For a long time, Christians have had different views when it comes to violence and non-violence. From a historical perspective, there have been different views and practices in Christianity towards war and violence. There are those who belong to the following categories; the nonresilient, the non-christian pacifism, just war theory and the crusaders who believe in holy or preventive war. All these people have different views when it comes to perspectives of war. For instance, the Roman empire adopted a stunt stand against violence and war. However, imitating the sacrifice of life that is also an acknowledgment of violence. Historically, there was the “Just war” concept that limited the use of war and was considered original and acceptable among form of war within the Romans, Christians and the Greeks. The none roman and Christians made these proposals after Cicero and Plato had proposed them. It was a concept that was borrowed by the by Christian thinkers including St Augustine. Still, there are cases where the Christians justify the act of participating in war while in other cases, pacifism is promoted.
how Christianity has been used to justify war and violence
There are numerous instances where the Christians justified was and violence. For those who participated in the battles, they had their concepts about the “just war” that was accepted earlier even though they warfare was not regarded as an activity that related to the salvation of those who killed in a museum battle. Other ideas such as “holy war” led to consideration for fighting being penitential act or emeritus art that is spiritually accepted mi after the eleventh century.
Perspectives of the bible
The bible has several Texts that describe violence and war. The new testament contains several antidotes of the old testament violence. Several people believe that the god in the old testament was responsible for initiating several ideas of war while God in the new testament is merciful and does not advocate for any form of war. Several justifications exist in the bible that allows Christians to participate in war. There are brief statements that provide biblical justifications for Christian to participate in the war in the bible. Some of them include the rare occasion when Jesus was talking about the war and the rumors that were related to war. There are several advocates against the war claim that war will not exist before the second coming of Christ. Jesus said;
“When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is still to come” (Mark 13:7, also Matt. 24:6, Lk. 21:9).
These statements do not suggest war, but he describes a situation that justifies the war that is imminent. On many occasions, Jesus spoke against violence. In his parables, he says,
“Or what king, going out to wage war against another king, will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to oppose the one who comes against him with twenty thousand?” (Lk. 14:31). also, “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his castle, his property is safe” (Lk. 11:21).
From these statements, it is seen that Jesus sees war as something that is justified and that people should protect themselves. Those who reject Christian centered nonviolence have been putting these points across to show the warrant that the Christians should have on war. Jesus himself claims that he did not come to bring peace to the earth but rather to bring war from the metaphorical sense. He says;
“I did not come to bring peace to the earth; I did not come to bring peace but a sword” (Matt. 10:34).
This statement shows that Jesus is speaking of the sword metaphorically and not from the literal perspective. Even John the Baptist justified the war by approving of the soldiers. When he was preaching, the soldiers asked him what they should do to get into heaven. Instead of telling them to quit being soldiers, he asked them not to threaten the people or take more money from them.
“Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what should we do?” He said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation and be satisfied with your wages” (Lk. 3:14).
This means that from Christian spirituality, being involved in war does not prevent them from getting to heaven.
how Christianity been an inspiration for pacifism
Pacifism is a belief that is against violence and war and that people should solve their differences through peaceful means. Taking part in the war have been discouraged by many pacifists who get inspiration from the bible and the life of Jesus himself. For a long time, many Christians have refused to take part in the wars. Many of these Christians are pacifists of different types. These include the activists who advocate for peace and the people who convince them of the war justification. The arguments for Christians for pacifism is mainly based on the teaching that Jesus gave on Mt. Zion as well as the teaching from the other places. The other justification for Christian pacifism is the experience or the example that was set by Jesus in his life. The people who oppose Christian pacifism through the use of the Jesus life claim that his experience is unique in terms if the redeemer role that he had to perform to save humanity. Nonetheless, the life of Jesus justifies and is an aspiration for pacifism.
The other inspiration is the group of Christians who encouraged pacifism including Mennonites. This was a church that grew as a result of the protests that were reformed in the Roman empire and other parts of Europe in 1500. These people base their beliefs in the Christs’s injunction that states that people should love their enemies prevent them from participating in the war or military action that is done against a country . the “love your enemies” have been an inspiration for many Christians who believe that war can not be justified in any way. The other justification is the religious society of friends who believe that the spirit of God and Christ should lead the people or know the truth and that spirit should not allow them to use weapons again tech other. “…if anyone slays with the sword, with the sword he must be slain…” (Rev. 13:10). This is the truth about Christianity and motivation for people to participate in pacifism.
In conclusion, there are various ways in which people view war. This includes the Christians who have varied opinions on to whether they should participate in war or not. Christianity has for a long time been known to be a religion that advocates for peace and love for one another. However, there are numerous instances where the supporters of war can justify [participating in the wars. These justifications are few, and they do not give free advocating for war. However, Jesus seemed to approve of the war when he said that he did not bring peace to earth but rather the sword. Even though this does not directly advocate for war, it shows that Jesus identifies with it. Pacifism is what is advocated for in many verses of the bible. Revelation warns people that those who participate in war will die through it. Jesus also inspired people to love their enemies. This shows that there is no way war can be justified for a Christian.