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HolyGround >> Jesus and War ?


4/27/11 5:30 PM
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zealot66
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 Do you think that Jesus and War mix ? Can you be a true christian and be kicking down doors putting bullets in peoples heads ? The politically right wing idea is that God America and the Soldier are nearly revered as ministers of christ. The whole dispute to me is would jesus charge a machine gun nest ? Can you mesh war with christian beliefs ?
4/27/11 11:12 PM
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the rooster
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when soldiers asked John the baptist what to do, he didn't say "quit the army". Neither did Peter say that to Cornelius.

Rom 13:1 ¶ Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.


Rom 13:2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.


Rom 13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:


Rom 13:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to [execute] wrath upon him that doeth evil.


Rom 13:5 Wherefore [ye] must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.


Rom 13:6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.


Rom 13:7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute [is due]; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
4/27/11 11:58 PM
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Ridgeback
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 And the resident Neo-Con weighs in. 

At a bare minimum Christians should be the hardest people to drag into a war.  At a bare minimum the concepts of Just War should be held to, but the truth is most American Christians will support any war that comes down the pike and then support it with scriptures just like slave owners did in the early 19th century.

Imagine an invading force has begun attacking your country because of what your rulers did and over which you had no control.  Imagine that you are a citizen with a family and simply want to support your family.  Now imagine that this force starts bombing the city you live in so you send your wife and children to a bomb shelter.  Now imagine that an informant tells the enemy that the shelter your family is hiding in is full of enemy soldiers.  Now imagine that the enemy drops bombs into the shelter, destroying the first floor, and causing large hot water tanks to break open that then boil your wife and children alive on the next floor down.  This is what the US did in the first Iraq war after their former ally (a man they gave chemical weapons to in order to use them on Iranian women and children) miscalculated and invaded a neighboring country that was robbing oil through angled drilling.  A bunch of  people who claim to follow Jesus don't even bat an eye (in fact they probably don't even know about things like this since they have never seen war up close and believe what media shows them) when it comes to things like this.  

I don't think the pacifism vs. self-defense issue is settled in Christianity, but the truth is this is not what is behind a modern American supporting a war effort.  
4/28/11 2:16 PM
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zealot66
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 Rooster, Im very aware of those verses but nowhere does it implore Christians to be that instrument. 

You guys know that I am a very avid military history buff. War is downright terrible. The things humans do to eachother is evil. WW2 is my specialty and Ive read tons of first person memoirs. Many young men who came from America where religion and the 10 commandments were widely accepted in society. Church meant more and here they are doing the unimaginable to other humans. The military knew this and formulated many programs to overcome these obstacles. Most historians agree with the idea that less than 30% of infantry soldiers would even fire their weapons directly at the enemy. The body count was accumulated by a small percentage of 'killers'. I find this subject so fascinating that I am exploring it in fiction. Im 85k into my novel and if nothing else it has really been a study of the human/religious psyche transformed by warfare. 

As Ridge stated well, the issue of pacifism vs self defense is not a settled question.
4/28/11 3:18 PM
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RoidsGracie
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 I'm not a pacifist. I accept that war is an unfortunate consequence of living in a flawed and fallen world.

However, I find the glorification of war that is prevelent in American Christianity to be absolutely baffling. At best, war should be as a tragdey that occured because all the other options would have led to even more pain and suffering; kinda like putting down your pet dog. There certainly should not be any celebration of human beings destroyed.
4/28/11 9:54 PM
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PastorJosh
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RoidsGracie - great post. To recognize that war, in this day and age is an evil necessity and it's not to be celebrated. The Christian, the TRUE Christian, hates that he has to kill, but can engage in war. Phone Post
4/29/11 4:53 PM
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zealot66
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 So then, how does a christian prosecute a war ? Once violence has ensued, how do you deal with the enemy? Do you go and offer a surrender ? How about the wounded ? do you finish them off and make sure they never breathe again or do you show some compassion ? How does a rifleman who desires to be christlike prosecute a face to face war.
4/29/11 10:36 PM
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Ridgeback
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 What I find interesting is that most people who get a taste of real war find it to be so horrible that they become what we tend to call in America "anti-war."  I don't think they are against fighting in all circumstances, but they become convinced the hard way that it should be an absolute last resort.  Certainly there are some guys who get hooked on the rush of war and keep going back for more, but those people are scary to allow back into society.  Real war causes serious psychic wounds to sane people and most of them live with it the rest of their lives.  The problem is a lot of people who have never experienced war, who see it as exciting and glorious because they are fed a cleaned up version of war by the media, and who have no personal risk or danger to themselves, are the ones who make the big decisions about going to war.  

