Christians should never go to war

I think that many Christians would agree with war, but just as many may disagree completely, or disagree to a certain extent. There are 3 main viewpoints on war; that of holy war, that of just war, and that of no war, also known as pacifism. The belief in holy war is the belief in a war that is on behalf of God, and is directly sanctioned by Him.

This would be supported for many Christians by the Old Testament, in 1 Samuel 15, where God says “I will punish the people of Amalek… ow go and attack the Amelakites and completely destroy everything they have”. This conflict was directly sanctioned by God and would therefore be considered allowable. Another example of Holy War would be the crusades in the middle ages to free Jerusalem, and recruited for by Pope Urban II. Some Christians would agree with just war, which is decided by criteria laid down by Aquinas in the 13th Century. He said for a war to be considered a just war it had to be on the authority of the ruling power, for a just cause, and to promote good or resist evil.

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Later on further conditions were added, stating that the war had to be a last resort, only necessary force had to be used, and good had to be gained and peace and justice to be restored afterwards. Many Christians would say that if a war fits these criteria it is allowable. However, many Christians would also disagree strongly with war. They would say that war is a waste of what God has given us and a cause of enormous suffering. They would take Jesus’ quote in Matthew 26 during his arrest, when he tells Peter to put his sword away “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword”.

This would tell them not to fight, because it will affect you later on. One group of Christians who disagree strongly with war are the Religious Society of Friends (also known as Quakers). They formed “the No Conscription Fellowship” in the First World War, telling people not to go and fight. They would say that the New Testament overrides the Old Testament and that people should follow the direct example of Jesus, who was tortured and killed without attempting to defend himself. They could respond to war by joining in demonstrations and marches, making speeches and developing advertising campaigns.

I think that Christians should never go to war, because it says in the Bible that “if your foe strikes you on the right cheek turn the other cheek to him also”. To me this means that we should not fight, but stop fighting because people are less likely to keep on attacking you if you do nothing to stop them. I don’t think that if you condone war to a certain level there is a way of effectively drawing the line between when it’s ok to go to war and when it isn’t. I think that because of this, and following the example of Jesus, Christians should never go to war, and should attempt to solve disputes through diplomatic means alone.