Friday, November 28, 2008

Christianity and war

Though some may find the war in Iraq, and war in general to be a contradiction to

the philosophy of Christian living, there are much more complex issues at hand than to just condemn war outright. For example, World War II was fought to end the tyranny of both Germany and Japan who were vicious in their persecution and domination without mercy upon others. Similarly, the war in Iraq is all about liberating the people of Iraq from a vicious and evil tyrant that did not even hesitate to gas and murder 100,000+ of his own people!

So what? We are not Iraqi's some people would say! But that is what was said when Hitler was murdering Jews. Then Catholics (1/3 of the Poles murdered were Catholics), then Evangelicals, finally there was no one left except those too frightened to say anything, or his supporters. So anyway, getting back to the purpose of this...

Having served in Iraq (I am the one on the far left of the picture above) I can tell you that most of the people there DO feel liberated. They are happy to have a taste of freedom! So what do the Scriptures say about war... ?

The scriptures do not condemn a righteous war, in fact they demand it. The problem we face is deciding when war is righteous and when it is not. Fortunately, I do not have to make that decision, on my own. The leaders of this country decide when our soldiers go to war. The Bible also says to follow the law, and the orders of those in our leadership. Romans 13 covers this quite well. So again back to the subject at hand.

Is war opposed to Christianity? That depends on the purpose for it. Is it wrong for soldiers to participate in war? Never, as long as they follow the rules (and yes there are rules in war -- the Geneva convention) of land warfare. Soldiers must obey their leaders, as long as they are not given orders to do something illegal or immoral according to their faith, or the laws of land warfare.

Therefore, if you object to this (or any other) war, but say you want to support the troops, do not talk out of both sides of your mouth. A soldier does not feel support if you tell them, "I support you, but not what you are doing."