WARNING: RAMBLING AHEAD. You may want to just skip to the bottom and read my comment, because I think it makes more sense than all this mumbo-jumbo I wrote here… ha ha! Thanks for humoring me 😉
We’ve been having a pretty cool discussion in the comments section of my last post, God, government and “the sword”. As I started to respond to the last comment, I realized that it was getting long, so I decided to make a new post out of it. Feel free to go back and read the comments on the first post, and then jump on back here to continue the discussion…
Anyways, here’s what Matt asked:
I still want to hear how you handle the wars in the old testament.
I also believe that while Jesus would prefer to act peacefully he was also willing to act in other ways as need be. I look to Mark 11:12-26 and see Jesus acting quite forcefully when he sees injustice.
What do you think?
ok, here goes…
wars in the OT:
Honestly, I don’t know how to handle them… But I’m going to attempt to figure it out by stating the things that I DO know:
A) God’s knowledge/understanding far surpasses what we have the ability to understand (this is ALWAYS a good place to start, in my opinion)
B) God is Holy and thus cannot (or will not?) do anything that is sinful or “wrong”
C) In the past, God has directly commanded people to war (OT times)
Ok, so knowing these things, what do I do? I think that an analogy might help me to figure it out:
Lying is sinful, according to the 10 Commandments, however I don’t think anyone would disagree that there are times when telling a lie is actually the right thing to do. Take the Holocaust for example, or the Underground Railroad: I’m sure that there were many lies being told in order to save lives, and to free slaves. No one in their right mind would say that it was wrong that people lied then, but does that now mean that lying is OK, and not sinful? No, I don’t think anyone in their right mind would say that, either.
So, what do we do with that? You have 2 options I think:
1) Lying is usually a sin, but sometimes, there are Lies that aren’t sinful… “Just Lies” maybe? (like “Just War”)
2) Lying is ALWAYS a sin. But you have to do it anyways sometimes…
So… how does this correlate to the concept of “Just War”?
It seems to me….
well, you know what. Nevermind. I think that I set out to propose that there is never a “Just War” however I think that I’ve just convinced myself that maybe there is… ha ha ha.
I think I’ll end with this: Even if there are cases where war may be Just, there are plenty cases where an unjust war was proclaimed to be Just by the people fighting it… (Conquistadors in South/Central America, Crusades, conflicts in Africa)
So, I guess my point is that we should be REALLY careful with that label… I’m done for now, it’s late…