Is War a Sin?

When the world was created, God never intended for such evil to take place -- His plan was perfect.   However, as is painfully obvious in the headlines, people don't follow God's loving plan.  The world is a very different place from what the Bible prescribes.

Because of human rebellion, we have a world full of suffering, evil, and death.

Clearly, war is an extension of that evil -- absolutely against God's plan for a perfect and peaceful world. Human rebellion against God has bred hatred, selfishness, greed, pride, racism, and the lust for power. Because of these very real evils, someone must stand against them.

So, although we know that war is always based on evil, it is not always evil to fight -- that depends on which side you're fighting for. Sometimes, "good" must take up arms in order to stop the onslaught of evil. Th

e great statesman Edmund Burke once commented: "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." Indeed, sometimes it is wrong not to fight.

Imagine a violent offender breaking into your home and threatening to kill your children. Would it be "right" for you to fight?  Not only would it be right, it would be a moral imperative, would it not?  Someone must protect the innocent and help those who cannot help themselves.

In certain situations, by not fighting you actually become a participant in the evil itself.

Some have suggested that the more powerful nations of the world need to "set the example of peace" by disarming themselves. Although this prospect appears inviting, it ignores one very real fact: not everyone is seeking good. If people were dependably good at heart, military power would be unnecessary.

But we live in a world where Hitler's and the like can and do arise.  In the same way that local crime is committed and must be stopped; sometimes international crime is committed as well.  And in these unfortunate scenarios, if "good" does not have a powerful fighting force, it will be extinguished.

In a world where evil exists, the only way to achieve peace is through strength.

History demonstrates this fact clearly. Nations that disarm end up having to fight -- and lose. Nations that build up their forces are able to maintain long periods of peace and prosperity.

If a nation is not defended sufficiently, evil will overtake it. Free, peace-loving nations must build and be willing to use effective military forces. Treaties and alliances may be helpful, but ultimately, peace is always and only guaranteed through strength and nothing else.

Some people claim that because Jesus said to "turn the other cheek," war is always wrong. But consider:

1. Pacifists only have the right to say what they are saying because someone went to war and fought to earn that freedom.

2. Jesus taught that when it comes to our relationships as people, we must not seek retaliation, and, as far as it is possible, we must remain "at peace with all men." However, he did not teach that war was wrong. Jesus commended a Roman centurion (soldier) for his great faith...but never told him to give up his sword (Matthew 8). This indicates that Jesus viewed soldiers as a necessary profession...just as he viewed doctors (Luke), tax-collectors (Matthew), and fisherman (Peter). This assumption can also be made about John the Baptist (Luke 3) and Peter (Acts 10).

3. The Apostle Paul makes it clear that one of the roles of human government is to punish evil. (Romans 13)

4.  If Jesus was actually anti-war, he could have condemned the many battles and warriors of the Old Testament era, but He didn't.  In fact, in Hebrews 11, the Apostle Paul holds many of these warriors up as examples of faith.

War itself is not a sin, but a "necessary evil" in this world of pride, selfishness, and greed. God is certainly not "pro" war, but He allowed it and sometimes even commanded it in the Bible.

War is a sad, yet legitimate, function of human government.


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