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War is defined as “a state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations,” or more generally, as “a state of hostility, conflict, or antagonism.”

About 15 years ago a group of academics and historians compiled some startling information. Since 3600 BC, the world has known only 292 years of peace! During this period, that is, during the past 5,600 years, there have been 14,351 wars large and small, in which 3.64 billion people have been killed. The value of the property destroyed is equal to a golden belt around the entire world 97.2 miles wide and 33 feet thick.

About 25 years ago a Dutch professor calculated the cost of an enemy soldier’s death at different epochs in history. He estimated that during the reign of Julius Caesar, to kill an enemy soldier cost less than $1. At the time of Napoleon, it had considerably inflated—to more than $2,000. At the end of the First World War, it had multiplied several times to reach the figure of some $17,000. During the Second World War, it was about $40,000. And in Vietnam, in 1970, to kill one enemy soldier cost the United States $200,000. I shudder to think what the cost is today.

Now, these facts and figures are frankly more sad than interesting. General William T. Sherman, in a speech in 1880, said, “There is many a boy here today who looks on war as all glory, but, boys, it is all hell.” This appears to be the basis for the quote commonly ascribed to Sherman, “War is hell.” All of us, but especially those of us who have served in a war, can testify to the veracity of Sherman’s statement.

However, the important issue before us is not our view about war but, rather, Jesus’ view of war.

(SOURCE: from a sermon by Freddy Fritz, "War" 7/27/08, War by Freddy Fritz)

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