Biblical Guidelines for War
- Wednesday, September 04, 2013
While the President makes plans to retaliate, most of the world is saying, “NO. Stay out of the Syrian civil war!” We have lost the support of the world community. We are an empty threat, say many.
Once again, we find ourselves at odds with Russia. President Putin has made it quite clear that Russia wants the United States to leave Syria alone.
I have not even begun to scratch the surface of the problems facing the president at home and in the Middle East. Nor can I begin to offer a workable solution. I don’t think that we have a workable solution available to us.
Fortunately, the Bible gives us principles that should guide us as we consider our involvement in any war. St. Augustine codified these in the late fourth century and they have been useful guidelines for a just and warranted war ever since.
We will get to them in a moment.
But, first, here are some things that we can do during this crisis. I am praying for the President and for Congress as they work hard on finding a profitable and honorable solution this disaster.
I pray for the Syrian government to fall and the hostilities to cease and for Syria to become a safe place to live, work and raise children. I pray for a stabilized government.
I pray for wisdom for our President and leaders to not make stupid mistakes—like going into Afghanistan.
A little research would have alerted our President that no one goes into Afghanistan and wins anything. The mountainous terrain has protected Afghanistan from foreign invasion. Since recorded history, no one has entered Afghanistan—ever! Genghis Khan failed to conquer it. Alexander the Great failed. If the Russian armies, with all of their military might, exited in defeat, what makes us think that we can win?
The CIA and Congress gave millions of tons of munitions to the Taliban and Afghani freedom fighters to defeat Russia. The current Afghani rebels are now using the leftovers of the weapons we gave them to kill and defeat us.
Over the years, Christians have utilized one of three basic options to guide them in war.
First, Kill, Massacre And Plunder The Enemy And All Non-Christians.
While there were many Crusades, the most famous were the religious conflicts in the High Middle Ages which were conducted by Catholic Europe against Muslims, pagans, and heretics. The specific intention was to retake Jerusalem from the Muslims. Seventy thousand civilians were butchered in the sack of Jerusalem.
Pacifism Is The Second Option.
Leave the enemy alone and hope that love and a non-violent attitude will induce them to stop their wicked ways.
I was in San Francisco when the first Gulf War commenced. Peace demonstrations sprang up immediately. Bridges were blocked, fires were set.
Anti-American posters were everywhere. “We won’t send our children to die for no reason,” one proclaimed. I wondered if anyone cared about the thousands of Kuwait children who had been murdered? And what about the threatening growls of Saddam Hussein to murder and kill every Jew in Israel? Saddam had no intention of stopping no matter how much some wished and prayed that he would come to his senses and stop.
FINALLY, THE JUST WAR IS DESIGNED TO STOP AND/OR NEUTRALIZE THOSE WHO CAUSE TROUBLE.
I Believe That The Just War Is The Only Response That Makes Sense.
God’s Ideal Is A World At Peace
Exodus 20:13: "Thou shall not kill."
God is fundamentally committed to peace, not war, as is reflected in his rejection of David as a builder of the temple because David was "a man of war" (1 Chronicles 28:2-3).
God Declared That Some Circumstances Warrant The Use Of Force.
Exodus 22:2 states that if a man finds a thief in his house at night, killing the thief on the spot is an acceptable means of protecting one's home and property.
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