Of the Civil Magistrate.
Chapter 24, Paragraph 2.
“…according to the wholesome Laws of each Kingdom, and Commonwealth: so for that end they may lawfully now under the New Testament wage war upon just and necessary occasions.”
“War! What is it good for?”
While the 1970 hit song “War” may answer that it is good for absolutely nothing, Scripture does not share that opinion. Such a notion may be surprising to some. Didn’t Jesus say to turn the other cheek? Doesn’t Romans 12 say, “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord“?
As Christians, we are to pursue peace with all men as much as it depends on us. Our own personal grudges must not be allowed to take fruition. A Christian serving in government, however, has a duty to protect his fellow citizens and uphold justice. Such a responsibility involves fighting against those who attempt to harm those citizens. The government “does not bear the sword for nothing”, as Romans 13:4 states. At times that sword of the government will be used. Wielding the sword against attackers is called war.
So what is war good for? War is bloody, violent, and terrible. There have been may wars fought for sinful, vain reasons. Governments should not enter such conflicts lightly. Yet there are times when war is necessary. In those times, war is good for the protection of a nation’s citizens and for the promotion of peace.
Questions to Consider
- In what circumstances would war be just and necessary?