- From Jesus:
“Blessed are the peacemakers..” But,
“Do not repay evil for evil..” But,
“Turn the other cheek when an Evil man strikes you..” But,
“Love your enemies..” But,
“Pray for those who persecute you..” But,
“Blessed are the Peacemakers..” But,
- From Paul:
“Bless those who persecute you..” But,
“Repay no one evil for evil..” But,
“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord…” But,
The above quotes are actual quotes from the Bible, specifically the New Testament. I added the “But,” at the end of the quotes because these quotes are commonly brushed off by conservative evangelical Christians (In my experience). To be clear, I want to start off my saying some things:
- This post is not meant to “convince” you, but to cause you to think
- I believe that God is the only one justified to take another human life, which is why he directly commanded the Israelites to go to war, gave specific instructions for punishment of sin, etc..
- Yes, I’ve read Romans 13..But I’ve also read 12
- I am not saying that political pacifism is biblical
- I believe that, in certain instances, God works through the Government to carry out His wrath (via Romans 13)
- Therefore, I understand that war happens, and I understand that for political reasons, sometimes it must take place, but I do not support war. Read on for more.
- I do not believe that the Christian should be involved in warfare (via Romans 12, and the Words of Christ)
- I believe that the Israelites in the OT had complete right to go to war, as they were commanded by God to do so, and when they went to war apart from the will of God (like what Saul did), there were consequences.
- Never once do you see an instance where Christ(during his time on earth), His disciples, or the early church in The book of Acts, retaliate, even in self-defense.
- Christ is coming back, and will pour out the wrath of God, and will indeed kill the evil doers.
My answer to the question: “What if someone threatened your family?”
- If someone broke into my house and threatened my family, I would do ANYTHING in my power to save them, but that does not mean I would feel right or justified in taking a life.
Biblical Nonresistance vs. Pacifism:
I usually claim to be a pacifist because growing up, being a pacifist simply meant to be non-violent/non-resistant. But the truth is that I am not a “pacifist” as some would understand the meaning of the word, but for the common understanding of the term in practical life, I just say that I am a pacifist.
The fact is that sometimes, our country may have no choice but to defend ourselves, and/or go to war. And maybe some of the nation’s actions are done because the Lord is carrying out His wrath. And to be clear, God could work through ANY nation to carry out His wrath. But I have no way of knowing what is God’s wrath, and what is just Man’s doing, so I just stick to the opinion that a Christian should not be involved in warfare.
For if we go to war apart from the will of God, that’s murder.
If we sentence someone to death apart from the will of God, thats murder.
The fact is…If its God’s will, it will be done. So I would rather not support, and not be envolved with war or the death penalty because I have no idea what instances are man’s will, and what are God’s. And as far as God’s will goes, it will get done regardless, as stated before.
So what of Christian Soldiers?
– If a Christian had the same view I do, they would not be involved in warfare, so obviously, the ones who are in warfare are not doing anything in rebellion to the word of God, in their minds. But I would still challenge them on taking the words of Christ, as well as Paul, seriously.
The reason I say “seriously” is that the quotes that I mentioned are generally brushed off by those in support of war and the Christian’s involvement in it.
I once heard it said that, What Jesus says about non-resistance is something we should strive for, but its not practical.
Lets carry that logic:
Not having pre-marital sex is something I should strive for…but its not really practical.
See how that logic fails?
“Support our troops”
I will respect them just as I respect anyone else. If they are in need, I will try to help them, just as I seek to do to others. I will support them by not supporting wars that may get them killed, and leave their family behind. I will respect them by not protesting against them.
So please, next time you look at Romans 13…read it in context of Romans 12. Also, seek to take Christ’s words seriously.
And for all wondering, this is what I view a biblical interpretation of the passage where Christ tells His disciples to buy swords is:
This is posted on my blog, as opposed to on facebook because I know it is a sensitive topic. I know that others much smarter and more experienced than I have different opinions than myself. But I have yet to hear a solid biblical argument from the other side, besides saying that the Israelites went to war in the Old testament; which as stated before, they were justified to do so because they were Directly commanded by God to do so.