war - DFWstangs Forums
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-03-2009, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
Lifer
 
tenacious j's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: arlington
Posts: 2,198
war

How do Christians justify war when Jesus taught to turn the other cheek? Wouldn't that mean as a Christian one should be a pacifist?

myspace.com/tylerdurdin
tenacious j is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-03-2009, 08:15 PM
Lifer
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 7,017
Turn the other cheek does not mean that one must be a pacifist. Rather, it means rely on one's faith-based strength when faced with adversity.
Mr Majestyk is offline  
post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-03-2009, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
Lifer
 
tenacious j's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: arlington
Posts: 2,198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Majestyk View Post
Turn the other cheek does not mean that one must be a pacifist. Rather, it means rely on one's faith-based strength when faced with adversity.
An Eye for an Eye
38"You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.'[a] 39But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.


how do you get that it means to rely on one's faith based strengths when faced with adversity from that?

myspace.com/tylerdurdin
tenacious j is offline  
 
post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-04-2009, 03:37 AM
Lifer
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 7,017
Jesus was a person of great strength. Although knowing He faced the certainty of a painful death, He nonetheless knowingly endured the humiliation of His betrayal and then "turned the other cheek" as it were during His subsequent trial and suffering on the cross.
Mr Majestyk is offline  
post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-04-2009, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
Lifer
 
tenacious j's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: arlington
Posts: 2,198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Majestyk View Post
Jesus was a person of great strength. Although knowing He faced the certainty of a painful death, He nonetheless knowingly endured the humiliation of His betrayal and then "turned the other cheek" as it were during His subsequent trial and suffering on the cross.
yes, i get that.

what i am asking is, if Jesus told his disciples to turn the other cheek if someone strikes you, and the whole love your enemy stuff that he preached. then how can a Christian advocate going to war? is there a later passage where he says that this verse was only applying to him?

myspace.com/tylerdurdin
tenacious j is offline  
post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-04-2009, 10:46 AM
Time Served
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: houston
Posts: 787
they will argue loop holes for everything

sick96GT is offline  
post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-04-2009, 11:38 AM
Pilgrim
 
Phillystang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 3,086
Quote:
Originally Posted by tenacious j View Post
yes, i get that.

what i am asking is, if Jesus told his disciples to turn the other cheek if someone strikes you, and the whole love your enemy stuff that he preached. then how can a Christian advocate going to war? is there a later passage where he says that this verse was only applying to him?
http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceL...each_pacifism/

Does Jesus' teaching that we should turn the other cheek and love our enemies mean that it is always wrong to go to war? Should the world have turned the other cheek to Hitler and tried to love him into surrender? When Osama Ben Laden ordered the attack on the World Trade Center, should the U.S. have responded by sending him the Sears Tower as well? Or does Jesus allow a place for both loving our enemies and yet, in certain situations, using force to restrain life-threatening wickedness?

What follows are some of the primary reasons we believe that it is right for the military (and Christians who are a part of the military) to engage in wars that have just cause--namely, self-defense, the restraint of life-threatening evil, and the punishment of nations and individuals who have committed unjust acts of war against one's country. This is called the just war theory. We will close by seeking to explain how this fits with the command to turn the other cheek, love our enemies, and not resist him who is evil.

Pacifism is harmful
To let someone murder when it is in your power to stop them is completely contrary to our moral sentiments. If a Hitler is on the move and seeking to bind the world in tyranny and destroy entire ethnic groups, it would seem very clearly wrong not to oppose him with force (which sometimes is the only effective method). It is true that war itself is harmful and tragic; but pacifism would result in even more harm to the world because it would give wicked people virtually free reign. We of course must be open to letting the Bible transform our moral sentiments, but this observation should at least cause us to pause and reflect more deeply before concluding that Jesus is intending to teach pacifism.

