Christians and War

An anonymous person posted this reply to my previous post.

"I think God used war in the Old Testament as a punishment or an award for nation of Israel's behavior. I don't think he had used it in the New Testament. We, as Christians are a new Israel. Unlike OT Israel, this kind of Israel is not confined within the realms of borders, countries or governments. It is transient. 1 Cor 12:13: "For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free--and we were all given the one Spirit to drink." And again, in Gal. 3:28 "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."

If one argues that God still uses wars for punishment/awards, I think, one would have to see Christians as a single nation, such as Christian Exodus. And it all comes down to the philosophy that this nation is great because it enjoys the blessings of God and thus, if this country wants to continue to enjoy the blessings, it must turn back to God. I disagree with that, as a Christian and as a foreigner."

In order to believe what you say, I would have to believe that God has completely stopped working with nations and that he does not appoint leaders. Nations are just a collection of individuals, and we have no problem saying God works on individuals. He actually killed some individuals in the New Testament, so that does show He is willing to kill them. Maybe the problem lies in believing in a collective guilt. I don't have an answer for that yet because I am also probing that question. However, the Bible is clear that leaders are in their positions of leadership because God wants them there and He will remove them when he so desires.

Romans 13:1 states: "Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God."

Revelation 10:8-11 says, "Then the voice which I heard from heaven, I heard again speaking with me, and saying, "Go, take the book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the land." So I went to the angel, telling him to give me the little book. And he said to me, "Take it and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey." I took the little book out of the angel's hand and ate it, and in my mouth it was sweet as honey; and when I had eaten it, my stomach was made bitter. And they said to me, "You must prophesy again concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings."

The Revelation passage, obviously, comes after the time of Jesus, yet God still seems to be concerned with kings and nations.

I do feel that the whole point of my original post was ignored. I did say Christians should not fight in wars, a point that the anonymous reply completely missed. Apparently, I wasn't clear enough, so I will try to clarify what I said. Christians should never take up arms against another person whether in war or at home. I know that's a little radical, but I do believe the "Turn the other cheek" passage is literal and not a suggestion. I expected more disagreements with the non-violent stance than with the stance that God uses nations for war.

Step two of the post was the belief that Christians should not fight in war, but God will use unbelievers to bring about His will - through war if necessary. He was working on me before I knew him. He is at work in everyone and everywhere. I do not believe His work is limited to Christians.

I don't see why God would have changed from preparing the world by using pagan nations for His purpose. God used pagan nations in the Old Testament to bring about his will and it wasn't always in direct relation to Israel. As a matter of fact, I don't believe his work in Old Testament times was limited to Israel. God was at work anywhere people were receptive to Him. A good book that deals with this is Eternity In Their Hearts. Maybe I will deal with it in another post another time.

God cares about the spread of His Kingdom, so why wouldn't he prepare the leadership of nations and grow or shrink a nation's domain to spread His message? Could you or anyone please explain that to me?

"If one argues that God still uses wars for punishment/awards, I think, one would have to see Christians as a single nation, such as Christian Exodus."

I want to also bring attention to this phrase because you hit the nail on the head. Christians are a single nation. I am part of the nation (or kingdom) of God. My fellow citizens are located in Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Syria, China, Russia, France, and every other nation in the world. We are the nation of God. My allegiance is to God above any state. I will agree with you that a person would have to see Christians as a single nation; however, I view that nation as a nation without boundaries. It is a nation that we aren't willing to kill for but are more than willing to die for. We are aliens in this world because the nations we live in aren't our nations. We are residents of an eternal nation without borders or armies. All we have are priests.

I think the church has lost the message of the kingdom, so we will be checking it out tomorrow. I just couldn't wait till then to respond to this post. It's interesting that this reply came today. I couldn't ask for a better framework for tomorrow's post.

Watch out for the potholes.