BIBLE Q & A
Can war ever be justified?
Peace-niks' call for "nonviolence and conflict resolution" is simply unrealistic. The irrational (Hussein, Hitler, etc.) are incapable of striking an accord. Even God has enemies: Acts 13:10; Romans 11:28; Philippians 3:18. he never compromises with evil.
"The Lord is a man of war." (Exodus 15:3) "...in righteousness does He judge and make war." (Revelation 19:11) There is no justice without judgment.
God commanded Israel to destroy evil nations, and he rebuked them for their acquiescence when he ordered their defeat. (Joshua 10; etc.) Those who cried "peace, peace" were false prophets. (Ezekiel 13:16; etc.)
The lives of David, Saul, Elisha and Moses are filled with examples of God's judgment upon evil throught the hands (and, yes, the weapons) of His people. "And many were slain, because the war was of God." (1 Chronicles 5:22; 2 Kings 13:17; Joshua 10) Moses reproved Israel for compromising with the Midianites (Numbers 31). Saul was reproved for not wiping out the Amalekites, when God said to destroy them (1 Samuel 15).
"He teacheth my hands to war," wrote David (whom God said was "a man after mine own heart") in a battle song; "You have girded me with strength for the battle. You have also given me the necks of mine enemies." (Psalm 18) "I am for peace," he said, "but they are for war." Nevertheless, experience him that the execution of justice often requires resistance against opposing forces. To compromise with evil is to approve of corruption. To be passive is to protect evil's interests.
"I am the Lord, I change not." (Malachi 3:6) The God of the Old Testament is the same today. The New Testament commands us to submit to governmental authorities (Romans 13:4), with few exceptions. "As much as lies within you," Paul writes, "strive to live peaceably with all men." The implication is that this is not always possible.
In God's perfect world, the wolf will lie down with the lamb, but only after the earth is cleansed of evil (Isaiah 11:6; 2:4) Until then, the Bible says, wars are inevitable (Ecclesiastes 3:8; Matthew 24:6).
Is war always wrong? Only if the Bible is inaccurate--and God, a liar. And if that's the case, nothing really matters, ultimately. If God is not true, then there is no right or wrong; and nothing is immoral--even war.
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