Traditionally in Orthodoxy if a soldier went to war and shed blood he would be kept from receving communion for a set period of time.  This seems to coincide on some level with God in the OT forbidding David to build his temple since he had shed so much blood.  But there is a story of a couple monks who took up swords to defend Russia against the tartars when there appeared to be no other choice, so it isn't an issue of absolute pacifism.  I will say that I have a lot of respect for the person who reaches a point where he does not fear violence yet refuses to use it on others.  Some people are pacifists because they are cowards and in that case it would be better to fight.  But a person like St. Moses, a former brigand who became a monk, eventually died when robbers attacked the monastery he lived in and he refused to raise his hand against them even though he could have crushed them like he used to do in his past life.  
4/29/11 10:55 PM
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the rooster
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Going back to your first question, yes Jesus and war "mesh". Jesus' Spirit was in the OT prophets according to the bible and was guiding men like Samuel who hacked off the head of the enemy of Israel or David hacking of Goliath's head.

When Jesus returns (revelations) He will not be the lamb, but the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.

That is if you actually believe in the words written in the bible as accurate and true or really hold them below the explanations offered by various church fathers/philosophers.

I personally think war should be for collective self defense only. If I would stop someone from raping or killing my family, or my neighbor, we as a country have a duty to stop a collective group of rapists and murderers from conquering our country.

I'm not for all this foreign police action.

4/29/11 11:17 PM
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Ridgeback
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 A lot of American Christians get nervous about pacifist Jesus just stretched out on the cross asking for his Father (I mean his flesh speaking to his spirit sorry) to forgive them.  They are relieved to hear that Rambo Jesus will make a return at the end and waste those motherfuckers.
4/30/11 12:31 AM
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the rooster
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It's weird how you continue to make up words...trinity, bibliolotry, Rambo Jesus, etc. Your problem is ultimately with the Holy and Inspired Scriptures.

It's tough to deal with King David, anointed and appointed by the Spirit of the Lord hacking another man's head off.

It's hard for you to deal with the written word. But at the end of the day, it is what it is.

I think all Christians can only hope for the salvation of the lost. Moses was willing to die for his people. Jonah was willing to die that the sailors on the ship wouldn't lose their lives. Jesus of course, was our perfect example, willing to die that the world might be saved.

But, as the scriptures saith, "judgement cometh". You cannot (well, I guess some can) white out pages you don't like, or rip pages out. Self defense and ultimately Jesus coming to "judge the living and the dead" is clearly established. I know he loves far more then we can so I'm sure His judgement will be just and right.

You seem to be unraveling a bit ridge...gleeful about people burning on the stake, using the most crass and vulgar, well ungodly language, claiming that belief in God's word is idolatry etc. You doing ok man?

Hope your feeling better.
4/30/11 12:31 AM
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the rooster
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It's weird how you continue to make up words...trinity, bibliolotry, Rambo Jesus, etc. Your problem is ultimately with the Holy and Inspired Scriptures.

It's tough to deal with King David, anointed and appointed by the Spirit of the Lord hacking another man's head off.

It's hard for you to deal with the written word. But at the end of the day, it is what it is.

I think all Christians can only hope for the salvation of the lost. Moses was willing to die for his people. Jonah was willing to die that the sailors on the ship wouldn't lose their lives. Jesus of course, was our perfect example, willing to die that the world might be saved.

But, as the scriptures saith, "judgement cometh". You cannot (well, I guess some can) white out pages you don't like, or rip pages out. Self defense and ultimately Jesus coming to "judge the living and the dead" is clearly established. I know he loves far more then we can so I'm sure His judgement will be just and right.

You seem to be unraveling a bit ridge...gleeful about people burning on the stake, using the most crass and vulgar, well ungodly language, claiming that belief in God's word is idolatry etc. You doing ok man?

Hope your feeling better.
4/30/11 1:16 AM
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Ridgeback
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 Like I said, many American Christians (who never fought themselves) haven't met an American military invasion they haven't loved.  Many people are not aware that the CEO of BlackWater is a fundamentalist Christian who shares the same views of war with our resident Neo-con The Hammer.  

Between saying fuck and supporting the boiling alive of women and children it is always hard to know which to choose.  Meanwhile, I think we should all hope and pray that Jesus isn't as much of a sissy the second time around.  No self-respecting American would follow an unmarried man who won't even defend himself from mockery and execution.  Respect comes from power and right now Allah is looking a lot more powerful in terms of using force to make others submit.  Jesus just relies on some bit about Judgment being a matter of becoming aware of precisely what you are when a light is shined on you.  

Then again, when you believe that Jesus will rule over an earthly kingdom (his kingdom is of this world after all) and have a cadre of secret police to keep non-believers in check what can you expect?  I wonder if Jesus will employ a Gulag system like Stalin.  I bet the Hammer will volunteer to be an agent.


