War! What is it good for?
May 30, 2011
Posted by on
Should Christians participate in war? What is it good for?
That’s a complex question with no easy answers. Christians through the ages have held a range of opinions regarding war. Many of the early church leaders leaned toward pacifism and taught that Jesus’ followers could never be soldiers. Later theologians like Augustine and Aquinas developed what is known as the just war theory. A war would be considered just if it met certain standards. Other Christians have considered any call to war by their nation a righteous action.
I belong to a branch of the Christian Family Tree that allows each member to determine his/her own opinion on this matter. We fully support those who have moral objections to taking a human life even in war. We also support clergy who serve as military chaplains. Finally, we support those who enlist to serve in the various branches of the armed forces in their respective nations.
Jesus Sacrificed Everything for Our Freedom
You may be wondering what I think since this is my blog. Fair enough. Here’s my convoluted opinion. (Someone may tell me I contradict myself in what I’m about to say, but I am a work in progress so please be patient.)
- I definitely believe my government can make decisions that are not righteous. Therefore, I reserve the right to speak out against specific wars.
- I believe our soldiers need spiritual counsel and support so I am honored to say I know two chaplains who have served in Iraq.
- I believe the sacrifices made by our service personnel are worthy of our deepest gratitude and respect. Many of them bear scars no one will ever see.
- I think that military action to end oppression and ethnic cleansing is just, perhaps even necessary in a world filled with sinful, broken people and systems.
What do you think? What is war good for? Perhaps others can share their ideas in the comments. If this post has helped you or if you believe it might help someone you know, please share it. Thank you.