Posted by Peter
LaShawn Barber: Onward, Christian Soldiers
To determine whether Jesus’ teachings are inconsistent with war, we must let the Bible speak for itself. Philosophical arguments and Scripture stripped from its context do not get to the heart of the matter.
The Bible makes distinctions between individual moral responsibility and governmental responsibility. To believers Christ says, “If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also….Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” The Sermon on the Mount, from which these words come, is a presentation of Christian discipleship, not a call to pacifism. Jesus was referring to our individual persecution as believers. We’re to pray for those who mock or harass us for our beliefs, but we are not prohibited from defending ourselves or others against the threat of robbers, rapists, murderers, etc., as permitted by law.
This is also clearly evident when He tells us that a man has no greater love than to lay down his life for a friend. The laying down of one’s life implies defending that friend against attack, which may result in our death....
Our government has a God-given responsibility to protect us from attack, including warring with our enemies if need be. This does not negate individual Christians’ God-given responsibility to pray for evil-doers. Defending the innocent against evil is not inconsistent with Christ’s teachings.
Why must these things be? Rest assured that one day we will know the why of all things. As you read headline after sad headline, remember that Satan is a defeated foe. For God’s own purpose, the evil one is allowed to roam the earth wreaking havoc until the King returns to cast him and his minions into the pit of hell. Christ says, “[W]hen you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is not yet.” (Mark 13:7)
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