I heard someone say the following the other day and wanted to do up a post in response to this common thought.
“War is good for absolutely nothing!”
“Thank You, God, for the freedoms we have and the men and women in our military who protect them.”
…I guess war is good for something, then. Otherwise we’d all be Roman Catholic, saluting the swastika, worshipping the Emperor of the Rising Sun, or some such thing.
It was a Christian leader who said the above quote and it’s crazy because first of all he’s quoting an anti-Vietnam War song that goes hand-in-hand with draft dodging and secular hippies, and then going on to laud the work of American soldiers. It’s an irony that says a lot about the whole issue. You can’t sit in the USA, your freedoms protected by the sacrifices of countless soldiers fighting in wars, and justifiably argue against war. Seriously, you look like a jerk. If you yourself don’t want to fight, that’s understandable and perfectly fine, but don’t go off against war in general. It disrespects those who fought and achieved much good in the world.
God understands we live in a fallen world full of fallen people because of the innate sinfulness of every human being. He is not against war, or even Christians participating in it. In Heaven everything WILL be perfect; on Earth it’s not. Strife and war have always been a part of our world since Cain killed Abel. While death was never God’s original plan, God gives His servants principles to live by and tells us what to do in the midst of the sin and war that surrounds us in our world. Sometimes that includes going to war to prevent greater loss.
In the Old Testament, Israel lived in a hostile time and God guided them though many battles. They defended, retreated, attacked, defeated–all under His direction. Yahweh helped Israel win wars, carry out rescue missions, assassinate an overlord, crush hostile enemy nations, decimate heathen populations, and become a formidable force as they walked with Him. (When they didn’t, it was a different story.) Much good comes from war fought God’s way.
In the New Testament, soldiers came to John the Baptist, who “prepared the way for the Lord (Jesus)” and preached repentance and baptism, asking what they should do. These were average working people asking what God wants, and Luke 3 shows God’s answer proclaimed through John:
“Likewise the soldiers asked him, saying, “And what shall we do?” So he said to them, “Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.””
If God was unhappy with these men being soldiers, He could certainly have said so. On the contrary, men are encouraged in the Bible to be the physical defenders and protectors of their land and families. Biblical principles are given for all workers to adhere to, whatever their profession. Micah 6:8 teaches, “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”
Now certainly nations go war for wrong reasons, warring over religion, land, or expansion of control. But other times there are clear cut good and bad sides. And whenever an aggressor rises, a defender is needed–someone willing to do battle for the innocent, for freedom, for justice, for peace. War has accomplished much that’s good.
- Birthing new nations like America, and freeing many others from their oppressive rulers.
- Stopping atrocities like the Holocaust perpetuated by evil minds who cannot be reasoned with.
- Breaking holds of dictators or religious groups like the Holy Roman Empire so citizens have more freedom.
So to those who were or are in the military, thank you. Thank you for all you do to keep our country safe. You are in a profession that God is deeply concerned about. Go to Him for counsel and comfort. He’ll always be there for you, as you are for us.