Consistent pacifism would have to eliminate the police, not just the military
In fact, if we were to conclude that governments should always turn the other cheek and never resist evil, then we would be logically committing ourselves to getting rid of not only the armed forces, but also the police force and criminal justice system. For police officers arrest criminals, using force against them if necessary, and put them in jail. That is not turning the other cheek. Does Jesus intend his command to turn the other cheek to apply to the police? Surely not as their primary way of responding to evil. God does not want evil to run about in our society unchecked (cf. in the OT the numerous civil laws and in the NT Romans 13, to be discussed below). If one accepts the legitimacy of police using force in some instances, there can be no objection to the military using force in some instances, either.

Luke 3:14 allows military service
It is significant that John the Baptist did not tell the soldiers to leave the military when they asked him what it meant to repent: "And some soldiers were questioning him, saying, 'And what about us, what shall we do?' And he said to them, 'Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely, and be content with your wages'" (Luke 3:14). Since it is, therefore, possible to live a godly life and yet be in the military, it must be because engaging in war is not always sinful.

John 18:36 acknowledges the right of the sword to earthly kingdoms
In this passage, Jesus says: "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting, that I might not be delivered up to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm." When Jesus says that if his kingdom were of this world his servants would be fighting, he implies that it is right for kingdoms of this world to fight when the cause is just and circumstances require it. As Christians, we are citizens of "two kingdoms"--our country on earth, and heaven. Jesus shows us that it is never right to fight for the sake of his spiritual kingdom, but that it is right to fight on behalf of earthly kingdoms (when necessary to counter evil and destruction).

Romans 13:3-4 grants governments the right to use force to restrain and punish evil
Paul writes: "For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil."

Here Paul affirms the government's right to use force in two ways. First, he says that it "does not bear the sword for nothing." Second, he states that government is a "minister of God" when it executes vengeance against evildoers.

Governments, of course, do not have the right to use force for any purpose whatsoever. They do not have the right to use force in order to lord it over their citizens and impose unnecessary restraints upon freedom. There are two purposes for which this text says the government is justified in using force: the restraint of evil and the punishment of evil. The purpose of force is not just to prevent further evil from happening, but to punish evil acts by bringing the perpetrators to justice. Government is acting as a "minister of God" when it serves as "an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil."

Does the right of the sword in this text extend to the case of war? The immediate context does have in mind the use of physical force in regard to a government's own citizens. But by extension this also implies that if one nation commits an act of war against another nation, the offended nation has the right to engage in self-defense and to avenge the wrong. Would it be consistent to say that a nation has a right to restrain and punish evil committed against it by its own citizens, but not to restrain and punish evil committed against it by another nation? The mere fact that the civil offense was committed by another country does not remove their accountability to the country they attacked.

1 Peter 2:13-4 confirms the teaching of Romans 13:3-4
In 1 Peter 2:13-14, we are taught: "Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right." Once again, the right of governments to punish evil is affirmed.

Is it right for a Christian to fight in a war?
Since the Scriptures teach that it is right for a nation to engage in a just war, it follows that it is therefore right for a Christian to fight in such a war. Some have argued that non-Christians may fight in wars but believers may not, but this distinction is not found in Scripture. Scripture teaches that it is not sin for a government to engage in a just war, and there is therefore nothing that forbids Christian from being involved in just wars.

Church and state must be distinguished
It is very important, however, to remember here the distinction between church and state. The Christian fights in a war not as an ambassador of the church or on behalf of the church, but as an ambassador of his country. The church is not to use violence (John 18:36), but the government at times may (John 18:36; Romans 13:3-4; etc.). So the Christian fights not as an agent of the church, but as an agent of the government of his country. Both are ultimately under the authority of God, but each has a distinct role.

What about turning the other cheek?
What, now, are we to make of Jesus' radical commands in Matthew 5:39-41? "Do not resist him who is evil; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone wants to sue you, and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. And whoever shall force you to go one mile, go with him two." How does this fit with what we have seen above?

