With the President of the United States and the U.S. Secretary of State throwing the world into shocking peril by negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran that has been globally criticized as unsound, this is an ideal time to examine what the Bible says about when war is justified.
Critics of the Iranian agreement point out that rather than stop Iran’s nuclear ambitions as the President Barack Obama alleges, the deal actually paves the way for Iran to create a nuclear bomb.
Among the many critics are Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who called the nuclear deal a “mistake of historic proportions,” and French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, who vowed that France will not sign off on a deal that does not allow for immediate inspections of its military sites, which the White House agreement does not provide.
While the advances of ISIS throughout the Middle East and the threat that Iran poses to the World may throw many into confusion, there is clarity in what the Bible says on how war is to be conducted between nations.
Ralph Drollinger, President of Capitol Ministries, presented two timely Bible studies to members of Congress earlier this month on The ISIS Threat 1 and The ISIS Threat 2, which examined, from a Biblical perspective, God’s view on war. Click here to read ISIS Threat 1. Click here to read ISIS Threat 2.
“These studies are not so much about whether or not God condones war; He does,” Drollinger wrote. “God’s acceptance and use of war in a fallen world is not difficult to understand when viewed in the sense that often and ultimately He is manifesting His attributes of justice and righteousness through its use.”
The studies are about the kind of war that is acceptable in His eyes, he said.
The studies show how the Bible does not contradict itself on these matters. For example, when Jesus calls for His followers to be “peacemakers,” He is addressing how believers should conduct their personal lives (Matthew 5:9).
But a distinction is to be made between Jesus’ instruction regarding personal behavior and the responsibilities He sets forth relative to His ordination of the institution of Government (Romans 13:1-8 and 1Peter 2:13-14) that Christian Members are called to serve.
The Bible studies point out that the Hebrew word for murder, ratsakh (Exodus 20:13), in the sixth commandment, “You shall not Murder,” is a different word than the ones God uses in Scripture in relation to His people having to kill someone in war.
“When Jesus returns He will wage war against the nations led by the Antichrist (cf. Rev. 19:11ff.). In Deuteronomy 20 God Himself sends Israel to war,” Drollinger wrote.
“My intention was and remains to root your understanding of War in the Scriptures: As a federal Public Servant it is critical that you be able to reason the use or non-use of war from a biblically-informed conscience.”
The studies examine Biblical passages that address war, the biblical basis for the internationally accepted Just War Theory, the role of God’s institution of Government, as well as whether positions held by the Christian Pacifist and the Noninterventionist are biblically based.
Over the next 60 days, Congress will review the 109-page Iranian nuclear agreement, with a vote to approve or reject anticipated for September. President Obama has vowed to veto any Congressional attempt to block the implementation of the agreement.
“There can be no doubt that America’s presence throughout the world – its just, historic presence outside its own boundaries — be it as a member of NATO, signing the Monroe Doctrine, defense treaties with Taiwan and Israel, or its willing and welcomed presence to support military bases in the Philippines, Germany, Korea and Japan, have all greatly aided in peacemaking and peacekeeping throughout the world,” Drollinger wrote.
“This is the fruit of biblically justified intervention! When America is strong, and the threat of her intervening is ever-present the world is a much safer place. And the opposite is now increasingly apparent: When American intervention is of a lesser possibility, unrest and evil aggression rise.”