Summary: What should be a Christian’s stand on war?
Sermon for 10/14/2001
Adapted from an outline on Pastor’s Pastor
A. A Kentucky mountaineer fighting overseas in WW1 kept getting nagging letters from his wife back home. He was too busy fighting to write letters, even to his wife. At last, angered by his wife’s scolding letters, he sat down and wrote her: "Dear Nancy: I been a-gittin yore naggin letters all along. Now I want to tell ye, I’m tired of them. For the first time in my life I’m a-fightin in a big war, and I want to enjoy it in peace as long as it lasts."
B. Funny, but war is not a laughing matter. Not long after we left last Sunday a war against Afghanistan began with bombing.
C. Our current situation, America’s war against terrorism, reminds me of two kids sitting on a nursery floor, side by side. One mother gives her child a pacifier, then moves away to talk to a nursery worker. The child without a pacifier begins to eye the other; his face begins to contort. The other child is content to suck away while playing with a toy. The kid without the pacifier reaches over and pops the pacifier right out of the child’s mouth; immediately there are tears and wailing! The mother rushes over, physically removes the pacifier from the offender, picks up her baby, and takes him to a secure region of the nursery.
D. The moral? Sometimes aggression must be met with physical resistance by interested third parties in order to:
1. Maintain security for the threatened innocent
2. Restore peace to the region.
E. War can be viewed in this way on a bigger scale. However, what about the words of Jesus. Turn the other cheek. Take outer coat gives him inner coat as well. Etc.
F. Do not murder.
G. If we are for war, are we for people solving their disputes with a fistfight?
H. How should a Christian respond to the issue of war!
A. Old Testament there was such a thing as war that God ordered.
B. In the New Testament there is no mention of such a concept.
C. No war in our day is holy. Even in the Old Testament it was not holy. Holiness originates with God. God is not the author of war.
D. Responsible, thinking people around the world are concerned about where this conflict with evil and terror will go? Will the struggle against terror spiral into a global war?
E. Many questions for the Christian: What is the morality of war in general? Is war ever justified? And if so, under what circumstances?
Thesis: How should believers understand war?
I. Mark 12:13-17. We must understand that God has given nations freewill concerning War!
A. Here people are trying to trap Jesus. If he says no, then we will report him to Pilate. If he says yes we will spread this among the people and they will not support this Messiah.
B. Calls for a coin and asks, "Whose head is that?" The currency of the country proclaims the leader of the country. To stamp his image on the coin is an act of sovereignty. This person controls the state.
C. Give unto Caesar, give unto God.
D. War is not the domain of or desire of a holy God.
E. War, by definition, is unholy and unnecessary and therefore the domain and property of Caesar!
F. War is a condition forced upon the righteous and unrighteous alike, by a sinful world.
G. Dr. Robert Page- World peace will come only when all mankind turns wholeheartedly to God in complete humility and voluntary unconditional surrender. Until human nature is changed, we’ll have war.
H. Those who advocate anarchy.
II. Read Romans 13:1-5. We must understand that God has given governments authority and the responsibility to punish evil!
A. Four principles of government:
1. Human government has a divine origin! Vs. 1
a. It has power from God.
b. Its power comes with divine sanctions! Can only go so far.
c. They are ministers. Called minister in vs. 4. Full time to governing. That is why you pay taxes.
2. Citizens of such an entity have special obligations!
a. To be obedient.
b. To submit. Vs. 5
c. Especially Christians.
d. Paul was talking about Caesar. Did not advocate anarchy or the overthrow of a government!
3. Government has two primary responsibilities
a. (Our government does more, but primary task. My primary task is to preach. What is the primary task of the government?)
b. To punish evil!
c. To promote good!
d. Different parties and people have different ideas how to do this, but this is the primary responsibility of government.
e. How well the government does this shows the effectiveness of the government.