War and Peace: Christianity

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  • War and Peace: Christianity
    • Biblical Teachings about war
      • Old testament
        • The 6th commandment say "Thou shall not murder" However there are some occasions when the Jewish people are told by God to attack people who oppose them
          • But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.
            • The words are intended to limit revenge, not encourage vengeance. But revenge is not consistent with the later teaching of Jesus
      • New Testament
        • Jesus is often described as a pacifist. He taught
          • Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the children of God.
          • When he was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, his disciples wanted to defend him
            • When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, ‘Lord, should we strike with our swords?’ And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. But Jesus answered, ‘No more of this!’ And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.
        • Jesus' anger
          • Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money-changers and the benches of those selling doves.
          • Most Christians believe that war and fighting are wrong, they base their views on Jesus’ teaching about love:
            • A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
    • Christian Involvement in War.
      • In the past there have been occasions when Christians have fought wars and when Christian countries have fought each other including
        • 1.the Crusades 2.the First and Second World Wars 3.wars in Vietnam, Korea, the Falklands/Malvinos, South Africa, and Northern Ireland
      • Pacifism
        • Some Christians, such as Quakers, are totally opposed to fighting and during warfare they are conscientious objectors.
          • They are prepared to go into battle driving ambulances or doing other duties but they will not fight.
        • Other Christians are prepared to fight in the armed services and there are always chaplains attached to military units.
        • Most Christians today would probably not condone any war that was not fought according to the ‘Just War’ theory
          • A war is justified if it is fought for a reason that is morally right.
            • The country that wishes to initiate the use of military force against another nation must demonstrate that there is a 'just' cause to do so.
              • Christians believe that they should protest when injustice is being done against other people, even though they may not be Christians

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