Friday, April 1, 2011


The following is a guest editorial on the subject of God and War.  This is the fourth  blog ("Where to Next" was the first, then "What Does God Say About War-Volume 2, and 3)  in regards to this subject.  We currently have invitations extended to a number of other experts on the subject.  The opinions shared are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of "My Father's Voice".

Is Jordan going to be the next scene of bloodshed?  Late last week there were uprisings that certainly would point to that.  Police in Jordan's capital worked to separate pro- and anti-government demonstrators today and avert the violence that erupted there last week.  As many as 1,000 officers have been deployed in Amman, one of the Arab capitals beset with tension in recent weeks.  So far, there has been no violence at the gatherings, expected after the Muslim Friday prayers

Earlier this week, Jordan's King Abdullah II made a call for national unity and reform.  "What matters to us in this stage is that our national unity must not be undermined," the king said Sunday while visiting the southern region of Petra.  "We are proceeding in earnest with the political reform process, and we have nothing to fear."  It makes one wonder what lies ahead.  So, with that in mind, let's continue the discussion of What Does God Say About War.....with help from

Deuteronomy 20:17-18
But you shall utterly destroy them, the Hittite and the Amorite, the Canaanite and the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite, as the LORD your God has commanded you in order that they may not teach you to do according to all their detestable things which they have done for their gods, so that you would sin against the LORD your God.

There is another exception to the murder law that God also invokes, using war as a tool. If you remember, we talked about the right that an agent of the court has to carry out a legal order of the court. One such order is the death penalty for those who have committed the worst of crimes. When agents of the court kill someone who has been found guilty of one such crime, they are not then charged themselves with murder. This is an exception, and one we have already discussed. As it turns out, God has also invoked this exception when judging what the Bible calls ‘wickedness’. Just as we might condemn a man to the death penalty for something wicked that he has done, God does the same thing. Think about it for a minute. If there is a God, is He not the supreme judge of wickedness?

Some people argue that God is just an invention of the ancient Jews to justify their desire for War, but don’t think for a minute that God only uses War to judge NON-Israelites. God is FAIR, and He is not the invention of the Jews. He often uses War to judge the wickedness of his own people, just as he uses War to judge the wickedness of other nations. When his own people had turned from Him and from doing what was right, He utilized War as an agent of fair and just punishment:
 Why would God punish people (even His own people) in this way? Because without justice, mercy is meaningless. When we don’t punish the assailant in a case, we in turn end up punishing the victim and the victim’s family, who are crying for justice. And this would be yet another sin that WE are now committing. To NOT punish evil is to commit yet another evil:

In the end, justice requires that we judge evil.  And in our lives here on earth, God has given us the institution of GOVERNMENT to do just that; punish those who do what is wrong. The Bible clearly teaches that God utilizes War to protect and defend the innocent and to punish the wicked. The Bible is also clear that God has given the institution of government the right and authority to do the very same thing. It is from this reasoning that we can see that there is a theological basis for governments to go to War, but once again, the criteria is limited and the standard is very high. But before we get to all of that, let’s take a look at the Life of Jesus and see if we can learn something about what God says about War.

So, is this Jesus the pacifist that some would like us to accept? If we, as Christians, as to model our lives after the life of Christ and be imitators of Jesus (Ephesians 5:1), then we will also find ourselves embracing the view of war that Jesus clearly demonstrated in his actions in the New Testament. While it is true that HE never resisted those who would eventually put him on the cross, this effort on the part of Jesus was a unique and specific action designed to accomplish the Salvation that all of us so desperately need. It was not evidence of his pacifism, for if this was true, all the examples I’ve given you from his life and from the scripture would make no sense at all.

A Night for Reflection and Prayer
So, how should Christian's respond?   Disciples of Jesus have asked this question for generations. While the vast majority of Christians DO believe that there are times when it is appropriate to go to War, they have struggled throughout the ages to understand WHEN exactly God would honor such action. And clearly Christians have made their share of mistakes in this regard. Augustine (354 - 430) and Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) struggled to formulate what is now called the “Just War Theory”. They were simply trying their best to understand when it would be morally right to engage in military action based on the teaching of the Bible. As a result, several principles have evolved through the ages that can help us understand how we, as Christians, are to respond to the idea and reality of war. Let’s take a look at some guidelines that Christians might follow as they think about the notion of War:
 But for those of us who are Christians, we do have a promise of peace in which we can place our trust and hope. God has promised us that a day is coming when peace will come at the hands of God, in spite of our human failings and without any achievements on our part:

Jesus will put an end to all conflicts, all War and all strife as he takes the throne once and for all:

Psalm 46:10
“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

A day is coming when we, as humans will NOT have to make the difficult decision for War.  A day is coming when God will be the final judge and Jesus will be the final peacemaker.  Until then, the scripture does tell us, however, that there will be times when deadly force is the only way to stop a greater evil, and it is within the teaching and example of God for us to make that difficult choice for War, should the time ever come.  As Christians we must seek God's will and trust Him, even in the most difficult of times.

Thanks for reading..........YGG,


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