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Just War and Faith

Updated on November 4, 2016

Military Courage

Military Courage - Paul Dubois
Military Courage - Paul Dubois | Source

Just War and Faith

I always thought it would be impossible to kill someone. I had read a lot about pacifism and Quaker theology about man being creating in the image of God. I had watched many war movies about WWII. I've studied the evils of the Nazis. I understand the reasons why the USA had finally entered the war after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

I had watched the TV series M*A*S*H and had seen the horrible effects on human bodies during war. I had seen the movies for and against the Vietnam War. Still, I felt I wouldn't be able, in good conscience, to go to war and fight. That is, to kill another human being. I thought my faith in Jesus Christ meant that I should love my enemies.

Then, I read about the Just War Theory. It states that while a terrible option, war is not always viewed as the worst alternative to injustice. This theory holds that war should be morally justifiable and that there should be moral conduct in a war. But I wasn't sure, no matter how justified, that I could go to war.

9/11

But something happened after September 11th, 2001. First hand, I saw in my generation, the slaughter of innocence on a large scale, right on my TV. The rhetoric of those that hated the USA rang in my ears and decided that my faith would no longer allow me to love my enemies. Someone had to stand against evil in this generation. My heart was so heavy with the pain of life and death. Why should we live in fear that the enemy will strike again in our sleep?

I began to read my Bible anew. Moses, Joshua, and David all stood against God's enemies, against evildoers. I felt that it was my time to take my stand against evil. I couldn’t fight the enemies myself, but I knew what I had to do.

Peaceable Kingdom

The Peaceable Kingdom - 1826  Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Peaceable Kingdom - 1826 Philadelphia Museum of Art | Source

War and Peace

"The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, and dust will be the serpent's food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain," says the LORD in Isaiah 65.25 (NIV)

Isaiah 2.4 says, "He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore." (NIV)

These two verses are for a future time, when the Lord will establish His Kingdom on Earth. I wish that all men could turn their swords into plowshares, their words of hate into words of peace. When face to face with the enemy, I will fight. Until He does set up His Kingdom, I decided I must stand up against evil, so I joined the Army.

One of my closest friends wrote this poem for me the day I shipped out.

Weapons of War

Man of God's Armor
Man of God's Armor | Source

But you, Man of God

But you,

Man of God,

sword in hand,

armor in place,

full of grace,

take your stand,

in a needy place,

meet your enemy,

face-to-face.


But you,

Man of God,

His Power in hand,

His Peace in heart,

in which you stand,

play your part.

Stake His Kingdom,

in the land,

take His Victory,

as He planned.


But you,

Man of God.

His Name do praise,

your voice now raise,

a new song in the land

lift your holy hands,

to praise His glorious grace.

© 2013 ajwrites57

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    • rose-the planner profile image

      rose-the planner 3 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      Interesting perspective and I love the poem. Thank you for sharing. (Voted Up) -Rose

    • ajwrites57 profile image
      Author

      AJ 3 years ago from Pennsylvania

      rose-the planner, thanks for reading and commenting. I'm so glad you enjoyed the poem. Yes, I thought it would offer a different take on war and faith.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 3 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      It is not really an either or situation. Some wars must be fought and others should not. There are disagreements about when is the right time to go to war and sincere people may disagree. You might want to google "just war theory." voted up and sharing.

    • ajwrites57 profile image
      Author

      AJ 3 years ago from Pennsylvania

      dahoglund thanks for reading and commenting. I am familiar with the this theory you mention (Augustine and Aquinas et al and its applications). I just wanted to present a simple soldier's ideas on faith and war. That's a topic for another Hub, I think. Have you written on this topic dahoglund? Thanks so much for sharing!

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 3 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      I tried to change this comment but it changed itself back.

      Wars have to be judged on their own merits. Sometimes it is wrong to go to war, other times it is wrong not to. Not an easy task to choose.

    • ajwrites57 profile image
      Author

      AJ 3 years ago from Pennsylvania

      dahoglund, yes I agree that some wars should never have been fought but others, yes, needed fighting. Sadly, there is always "collateral damage". Thanks again sir!

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 3 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      aj, No, I have not written on the subject as I don't know a lot more about it than I've said above. While the principles are simple, the application seems much more difficult.

    • ajwrites57 profile image
      Author

      AJ 3 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Ah, so true dahoglund! Don't know of too many just wars. I think WWII would fall in that category, though.

    • profile image

      Shortcakeponders5 3 years ago

      I never knew any of this about you. Thank you for your service. I think that as a Christian we have to weigh out our beliefs with how important it is to protect those we love. I think after 2001 most of the country wanted to protect our freedoms and the country we love. I always felt that Toby Keith's Angry American song summed up how I felt at that time.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

      *That poem your friend wrote for you was a work of love.

    • ajwrites57 profile image
      Author

      AJ 2 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Shortcakeponders5 just saw that I never responded to your comments. 9 months have passed?

      Anyway, I have not served in the military. This is a story I wrote based on some things I have read. And I wrote the poem. Thanks for your comments! :o)

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