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#37912 Mon Oct 08, 2007 2:31 AM
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I have a "general" question I think.. I just saw the movie "the kingdom" with Jamie Fox and its all about an attack in Saudi Arabia... After seeing the movie and being reminded of the Muslim faith believing that killing Americans is pleasing to Allah brought me to ask.. Does the Bible ever say its okay to kill?? I mean other than when God would tell a group to go and kill them for His purpose.. IE: Jericho, Moses and the Israelites taking the promised land, ect.. I know the Bible teaches us to love our neighbors and such but I also know of people cursing each other "in the name of the Lord".. any one know where the Bible might draw the line between when to love and when to fight? I have looked a little tonight but do not have enough time to scour over the whole Bible.. Even a starting place would be nice! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" />

Clint #37913 Mon Oct 08, 2007 7:04 AM
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There are indeed just grounds for war according to Romans 13:1-4, 2nd Peter 2:13-14, and Psalm 82:3-4. In a Christian nation particularly, a war to deliver the oppressed from the wicked, for example, would be a just war. It's harder for a nation made up of Christians and Muslims and Jews and atheists, and everything in between to decide what is wicked and who is oppressed by whom.

To my knowledge there are no Christian nations on the Earth, and those which do have an official national church do not govern their own citizens accordingly, much less reflect Christian principles in their foreign policy.

-Robin

Clint #37914 Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:29 PM
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C.M.H. said:
I mean other than when God would tell a group to go and kill them for His purpose.. IE: Jericho, Moses and the Israelites taking the promised land, ect..

Simply put, there are wars that continue because there is still sin. Thanks be to our sovereign God that He has decided in His holy counsel that He would enter the war against sin on behalf of His elected children. If He was not also merciful, He could have decided to judge sin and end our world immediately in the Garden. There would then have been no war, no common or temporal life in the world that we now know, and no hope for an eternal future of peace for anyone.

God is a Warrior:

Quote
And Moses said to the children of Gad and to the children of Reuben: “Shall your brethren go to war while you sit here? Now why will you discourage the heart of the children of Israel from going over into the land which the LORD has given them?" [Numbers 32:6,7]

This holy war was fought and finished by God's only Son with the proof of victory in His resurrection. The Christian's part in this war is no longer carnal but fought by Faith Alone with the Word of God Alone.

Quote
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. [1 Corinthians 10:4-6, NKJV]

IMO, Wars in this sinful world will continue and may even multiply during the gathering of the elect until the return of Jesus and the final judgment. And yes, since men and nations will wax worse and worse, even Christian men are still being caught up in present and possible future carnal wars and dangerous battles with criminal minds.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24


Denny

Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." [John 6:68]
Robin #37915 Thu Oct 11, 2007 7:18 PM
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I understand then that grounds for a "justifiable" and "biblical" war or battle to happen it would have to be on the grounds of deliverance? In other words the overall purpose would have to be delivering the oppressed from the oppressors? And in that same sense the "oppressors" would have to be wicked?

I am confused with the ideas of war from a christian perspective especially since so many I grew up with at church are now in the US military.. Is joining the military to fight for unbiblical reasons wrong?? I do not mean to say that the people joining are joining for the sole purpose of fighting, but the military as a whole seems to be involved in a lot of things I do not find as "biblically justifiable". For example the war in Iraq.. it started as "The War on Terrorism" yet has turned into much more than that.
I would understand the war on terror as a justifiable war because those fighting are protecting our rights given to us by the constitution to freely worship God... But fighting over land/oil, trying to liberate a people from a Government that they love to hate?? What of all these things?? Or those people who hate us because of our beliefs (or lack of belief).. Just because we do not believe in Allah, they hate us.. Are we justified in fighting them to the death? If we dont kill them, they will kill us and from a worldly view it makes sense to fight.. I dont want to be killed, so I will kill them...
But in the Bible it tells us to love our neighbors and our enemies..
Thats kind of the type of war that I was talking about.. Not sure if I was clear in my first post..

Thank you for your replies though! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/BigThumbUp.gif" alt="" />

Clint #37916 Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:52 PM
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Frame says,

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It is difficult to discuss war in the context of a sola scriptura ethic, because Scripture says little about the actual ethics of warfare. It does recognize war as a result of sin, specifically,

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions1 are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel (James 4:1).

