Is Christianity a Pacifist Religion?

Christianity is not a pacificist religion. Why? While prayer changes things it doesn’t change everything or everybody. Everyone has a free will to do good or evil - and some people choose to do evil. That’s why we need a military, police and the 2nd amendment to the Constitution. This doesn’t mean we pick a fight over everything. Sometimes you have to keep your cool and let God work. There are times to turn the other cheek, but ultimately, at some point, evil must be confronted in the physical realm. Refusing to confront evil is SUPPORTING evil. Supporting evil goes against every teaching of Christ.  Actually, coming to the defense of others is a uniquely Christian concept - and the basis for the Just War Theory. Since coming to the aid of others is a Christian concept it also means we are as important as the people we come to the aid of. So Christianity also justifies legitimate self defense for yourself. 

As an example, if your 8 year old refuses to listen and hits you, do you turn the other cheek or descipline your child“?

As C S Lewis said in Mere Christianity: "Does loving your enemy mean not punishing him?....  It is, therefore, in my opinion, perfectly right for a Christian judge to sentence a man to death or a Christian soldier to kill an enemy.  I always have thought so, ever since I became a Christian, and long before the war, and I still think so now that we are at peace.  It is no good quoting “Thou shalt not kill.”  There are two Greek words: the ordinary word to kill and the word to murder.  And when Christ quotes that commandment He uses the murder one in all three accounts, Matthew, Mark, and Luke.  And I am told there is the same distinction in Hebrew.  All killing is not murder any more than all sexual intercourse is adultery. ...the Christian in arms for the defense of a good cause - is one of the great Christian ideas.  War is a dreadful thing, and I can respect an honest pacifist, though I think he is entirely mistaken.” (p. 106, 107)

Jesus said “he who lives by the sword will die by the sword.”  Saddam lived by the sword and he suffered the consequences.  The Talliban in Afghanistan lived by the sword and they suffered the consequences.  The Japanese and Germans in WWII lived by the sword and suffered the consequences.

In Luke 3:14 the Bible says: "Then some soldiers asked him, "And what should we do?" He replied, "Don't extort money and don't accuse people falsely - be content with your pay."

Jesus didn't tell the soldiers to put their weapons down. He told them to do their job properly.

A good read would be a book on Sergeant York in WWI. York, a fervent Christian and initially a pacifist, eventually changed his mind and came to view the US as a defender against evil in the world. There is also an old movie on Sgt. York.


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