First, we need to clarify what the problem is not. The problem is not that Jesus appears to be telling us to lie down and let evil overtake us. That is clearly not what he is saying. Instead, he is telling us what it looks like "not [to] be overcome by evil, but [to] overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:21). We have all seen the wisdom of Jesus' words here in our everyday lives. Much of the time, the most effective way to overcome evil is by not resisting. If someone says a mean word, it is far more effective to respond with kindness than with another mean word in return. If someone tries wrongly to cut you off on the freeway, it is usually best just to let them do it. If we would learn these principles, our lives would be much more peaceful and, ironically, we would be vindicated more often.

So the problem is not that it looks as though Jesus is telling us to let evil steam-roll over us. The problem is that it looks like Jesus is telling us that the only way we should ever seek to overcome evil is by letting it go and responding with kindness. It looks as though he leaves no place for using force in resisting evil.

Part of the answer to this difficulty lies in understanding the hyperbolic nature of much of the Sermon on the Mount. I don't think that Jesus is telling us never to respond to evil with force (such as in self-defense) or always to literally turn the other cheek when we are slapped any more than his command later in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:6 means that we should only pray when we are completely alone or his command in 5:29 means that some should literally gouge out their eyes. Jesus himself drove the thieves away from the temple with a whip (John 2:15) and Paul at times insisted on his rights as a Roman citizen (Acts 25:11; cf. also the interesting instance of 16:35-40). Jesus is using hyperbole to illustrate what our primary disposition and attitude should be, not to say that we should literally give in to every attempt to do evil against us. That is part of the answer.

The main part of the answer, however, lies in remembering that Jesus is speaking primarily to individuals. He is not mainly addressing governments here, but is primarily speaking at the personal level. This text, then, shows that an individual's primary response to evil should be to "turn the other cheek," while the other texts we have seen (e.g., Romans 13:3-4) show that government's God-given responsibility is to punish those who commit civil crimes (murder, terrorism, acts of war, etc.). While it is sometimes appropriate even for individuals to use self-defense, it is never appropriate for individuals to seek to punish others. But it is right, however, for governments both to take measures of self-defense and to execute retribution.

There are, in other words, various "spheres" of life. God has willed that some spheres include responsibilities that are not necessarily included in other spheres. Personally, it would be wrong for us to execute retribution on people who harm us. But passages like Romans 13:3-4 and John 18:36 show that Jesus is not denying governments the right to execute retribution on evildoers. Therefore, when a Christian is under the authority of the government and authorized to fight in a just war on the nation's behalf, it is appropriate for him to fight. For he is not fighting as a private individual, but as a representative of the government to which God has given the power of the sword.

In doing so, a Christian soldier should strive to love one's opponents in war as people, remembering that he opposes them as agents of the opposing government/system, not as private individuals. When at war, we need to look at people in the opposing army/terrorist group at two levels--the private, and governmental/public. Because of the private level, the soldier should pray for and love the opposing soldiers. And because of the public level, the soldier fights against them--not as private individuals, but as public representatives of the system and evil that is being opposed. That distinction, I am sure, would be hard to maintain in battle. Neither would it remove the pain and difficulty of being involved in fighting against other human beings. But it is perhaps a faint reflection of how the personal and governmental spheres overlap and involve one another while still remaining distinct.
Phillystang is offline  
post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-04-2009, 12:02 PM
Blessed
 
StangTamer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: In the light.
Posts: 7,507
There is a time to fight. John ch 2 Jesus turned over tables chased out the money changers and traders out of the Temple with a whip.

