I don’t know about you, but there are many questions in our day-to-day lives that are just hard to answer. Some are of little importance while others hold such tremendous theological significance that we would be wise to study and come to a godly discernment of the topic. While reading a book outlining the sermon on the mount (“Outlines on the Sermon on the Mount” by Leslie G. Thomas), I came upon a section addressing the Christian viewpoint regarding carnal warfare. To be honest, it’s not a subject I have spent much time studying, and yet the book opened my mind to the realization that it is a very important topic indeed. It addresses our very real and serious command not to kill, our requirement to submit to our formal mode of government, and our job as followers of Christ to be peacemakers in the world.
I’ve spent just over a month reading and researching the different sides on the topic of carnal warfare, and I’ve poured over what the Bible has to say as well. I’ve also taken into account the writings and examples of the early church in the hopes of presenting a well-researched and compelling treatise in regards to war in general and whether or not a Christian should participate.
I will say up front that not everyone may agree with the conclusions that I’ve drawn. We all tend to have our own preconceived ideas on weighty topics such as these, and we tend to be swayed heavily by the popular opinion of the day. I ask that you read with an open mind and prayerfully consider what God’s word has revealed to us regarding the life and behavior of a Christian. I will present the topic of “The Christian and Carnal Warfare” in three separate parts:
- “The Case for Pacifism”
- “The Case for Non-Pacifism”
- “Where to Stand”
I greatly encourage you to read all three posts and weigh the facts presented before drawing a conclusion. And as always, pray that the Holy Spirit will help you to discern the underlying meaning and intent of God’s word as it relates to war and how we live our lives in general.