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"Why are there Christians that approve of war? Doesn't the Bible say not to kill? What business does the church have in taking part in war?"

Perhaps we should begin with the 6th commandment in Exodus 20:13. It says, "You shall not commit murder." That is a little different than saying, "You shall not kill." There were cases in the Israelite community where God specifically called for capital punishment (See Exod 21 and Lev 20 for examples). This is not murder it is justice.

Justice is the reason God, who is just, allows governing authorities to exist. The Bible says that governments are "…a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil (Rom 13:4)."

But what if a governing authority becomes evil? The Bible shows repeatedly that God raises up other nations to punish wicked nations (Isa 10:5-6). God even condemns nations for doing nothing…

"And you will be cut off forever. On the day that you stood aloof, On the day that strangers carried off his wealth, And foreigners entered his gate (Obad 1:10-11)."

This is not a question of killing or not killing. This is a question of justice. God ordains governments to "bear the sword" for justice. Sometimes this calls for police action and even war.

Please note that these passages speak of governments, not the church. There is not enough space to deal with the second half of this question, so we will continue this next time. If you have further questions, please write or email.

John Telgren
P.O. Box 452
Leavenworth, KS 66048
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Part Two