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Pacifism

Christianity is not pacifism. There are several reasons for this.
  1. 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 7:1-10).
  2. 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 attackers.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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