conversations back to reason. Granny with her .357 magnum pointed at 250 pound burglar boy suggesting he leave the house immediately makes a very reasonable and compelling argument. Even with no shots fired. Reason is the currency.
| 2014/11/12 13:41||Profile|
| Re: |
Wow David. Wow!!
Very inspiring story.
Before I comment on all of this, I want to say that talking about this is EASY. This is from the comfort of our own homes and I doubt any of us has had a recent experience of being raided. With that said, I hope in these discussions we get closer to Jesus and His rulership/kingdom.
"As I began to share with other Christians what the Lord was sharing, I met with a lot of resistance. I was asked what would I do if someone broke into my home and was going to harm my wife in some way."
I do feel Jesus' actions and teaching are clear. To do these things: Flee, love your enemy, give someone anything that they ask for, etc.
Now, to Sidewalk's comments on using a weapon as a 'reasonable way' of communicating with someone. I hear you. My entire family is/was military. Almost every branch is covered. I was going to become a us marine.
There was abuse in my home (non-military mom/step-dad). When one of my family members found out, they gave me a k-bar. I hid it under my bed. Practiced with it. And even pulled it out on one occasion to say, "this needs to stop, NOW."
So, I can relate to your words/advice.
But I'm seeing the thread throughout Scripture, that is, Jesus' teaching of non-violence, is always God's command. (My view is subject to change but...I'm coming close to being solid on this. I just have a few more ideas/thoughts to consider)
David didn't kill Saul, even when he had the opportunity. Peter is rebuke by Jesus in the garden. The sons of thunder were rebuke by Jesus for calling fire down from heaven.
Is. 2:4 "And He will judge between the nations, And will render decisions for many peoples; And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they learn war. "
I think the Western Church is of this perverted belief that "we must protect ourselves". This is a lie. God will protect us. If things happen, we do have some guidance from God; love our enemies, flee from them, turn the other cheek, etc. If we suffer for *doing the right thing* then we will receive a crown and the scriptures say we are blessed.
'The right thing' being turning the other cheek, praying/loving our enemies, etc.
Paul wore his wounds as badges. (2 Cor. 11:23-30)
I think a large part of the body has received these lies. The church of today, doesn't look like the early church. We don't have these wounds we endured. We have comfort and abundance.
Keep in mind, I'm saying 'we' because I'm one part of the problem. I too, have accepted these lies. Lies that 'we must protect ourselves'. We must 'use force, only as a last resort'. We must 'protect others by force'.
I feel God calling me (hopefully you too) to something deeper. Something like Brother David and his story.
Jesus calls us higher and deeper. I'm realizing the Jesus I serve is stretching my heart and soul. Do I always say yes? No. But He is relentless about trying to have all of me.
| 2014/11/12 15:36|
| Re: |
This is an example found in Scripture as a 'just war"
And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram.
And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.
And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus.
And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.
Abram formed and alliance with Mamre, Eschol, and Aner and traveled over 120 miles to rescue Lot.
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.
And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:
We find according to Scripture that Melchizedek, king and priest of the God Most High blessed Abram.
| 2014/11/16 10:04||Profile|