Summary: War can be in accord with the will of God. Although particular wars may be controversial, we must start with the premise that war is an option.
My Undersatnding of the Bible’s Teaching About War
1. The Bible is a book filled with War.
2. Yet anybody who has fought in the trenches will tell you, without hesitation, that War is like Hell of Earth.
3. I think before we begin this brief presentation, we need to remember that War is a result of sin in the world. That it is not to say that there can never be an innocent party and a guilty party: there can be.
4. And most nations, ours included, have been sometimes on the wrong side of wars:
(1) our constant wars against the Indians
(2) our War with Mexico
(3) even the War of 1812 is hard to justify…
5. So today, I cannot offer clear cut Biblical reasoning that says we should go to war against Iraq, though that is what I personally believe. The Bible does not say, “America, attack Iraq.” But I do believe that the Bible gives our leaders that option. Whether it is justified or in our best interest or is a controversial matter.
MAIN IDEA: My goal today is to present some straightforward propositions for you to take or leave, but propositions I believe to be clear cut.
I. God Would Not Command His Children to Go to War If War Were Always Wrong
1. God is Himself called a Mighty Warrior (Ex. 15:2-3), and God frequently fought for Israel….
2. The Hebrew word for a young man, Gibbor, means “warrior.”
3. God strengthened many people FOR war: Moses, Joshua, the various Judges, even King David and His Might Men of War---Read Hebrews 11:32-34
4. God wanted the Israelites to be a militarily ready people: Judges 3:1-2
II. The Teachings of Jesus Do Not Contradict the Old Testament
1. Matt. 5:17-18
2. It is true that most or all of us are gentile believers, and much of the Law deals with God’s special relationship to Israel, but the point I want to make is that Jesus endorsed the Law, and the Law repeatedly commands war….
3. The teachings of Jesus are often misunderstood because people fail to see the moderation in them….Matt. 5:38-41
Turn the other check means insult (every culture conisders a slap in the cheek an insult), not a blow or an all out attack. The teaching here is avoid the lawsuit, walk one extra mile (not as many as he wants). This is a moderate effort to go beyond what is required, not an extreme position (do not defend yourself, do whatever people want you to). The concept is make the extra effort to go beyond.
---notice what we have here: a few verses in one Gospel that have been misunderstood verses scores and scores of accounts of God-ordered wars and a Savior that endorses those wars….
4. Jesus is not Mr.Rogers
III. The Evidence is that War Can Still Be in God’s Will
1. Luke 3:14
2. Matt. 8:5-13
What Jesus did NOT say, “Go, and sin no more by serving in the military”
3. Acts 10:1
4. I Pet. 2:14
5. Luke 22:35-37, 49
6. When Jesus returns, He will come with a sword….Rev. 19:11-16
7. The church’s job is not to war physically….2 Cor. 10:5
8. The concept of dual citizenship….
IV. The Question Remains: When Should A Christian Support or Oppose A War?
1. Ps. 68:30