Today you should read: Deuteronomy 20
War. Huh. Yeaaa. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Edwin Star and the 11,713 people who liked his 1969 song and video on youtube certainly doesn’t think much about war and there’s quite a movement amongst young Christian pacifists who would agree. However you read today’s Word from God and may feel like it contradicts from Jesus’ turn the other cheek, I came to advance my kingdom not through the sword message. It doesn’t. Jesus is the same God in One who gave God’s chosen people laws when in warfare. Although much of this law has been abolished or fulfilled in the new covenant through Jesus like most of the Deuteronomy laws, it still brings up the question “Is war ever just?” Obviously it was in the Old Testament but does Jesus usher in a kingdom where we never physically protect the innocent or those who can’t fight for themselves? Are Christian sons in sin when they join the army to protect our country? When a king or ruler rises up and starts practicing genocide do we just stand there and let it happen? Although the answer to my original question “Is war ever just?” is a lot messier then a simple yes or no, I would use Scripture like the one we read today along with the rest the O.T. when God told Israel to fight and Jesus’ second coming with sword in hand, riding on His white horse that yes, war is just in an injust war. The problem is that even in just war situations, we still mess things up with wrong sinful motives, pride and other symptoms of the fall. However, at heart we do worship a God who calls us to protect the innocent and pursue good over evil. Most times that’s through the sharing of the Gospel where one can change from the inside out but sometimes, like Dietrich Bonhoeffer a pacifist theologian and pastor in German during WW2 once faced, we must take physical action to live out that calling.
Posted Erik Koliser