Why is war accepted?

I know what you are probably thinking. Another “is war ok” thread, and yes unfortunately it is. I’ve researched different threads on war but I don’t get the answers I’m looking for. So I decided to make a new thread.

With North Korea threatening to possibly attack, we are yet again on the brink of war. I try to see the Catholic Church point of view when it comes to war and all threads I have found always talk about Just War Doctrine. I try understanding why war is being justified but I just can’t understand it.

Throughout the old testament it is obvious that war is somewhat accepted. But, with Jesus’s coming and the new covenant I really do not see a place where war is accepted. From what I understood, war is justified because of certain verses on the old testament, but we no longer live by the old testament, so why is it justified? The only place on the bible where I can see violence is when Jesus goes to the temple and sees people selling stuff. Aside from that, I believe that the new testament is filled with anti-war, turn your other cheek type of verses.

What I am trying to find out is where in the bible (new testament) does it say war is ok to a certain extent? The Just War Doctrine, to me, is men made. I view it as a human point of view and not divine.

From Romans13:

  1. Let every person be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists authority resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Do you wish to have no fear of the authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive its approval; 4 for it is God’s servant for your good. But if you do what is wrong, you should be afraid, for the authority does not bear the sword in vain! It is the servant of God to execute wrath on the wrongdoer.

The governing authorities are there to provide stability and justice in an evil world, hence the use of the sword if necessary. In the above passage, St. Paul talks about punishing evildoers. If one country attacks another country unjustly, is this not evildoing?

I understand where you are coming from, that there should be no violence. However, we do not live in an ideal world. We live in a world that has evil in it. People and countries do evil things to each other. It is a matter of justice to be able to defend oneself.

A story that I often forgot about when thinking about Christians being able to kill is in the book of Acts. Acts 5:4,5 Peter’s words killed Ananias and his wife shortly after.

Also in the book of Acts is an example of Christians that are still soldiers, such as Cornelius who was a centurion. God was with him, and yet his occupation most likely involved violence.

These examples aside, I still find it difficult that God would want us Christians fighting in wars. I believe that we have the responsibility to defend our loved ones and neighbors, but going across oceans to engage in battles that are not necessary does not make sense. Therefore, I don’t think Christians should join the military, but rather maybe the police department.

 Well....... in time of war... like WW II ... or the potential conflict with that looney in North Korea... there is no reasoning with these leaders... you cannot  sit down with them and explain there is a better way, if you tried you would disappear.. sadly the bible is forgotten in this human tragedy .... has been that way since year dot !

war will never end, until humanity ends

Those who don’t accept war, and refuse to participate are eliminated. The survivors are those who do accept it.

Eliminated from the present world that is passing away anyway. I wouldn’t want to be in a world with the only survivors being murderers, see how long God let’s that situation last. From early Christian times, it was a privilege to be a martyr, and I doubt that has changed. The problem with the way major wars are fought is that Catholics are killing Catholics, there is no justification in that, period.

OK. I can’t dispute anyone’s personal tastes and preferences.That’s an example of population self-selection.

Um no, if someone levels 12 gauge at you your allowed to use whatever force you deemed nessisary to survive.

um yes.

please read a little more carefully.

What you are mentioning has nothing to do with “wars.” I already mentioned that defending yourself and your neighbors is good.

So God appointed Hitler?
Stalin was instituted by God?
Whoever resisted Mao will incur judgement?
Those who did what was “right” earned Mussolini’s approval?
And finally, Fidel Castro was the servant of God?

Here folks, great examples of why the Bible can be a very dangerous set of books.

Sounds like a question of what makes a legitimate governing authority.

Where do you see the word “legitimate” in that passage?

I don’t. But one could say Hitler and Stalin are not authorities by setting definitions they don’t meet. That’s what I meant by the word “legitimate.” One would test the claim of authority to see if it fits the definition.

I suppose, but then aren’t we making the Bible into a ventriloquist’s dummy? There are lots of things that I would like it to say/not say, but that doesn’t change what it does say.

On the other hand, maybe in context that’s what it means - legitimate. I don’t know. I really hope so.

Seems just about everything else in the bible is subject to volumes of interpretation. Why not this? I’d probably start by contrasting a valid authority with an effective power. Then say power does not equal authority.

Yeah, I just wonder if you make the passage meaningless at that point.

It says that God appoints all authorities, no exceptions. If you then go ahead and say, “well, except the bad ones.” Then what the heck does that passage even mean in the first place?

It basically becomes, “If a leader behaves morally, they must be doing the will of God. If not, they aren’t.” Which is kinda like saying 1 = 1 or B = B.

Yes. Exactly. The narrow interpretation leads to folly.

Hi engdlyzp ,

Not all accept war. St. Francis of Assisi rejected all war. Personally, I have sympathy with St. Francis’s pacifism, as I do see it as following in Jesus’s footsteps.

Thank you all for providing an opinion! I am truly thankful.
It seems that this is one of the subjects where there are many mixed opinion.

As it says in Romans13 (thank you for that fredystairs!) It seems we should follow our leaders which I believe should be the leaders from where we live. For example I should follow Obama since he is the leader where I reside and people from North Korea should follow Kim Jong-un. But then who is the correct leader? As some has said, sometimes those leaders do not seem to do a good job (Hitler, Stalin, etc).

I was under the impression that we should fight for what we believe in, but then my Mom questioned my belief. If God is what we believe in, should we not “fight” for him? If he strictly said we should not kill or hurt others, should we not stand up for that belief?

I do understand, and it frightens me, to even imagine the possibility of not fighting for what I believe in. But then I think that this world will end and so will everyone in it. There really isn’t much of a point to this life other than to serve God. So whatever I do for my current freedom is in vain if it includes something God does not want me to do. So going to war/fighting for what is correct in this world could possibly not be correct with God. It seems to me, we should be peaceful no matter what. Whatever we suffer on earth is nothing compared to what we would suffer in hell for not following Gods will. As a human that is still very much in love with what this world has to offer, it sucks to think I should be peaceful when my freedom is in jeopardy. Although in the end, and with enough faith, everything will be worth it.

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