The consummation of history is a time of peace, not war (Isa. 2:4, 9:6-7; 11:6). Until then, Scripture gives special honor to those who seek peace (Ps. 46:9; 120:6-7; Matt. 5:9). Though he was a man after God’s own heart, God did not permit David to build the temple, for he was also a man of war (1 Chron. 22:18-19; 28:3). The temple anticipates God’s final peace. Its builder must be a man of peace, David’s son Solomon, whose very name means peace. So, Jesus the fulfillment of the temple, is "Prince of peace" (Isa. 9:6):

Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this. (Isa. 9:7).

Under the new covenant, the kingdom of God is not to be advanced by war, though Christians have not always understood this principle. Jesus has withheld the sword from his family (Matt. 26:52; John 18:1-11). There is a war to be fought by Christians, but it is a spiritual war, a war not to be fought with physical weapons (Eph. 6:10-20). Those weapons have no power against spiritual enemies, Satan and his troops. Only truth, righteousness, the gospel, faith, salvation, the word of God, and prayer can vanquish Satan’s armies. So, war is an important metaphor for the life of the Christian (2 Cor. 10:3; 1 Tim. 1:18; 2 Tim. 2:4; 1 Pet. 2:11).

Scripture also teaches that the gospel will provoke violence among people, much as we may seek to avoid it (Matt. 10:34-38; Rev. 11:7; 12:7, 17; 13:7; 19:19). There will be persecution for those who honor Christ (2 Tim. 3:12). But such warfare is initiated by opponents of Christ. The individual believer is not to take the offensive. We may defend ourselves and others against physical attack, but our overall mandate is to return good for evil (see Chapter 35). We should be lovers of peace (Ps. 34:14; 1 Pet. 3:11; Rom. 12:19, 21; 14:19). Even those conducting a lawful war should not delight in killing others. God judges Edom because of its lack of compassion in war (Amos 1:11; cf. Ps. 68:30).

Nevertheless, Scripture recognizes that warfare is sometimes necessary in a fallen world. As we have seen, God has given the sword to the civil magistrate (Acts 25:11; Rom. 13:4). The sword is an instrument of bloodshed and death. God is the one who enables the devout warrior to prevail (Ps. 144:1).

Scripture respects the military vocation. John the Baptist told soldiers not to rob others, but not to leave the army (Luke 3:14). Roman centurions tend to be positive models in the New Testament (Matt. 27:54; Luke 7:9; Acts 10:2, 22, 35).

In the Old Testament, Abraham rescued his nephew Lot by raising a military force (Gen. 14:13-16). Later, God commanded Israel to make war. Deuteronomy 20 distinguishes two different kinds of war. One is against the Canaanite tribes within the land of promise, the other against "cities that are very far from you, which are not cities of the nations here" (verse 15). The first kind of warfare 11 is sometimes called herem warfare, from a verb used in Deut. 7:2 (cf. Ex. 22:19; Lev. 27:29; Num. 21:2-3). 12 Herem, sometimes translated "ban," is a war of total destruction:

But in the cities of these peoples that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes, 17 but you shall devote them to complete destruction,1 the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, as the LORD your God has commanded, 18 that they may not teach you to do according to all their abominable practices that they have done for their gods, and so you sin against the LORD your God. (verses 16-18, cf. Deut. 7:1-5)
Obviously, God ordained herem warfare for a specific situation, the fulfillment of his promise to Abraham, to give the land of Canaan to his descendants (Gen. 17:8). God does not command us to continue these practices beyond the time of the Israelite theocracy.

The other form of warfare mentioned in Deuteronomy 20 is war against "cities at a distance." Here, the treatment of Israel’s opponents is a bit more lenient, but still severe by modern standards. Israel must offer peace, and if the city accepts that offer, Israel must allow the people to live, but in slavery (verses 10-11). 13 If the city does not accept this offer, Israel will kill all the males, but take the women and children (presumably as slaves) and enjoy the plunder (verses 12-14; cf. Deut. 21:10-14.)

It is important to remember that even this second kind of warfare is holy war. All of Israel’s wars are holy. Before the battle, the priest proclaims a divine promise of victory (verses 2-4). 14 The people are to be ritually clean (Deut. 23:9-14). Then the officers grant liberal deferments: to men who have built new houses, planted new vineyards, been recently married (verses 5-7). Even cowardice is ground for deferment (verse 8)! (Cf. Deut. 24:5.) For God wants it to be plain that Israel gains its victories, not through numbers, but through God’s power. God has not made a similar covenant with any modern nation and has not given to anyone today a promise of victory in war. So, neither of the forms of warfare described in Deuteronomy 20 provides a ethical model for modern war.