4/30/11 3:07 AM
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Joe Ray
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The ethos of the Gospels is inherently pacifistic.

That said, Christian doctrine depends on hostility towards and punishment of evil. So one can make the argument that Christians should make war to fight evil.

4/30/11 3:45 AM
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Ridgeback
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Joe Ray - The ethos of the Gospels is inherently pacifistic.

That said, Christian doctrine depends on hostility towards and punishment of evil. So one can make the argument that Christians should make war to fight evil.


 I disagree about your second point.  Jesus actually says don't resist the evil man.  Christian doctrine depends on the dissolution of evil which is why Tolkien wrote a book about the refusal to use evil to try to defeat evil.  That is exactly what Martin Luther King Jr. was getting at with non-violent resistance.  The way to fight evil is the issue here.  
4/30/11 4:36 AM
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Joe Ray
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According to Christian doctrine, should evil not be punished?

4/30/11 5:33 AM
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Ridgeback
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Joe Ray - According to Christian doctrine, should evil not be punished?


 Well that depends on the tradition in question, but I would argue at least that evil is finally destroyed and defeated by self sacrifice, agape love, and forgiveness.  There is certainly language used to describe a kind of punishment, but the punishment comes in the form of evil creatures having a light shined on their deeds and hearts.  It is also a matter of God becoming "all in all" so there is no place for evil to exist.  Sort of like a fire meeting hay and stubble.
4/30/11 8:48 AM
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the rooster
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"...well that depends on the tradition..."

man, get your nose out of every other book, where you piecemeal these interpretations about everyone else and just read the Holy Inspired Word of God.

The Word will tell you what the Lord's view has been of war. If you don't believe it, believe it's made up, believe parts are untrue, well then you have to chase down other traditions and accuse people of wanting gulags, and use vile and vulgar words.

Haven't you read what is written? What comes out of your mouth (or in this case type) is the issues of your heart? You need to pray man.
4/30/11 8:51 AM
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the rooster
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"...well that depends on the tradition..."

man, get your nose out of every other book, where you piecemeal these interpretations about everyone else and just read the Holy Inspired Word of God.

The Word will tell you what the Lord's view has been of war. If you don't believe it, believe it's made up, believe parts are untrue, well then you have to chase down other traditions and accuse people of wanting gulags, and use vile and vulgar words.

Haven't you read what is written? What comes out of your mouth (or in this case type) is the issues of your heart? You need to pray man.
5/1/11 1:17 AM
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Ridgeback
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As you can see Joe Ray, some traditions of Christianity are 100% for the concept of redemptive violence and the punishment of evil men , among whom they have never once considered they may be counted.  They preach a violent god.  They can see no reason why they wouldn't use the Ring of Power against Sauron.  They are Manichean in the sense that the only difference is on whose side you are on, not some ontological difference in the nature of the light vs. the dark.

And as you know Joe Ray, in US politics these kinds of people are duped time and time again into supporting a military industrial complex and full time war.  The day will come where they will sign on to a doctrine of pre-emptive war based on what their former allies who they once supplied with weapons to use against women and children might think about doing.  Oh wait, that already happened.
5/1/11 8:55 AM
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the rooster
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the question wasn't how do you feel about war, do you like war, is war good, are all wars good, was any war fought by America ok, etc.

the question was do "war and Jesus mix". In other words is being a soldier compatible with the Holy Scriptures.

Read *the* book to find out what and how the scriptures view soldiers and wars (both just and unjust). Every thing else is opinion.
5/1/11 8:55 AM
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the rooster
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the question wasn't how do you feel about war, do you like war, is war good, are all wars good, was any war fought by America ok, etc.

the question was do "war and Jesus mix". In other words is being a soldier compatible with the Holy Scriptures.

Read *the* book to find out what and how the scriptures view soldiers and wars (both just and unjust). Every thing else is opinion.
5/1/11 8:56 AM
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the rooster
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the question wasn't how do you feel about war, do you like war, is war good, are all wars good, was any war fought by America ok, etc.

the question was do "war and Jesus mix". In other words is being a soldier compatible with the Holy Scriptures.

Read *the* book to find out what and how the scriptures view soldiers and wars (both just and unjust). Every thing else is opinion.
5/1/11 8:56 AM
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the rooster
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the question wasn't how do you feel about war, do you like war, is war good, are all wars good, was any war fought by America ok, etc.

the question was do "war and Jesus mix". In other words is being a soldier compatible with the Holy Scriptures.

Read *the* book to find out what and how the scriptures view soldiers and wars (both just and unjust). Every thing else is opinion.
5/1/11 11:33 AM
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zealot66
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 Yet, Rooster, I want the answer of how a christian combatant is to conduct himself in warefare. 

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