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would have us believe, God is not a pacifist. The Bible is filled with examples of God taking bloody vengeance on His enemies (Isaiah 63:3–6; 65:12; Deuteronomy 20:16–18). And those examples are not limited to the Old Testament. It is impossible to read the book of Revelation without seeing the Lamb of God in His role as the Lion of Judah (Revelation 5:5; 19:11–15). The imagery is clear that Jesus will overcome His enemies with war (Revelation 19:19–21). This is the same Jesus who is quoted by pacifists to support their cause.
Pacifism is opposition to war or violence as a means of settling disputes. Pacifists refuse, on moral or religious grounds, to bear arms or engage in any type of physical resistance. They believe that all disputes can and should be settled in peaceful, non-violent ways. Pacifists are usually conscientious objectors in times of war. Some religious groups, such as the Quakers, Mennonites, and the Amish, make pacifism an integral part of their doctrine.
Some Christians claim that the Bible commands pacifism. They believe that the sum total of Jesus’ teachings requires His followers to lay down their arms and promote peace. They cite passages such as the Sermon on the Mount as evidence that the New Covenant has rendered irrelevant any Old Testament examples of righteous war. Christian pacifists believe that following Jesus means doing only as He did, and He never promoted killing enemies (Matthew 5:44). They claim that the power of love should be strong enough to disarm the staunchest enemy and that we are called to be peacemakers, not soldiers (Matthew 5:9).
Pacifism is an admirable goal, but is it realistic? Does pacifist thinking work against terrorist groups or fascist dictators? What happens to pacifists and their families when terrorists threaten? The no-war crowd seems to forget that their freedom to exercise pacifism was bought with the blood of non-pacifists. Those soldiers did not die because they loved war. They died, in part, so that future pacifists could expound freely about their sincerely held beliefs without fear of death, torture, or imprisonment by those who refuse to consider peace. Without non-pacifists, there would be no pacifists.
Despite what Christian pacifists would have us believe, God is not a pacifist. The Bible is filled with examples of God taking bloody vengeance on His enemies (Isaiah 63:3–6; 65:12; Deuteronomy 20:16–18). And those examples are not limited to the Old Testament. It is impossible to read the book of Revelation without seeing the Lamb of God in His role as the Lion of Judah (Revelation 5:5; 19:11–15). The imagery is clear that Jesus will overcome His enemies with war (Revelation 19:19–21). This is the same Jesus who is quoted by pacifists to support their cause.
In short, personal pacifism should be the goal, to a large degree, of every follower of Christ. We are called to live in peace, as much as we are able to do so (Romans 1:18; Hebrews 12:14). We should be willing to turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39), lend freely (Luke 6:30), and even be cheated if it means not dishonoring the name of Christ (1 Corinthians 6:7). When peace is an option, we should pursue it as far as it will go. But when the lives and liberties of others are threatened, a higher law draws us to their defense (Proverbs 24:11–12; John 15:3). When a nation needs to defend itself from those who would destroy its peace, true peacemakers join forces to protect it.
Many people make the mistake of reading what the Bible says in Exodus 20:13, “You shall not kill,” and then seeking to apply this command to war. However, the Hebrew word literally means “the intentional, premeditated killing of another person with malice; murder.” God often ordered the Israelites to go to war with other nations (1 Samuel 15:3; Joshua 4:13). God ordered the death penalty for numerous crimes (Exodus 21:12, 15; 22:19; Leviticus 20:11). So, God is not against killing in all circumstances, but only murder. War is never a good thing, but sometimes it is a necessary thing. In a world filled with sinful people (Romans 3:10-18), war is inevitable. Sometimes the only way to keep sinful people from doing great harm to the innocent is by going to war.
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.” (Joel 2:28.)
John Wesley who said that what we tolerate in our generation, will be embraced by the next. Wesley is 100% correct! We are living in sick times.
Usually, the Lord doth no great thing for or against his people, without giving warning of it before it comes.
They perverted justice among themselves (v. 7): “You turn judgment to wormwood, that is, you make your administrations of justice bitter and nauseous, and highly displeasing both to God and man.’’ That fruit has become a weed, a weed in the garden; as nothing is more venerable, nothing more valuable, than justice duly administered, so nothing is more hurtful, nothing more abominable, than designedly doing wrong under color and pretense of doing right. Corruptio optimi est pessima —The best, when corrupted, becomes the worst.
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