Nor to my knowledge is there any other Bible passage that provides explicit ethical criteria for entering and waging war.
For more you may read The Sixth Commandment: War and Punishment by John Frame.


Reformed and Always Reforming,
J_Edwards #37917 Fri Oct 12, 2007 2:30 AM
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Thank you J_Edwards.. Very helpful.. A little over my head in places because of the wording and my lack of understanding.. But definitely helpful.

Clint #37918 Fri Oct 12, 2007 8:03 AM
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I too oppose the way the so-called "war on terror" got translated into "war in Iraq" in Afghanistan. Unjustifyable in my opinion, both Biblically and constitutionally (I have written extensively about it in my weblog).

A lot of valuable discussion on this and other topics has been archived here on the Highway. It's very enlightening (and a lot of fun) to explore the archives of the Forums here. There's such a rich treasury here! Check it out when you have some time.

-Robin

Robin #37919 Sun Oct 14, 2007 1:49 AM
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I think it may be helpful to draw a dichotomy between the Great Commandment to love your neighbor, even to love your enemy as yourself, on the one hand, and the ethics of war as applied to nations on the other hand. By mixing the two, you are mixing "apples and oranges" which seems to be adding to your confusion. My understanding of the commandment to love our enemies, and do good to them, applies to the realm of interpersonal relationships, and does not apply to warring armies. In other words, in my dealings with other folks on a personal level, I am to love, even those who hate me (enemies). However, this principal does not apply to nations that go to war. War is an inevitable result of the human condition in a fallen world.

When should I love, and when should I fight? Righteousness demands that I fight to defend the helpless and oppressed, and that I fight to defend my own life.

As for whether it is permissable for a Christian to fight and kill on the battlefield in an unjust war, I would point to Romans 13 (as J Edwards aptly pointed out earlier) which says that God has given the sword to the government. Christians are commanded to obey the governing authorities that God has placed over them. (The exception would be if the government commanded the Christian to disobey God and sin, in which case civil disobedience by the Christian would be demanded.) Therefore, according to the ethic of Romans 13,if a Christian joins the military or is drafted into service, that Christian is now under the authority of the military. In such cases righteousness requires that that Christian perform his/her duty, even if it means killing on the battlefield of an "unjust" war. The Christian must fight, not out of hatred, malice, or vengeance toward the enemy,as this would be sin, but out of a correct sense of duty and obligation to obey the authorities under which that Christian is serving. And of course, once the bullets begin to fly, another ethic kicks in; self defense, and there is a good biblical case that can be made for the fact that we must defend our lives, even with lethal force (see Luke 22:36).

I believe I can support my positions with scripture, but it is Saturday night and late, so I must go to bed and be rested for church. I can provide scriptural support later if needed. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/sleep.gif" alt="" />

deacon jim #37920 Tue Oct 16, 2007 8:31 PM
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I would like to see the biblical backup you have for your argument Jim.. Not because I think you are wrong or that I want to argue against you, but just that I may be able to read it for myself. Maybe if someone were to ask me a while down the road, I will be able to answer them with the same knowledge you all have given me.

Clint #37921 Fri Oct 19, 2007 2:06 AM
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That war is sometimes necessary in a fallen world – see J Edwards earlier response.

That the government has been given the sword and the authority to use it, and that we must submit to the governing authorities for the sake of righteousness – See Romans 13:1-7. While not stated explicitly, the principle in verse 7 would cover any lawful duty to the government, including obedience in military service.

For the right of self defense, see Luke 22:36. “…and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.”

Defend the weak. Psalm 82:2-4

Since the Bible cannot be divided against itself, the principles of our behavior (love) toward our enemies and “the evil person” stated in Matthew 5:39-48, must be understood in light of these other principles of scripture, a few of which are provided above, although not a comprehensive treatment of the subject by any means.

While the command to love our enemies, turn the other cheek, etc, does not apply to warring armies per se, there would still be wartime applications such as treatment of prisoners, caring for the wounded, etc. I believe it is possible for a soldier to do his/her duty on the battlefied while not falling into sins of vengeance, hatred, or cruelty.

The answers to your questions, I believe, are implied by scripture, if not explicitly stated (if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is probably a duck!). By applying these principles of scripture, some of which are provided below, it is possible to arrive at a biblical ethic pertaining to war.
<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/sleep.gif" alt="" />


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