The concept of a "Just War" is another view. Many in Christendom refer to the historic works of St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas as a starting place. Here are some of the biblical arguments for the "Just War" view (Dan 5:21, Rom 13:1-7, 1 Pet 2:13-14, Ex 22:2-3, Gen 1:28-30, Isa 2:1-4, 11:3-9, Rev 21, Matt 24:6-7, Jn 16:33, 2 Thes 2:3-7, 2 Tim 3:1-9). Click here for a look at the history of theological debate which led to justification of the American Revolution.
To summarize the pacifist view seems to only focus on the individual's personal response while the "just war" view focuses on mercy and justice for the persecuted or oppressed. I submit to you that when Jesus said "turn the other cheek" He was referring to "your cheek" and not your wife's or children's cheek. He was not referring to anyone else but rather your personal response. In the cannon of scripture there is ample evidence that supports the view that protecting your family is right and just (ie. Ex 22:2-3).
The Church (government) has a responsibility to protect the Church family and is authorized even and required at times to separate habitual offenders from fellowship with the rest of the Church; excommunication. The evil is separated (1 Cor 5). Government has a responsibility. There are four basic types of government: self, family, Church and civil. Each has responsibility to protect and nurture those whom they are responsible for.
Capitol punishment and the use of force is authorized in both the Old and New Testament as a method of maintaining order in a nation or a state (Num 35:16-31, Rom 13:1-7). The devil is a murder (Jn 8:44) and Jesus came to destroy (1 Jn 3:8) him and his works. Ecclesiastes 8:11 sheds light upon what happens in a society when justice is absent or slow to be administered. It says:
Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.
It is important to recognize whom the Lord used to write Ecclesiastes. It was a king. An understanding of this scripture should provide great insight into many situations we see today. In Revelation 1:6 and 5:10 Jesus calls Christians to be "kings and priests." The priests role was modeled in Hebrews 7 well by Jesus the Apostle and High Priest of our profession. The priest made intercession and worshiped with offerings.
Jesus also modeled for us how a king acts. Revelation 19:11 illustrates that Jesus "judges and makes war." The word judges means; makes decisions.
War is a part of life. In fact what we experience today is actually a heavenly war that has spilled out on to earth (Rev 12). The devil is angry he was defeated and he's going to take out his aggression attacking the people God loves. Hence the persecution referenced in Revelation (Rev 12:13, 2:13, 5:9-11,17:6) and manifested in the news today.
War comes from selfish desires that war within the soul of men (James 4:1-7). How you war and where you war depends upon the context.
When in the course of human events a government (civil, church, family, personal) fails to perform its role, the responsibility then falls to the next government in line so to speak. For example, if civil government fails in its responsibility, the Church has responsibility to step up to help restore civil government's role while also respecting it's God ordained limits. In addition it may for a season have to do what it can to protect the families under its care. If both civil and Church government fail, then the head of the family will need to step up to do what they can to protect their family (ie. Ex 22:2-3).
Please note that the purpose of this article is to provide a basic overview. There are a number of books written on this deep subject.
Guidelines for a Just War
Civil government is responsible for protecting its citizens. Therefore when evil is destroying people and property it is their responsibility to use force to protect its citizens. Here are the seven major suppositions of the "Just War" concept.
Criteria for Going to War
How to Pray
Antisemitism and the persecution of Christians is growing around the world. I heard a report yesterday stating they estimated that over 340 Christians are martyred each month now. Much of this persecution comes from the radical element of Islam.
All Who Live Godly in Christ Jesus will Suffer Persecution (2 Tim 3:12)
Persecution should be part of the Christian's life. In my nation we have been very sheltered as compared to other parts of the world with which we work with. But that is changing. Pray for me and others who are persecuted that:
Ephesians 6:19-20 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. NKJV
Should the time come that we are called to lay our lives down, pray we handle ourselves with the boldness, courage and grace that reflects well the model that Jesus Christ and the early apostles set for us (Ps 27:1).
Families of the Persecuted (Church family too)
Pray for their comfort in the Holy Spirit and their care (Ps 18:46, Ps 23:4, Ps 119:76, Isa 40:1, Jn 11:19, Jn 19:26). Pray then act and obey as our Lord leads.
Our Lord Jesus Christ Would be Glorified
Ps 86:12 I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, And I will glorify Your name forevermore. NKJV
(Ps 86:9, Jn 12:28, Jn 17:1, Rom 15:6 & 9, Rev 15:4)
Salvation of Souls
Luke 3:6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'" NKJV (Hab 3:13, Jn 3:16, Acts 2:38, Acts 4:8-12, Rom 1:16, Rom 10:10-11, 1 Pet 1:6-10, 2 Pet 3:15, Rev 7:10, Rev 12:10-11, Rev 19:1)
Justice, Mercy, Righteousness and Salvation for the Oppressed
For the oppressed and the oppressor, one decision produces two different reactions depending upon where people chose to position themselves. Mercy and justice for the oppressed means deliverance while the same judgment leads to the loss of freedom, liberty or destruction for the oppressor. One decision two different results. Wrongs are made right.
Psalm 89:14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Mercy and truth go before Your face. NKJV (Zech 7:9-10, Hos 12:6, Matt 23:23)
Intercede and Plead the Case Upon Behalf of the Oppressed
Isaiah 53:12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors. NKJV
(Isa 59:16, Jer 27:18, Rom 8:26, Heb 7:25, 1 Jn 1:9-2:1, Isa 1:18, Mic 6:1, 1 Sam 24:15, Jer 2:35)
God's Will Be Done on Earth as it is in Heaven
Matthew 6:9-10 In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. NKJV
Restore David's Tabernacle - the Key to the Harvest & for Executing Righteousness & Justice
Note: I am not talking about the ancient Tabernacle of David but rather the people in churches/cities who choose to follow David's pattern to create the atmosphere of heaven on earth (see Operation Rolling Thunder revised edition for an example). This positions a people to proclaim the word of the Lord together and is a powerful spiritual weapon.
Acts 15:16-17 'After! this I will return And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, And I will set it up; So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, Says the Lord who does all these things.'
Psalm 68:11 The Lord gave the word; Great was the company of those who proclaimed it: NKJV
Isaiah 16:5 In mercy the throne will be established; And One will sit on it in truth, in the tabernacle of David, Judging and seeking justice and hastening righteousness." NKJV
Psalm 110:2 The Lord shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion. Rule in the midst of Your enemies! NKJV
Psalm 149:6-9 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, And a two-edged sword in their hand, 7 To execute vengeance on the nations, And punishments on the peoples; 8 To bind their kings with chains, And their nobles with fetters of iron; 9 To execute on them the written judgment — This honor have all His saints. NKJV
(Ps 2, Isa 22:22, Mic 4:2, Isa 2:2-3, Heb 4:12, Rev 12:11)
Let us be loving towards people, wise and bold while presenting truth, and ruthless towards demonic spirits who bind and deceive.
1 John 3:8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. NKJV