is not pacifism. There are several reasons for this.
- When a Roman centurion came to Jesus to receive healing for
his sick servant, Jesus praised his faith. He did not require
him to stop being a soldier. This centurion recognized that he
was under authority and he was recognized as a good man by the
elders of Capernaum. It was enough that he used his authority
legitimately and not capriciously or for personal gain. (Luke
- Jesusí command to turn the other cheek applies to personal
relations. He says that we should not resist an evil person.
This thought is expanded by Paul in Romans12:9-21. We should
hate evil, but we should not repay anyone evil for evil. Instead
we should bless those who do evil with good. Jesus lived out
this principle when he died upon the cross. However almost as if
he thought someone would ask if this teaching applied to the
civil, he went on in Romans 13 to explain the requirements for
it. The civil government has the power of the sword, to execute
justice and to defend the nation. Paul explains that the
government does not bless those who do evil, as individuals are
required to do. As Godís servant, the civil government is
required to use force to defend the nation against evil
- A man has responsibility for defending his own household. If a
thief is caught breaking into a house at night and he dies, the
defender is not guilty of bloodshed. (Ex 23:22). This is because
he is the legitimate authority in his household and is
responsible for defending it. However, during the day his
freedom is more limited. He should defend his household by
calling on the civil authorities (police) to protect him. His
right to use force only exists when the civil authorities are
not immediately available. It follows that if a man sees his
wife or children being attacked by someone evil, he should first
call the civil authorities, but if practical, he should also use
whatever force he has to protect them from evil. However, this
passage does not authorise Christians to hold guns. They are
offensive weapons not defensive weapons. A mans defence of his
households should be done with less dangerous weapons.
- Passivism tends to be naive about evil. The Bible recognizes
the reality of sin and evil. God ordained the civil government
to place a restraint on evil. It cannot totally eliminate evil;
conversion is necessary for that. However it can restrain evil.
A pacifist government would allow evil to proliferate.