If you look earlier in Mathew Ch 5 it says...
10Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

12Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

21Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

22But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment:

Turning the other cheek is pointed toward people teaching the Word of God. Jesus didn't want people to fight for his sake. They Bible teaches all Christian will be persecuted. There is still alot of persecution today, but back then it was much worse. So if you were spit on, punched, or stoned you weren't suppose to show offense. It is a Godly principle to protect your family.
StangTamer is offline  
post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-04-2009, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
Lifer
 
tenacious j's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: arlington
Posts: 2,198
so is it understood that what the other people said in the bible is as important as to what Jesus said in the bible?


oh and i read that whole response you put and i think i understood most of it. but i feel like some of those explanations were stretching a bit. like the luke and the military service and the John 18:36 explanation.

myspace.com/tylerdurdin
tenacious j is offline  
post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-04-2009, 12:34 PM
Blessed
 
StangTamer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: In the light.
Posts: 7,507
Quote:
Originally Posted by tenacious j View Post
so is it understood that what the other people said in the bible is as important as to what Jesus said in the bible?


oh and i read that whole response you put and i think i understood most of it. but i feel like some of those explanations were stretching a bit. like the luke and the military service and the John 18:36 explanation.


Since the Bible was inspired by God, It would be fair to say that other peoples words are equally important. Though, Jesus is the head of the food chain.
StangTamer is offline  
post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-04-2009, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
Lifer
 
tenacious j's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: arlington
Posts: 2,198
Quote:
Originally Posted by StangTamer View Post
Since the Bible was inspired by God, It would be fair to say that other peoples words are equally important. Though, Jesus is the head of the food chain.
this is something that i have always heard. where does it say it is inspired by God?

myspace.com/tylerdurdin
tenacious j is offline  
post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-04-2009, 12:47 PM
Blessed
 
StangTamer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: In the light.
Posts: 7,507
Quote:
Originally Posted by tenacious j View Post
this is something that i have always heard. where does it say it is inspired by God?

I heard it in the Theology Forum on DFWstangs.




































Just kidding. 2 Timothy 3:16
StangTamer is offline  
post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-04-2009, 12:53 PM
Blessed
 
StangTamer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: In the light.
Posts: 7,507
16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
StangTamer is offline  
post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-04-2009, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
Lifer
 
tenacious j's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: arlington
Posts: 2,198
Quote:
Originally Posted by StangTamer View Post
I heard it in the Theology Forum on DFWstangs.




































Just kidding. 2 Timothy 3:16

haha.


ok, so then i am confused on how the bible was put together. it wasn't written by a single author or at a single time. it was written as different books and the authors were not collaborating with each other. and most books were not written by the person who it is named after. right?

and then maybe it was constantine, i think thats right. who got the major leaders that were teaching Christianity together and they decided as to what books would be put into the bible and then books were added and taken away over the years. is this correct?

so just because it says that in Timothy, how does that translate to mean it applies to all chapters in the bible?

myspace.com/tylerdurdin
tenacious j is offline  
post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-04-2009, 01:24 PM
Blessed
 
StangTamer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: In the light.
Posts: 7,507
Also 2 peter ch1

20Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

21For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
StangTamer is offline  
post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-04-2009, 01:45 PM
Blessed
 
StangTamer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: In the light.
Posts: 7,507
Quote:
Originally Posted by tenacious j View Post
haha.


ok, so then i am confused on how the bible was put together. it wasn't written by a single author or at a single time. it was written as different books and the authors were not collaborating with each other. and most books were not written by the person who it is named after. right?

and then maybe it was constantine, i think thats right. who got the major leaders that were teaching Christianity together and they decided as to what books would be put into the bible and then books were added and taken away over the years. is this correct?

so just because it says that in Timothy, how does that translate to mean it applies to all chapters in the bible?

There are different authors. 2 peter ch1 makes the translation I think you are looking for about all of the books in the Bible.

20Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

21For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
StangTamer is offline  
post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-04-2009, 02:43 PM
You never go full retard
 
MotoMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: back in the gym.
Posts: 9,936
Good book, you should give it a read somtime.


Over five thousand years ago, Moses said to the children of Israel, "Pick up your shovel, mount your asses and camels, and I will lead you to the Promised Land." Nearly 75 years ago, Roosevelt said,"Lay down your shovels, sit on your asses, and light up a camel, this is the Promised Land." Now Obama has stolen your shovel..., taxed your asses, raised the price of camels and mortgaged the Promised Land!
MotoMan is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Bookmarks

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the DFWstangs Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome