Protestant "Just War" Theory Revisited

Discussion in 'Religion and Spirituality' started by Serveto, Aug 14, 2017.

  1. AspiringSoul

    AspiringSoul Star

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    Christian countries (ie rome, the beast) made the world a jungle, then think God is on their side when they go out crusading against wild animals.
     
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  2. Karlysymon

    Karlysymon Star

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    At the end of the day, we all are outsiders looking in. The same promises were made prior to toppling Saddam and Gaddafi. What guarantees a happier and better existence for the North Koreans after Un's demise? Were i a N.Korean, the last 16 years of America's foreign policy in the Middle East should give me pause for thought.

    2 Chronicles 36:15-18
    The LORD, the God of their ancestors, sent word to them through His messengers again and
    again, because He had pity on his people and on His dwelling place. But they mocked God’s messengers,
    despised his words and scoffed at His prophets until the wrath of the LORD was aroused against his people and there was no remedy. He brought up against them the king of the Babylonians, who killed their young men with the sword in the sanctuary, and did not spare young men or young women, the elderly or the infirm. God gave them all into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar. He carried to Babylon all the
    articles from the temple of God, both large and small,
    and the treasures of the
    LORD’s temple and the treasures of the king and his officials.
     
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  3. Thunderian

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    I can't imagine things in North Korea could be much worse for the people there. And unlike Iraq, there would be no insurgents or resistance. South Koreans would most likely take control of things pretty soon after Kim was removed from power, and would have much more luck building a new Korea than the US has had building a new Iraq.
     
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  4. Karlysymon

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    I actually read about something of a unification should Un be ousted. Granted, NKoreans escape to the South for a 'better' life but that life will include, should a re-unification take place, the South's high suicide rates and exploding autism. I guess everything comes at a cost...
     
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  5. Red Sky at Morning

    Red Sky at Morning Star

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    Imprisonment, torture, death: this is what you risk if you decide to follow Jesus in North Korea.

    The family that has ruled North Korea for three generations are worshipped like gods, and any suggestion that there is a higher authority than the nation's leader, Kim Jong-un, is immediately crushed. Tens of thousands of Christians are incarcerated in horrific labour camps, and thousands more keep their faith in Christ a complete secret - often their own family members do not know of their faith.

    http://www.opendoorsuk.org/persecution/worldwatch/north_korea.php
     
  6. Karlysymon

    Karlysymon Star

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    And you don't think God already noticed? Why has He kept the ruling family around for 3 generations? And, remember that God ordains or permits to exist, earthly governments, however brutal. Not defending the regime but sometimes, a lack of freedom of religion, maybe a blessing in disguise.
     
  7. rainerann

    rainerann Star

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    I remember when George Bush Jr. was giving his speeches ranting about the "enemy." The "enemy" doesn't like freedom blah, blah, blah. I kept thinking to myself, aren't you trying to bait the Christian right into thinking you are a Christian? Someone has to think it is odd that you are using that darn word "enemy" the way you are after every other word. Doesn't Jesus say we are to love our enemies and do good to those who persecute us?



    I have spent years thinking about this definition of enemy alongside claims that George Bush was a man of faith. It still bothers me to this day. I remember being in a Christian bookstore years ago and seeing this book being sold called "The Faith of George W. Bush" and wanting to throw up.

    I would try to imagine how the world would have responded if we had been led to love our enemies, and I do believe that we would have been better off everyday, but we don't live in a Christian world even if people call themselves Christians. It is like we can forget that there are wolves in sheep's clothing out there so no one says anything when this man clearly doesn't represent what scripture says about responding to enemies.

    Although, then I wonder if it matters because if we don't live in world where people have enough faith to pull something like this off, then what difference does it make.

    People try to say that at a certain point force is required, but when does force ever create change that makes the world a better place. When we use force, we are then dependent on force to solve our problems in the future because there is no other way. There is no other example. Every time from now until eternity, when conflict is created, war will be the response. This cycle will never change unless people become willing to follow Christ when he says to love your enemy.

    I think the civil rights movement is a strong example that you don't need force to create change, you just need faith. They didn't win more rights because they won a war. They gained civil rights because they were committed to a cause.

    Maybe some might see it as too idyllic, but I truly believe that you only need faith to stop evil.

    I think the history in the Bible confuses people a lot of the time. When there are battles in the Bible, we are not being told that war is sometimes justified. Including these stories does not make them a law for us. They are just true stories of what happened in the past. It isn't a rule to follow. Christ gave us a rule to follow. The history of the kings of Israel is not a rule to follow.

    So I would not agree with any military intervention of North Korea either. I think it would be a better strategy to love the enemy. People would start to see the US in a different way again as an entity that was different, not the same as every other nation readying themselves to go to war if necessary. It is just so outdated.
     
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  8. Aero

    Aero Star

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    Yes, love your enemy. Jesus had the right idea. To me that context is more like a teacher to student relationship. So it's not a divine mandate. Idk if that whole idea is silly, or dangerous. Literally speaking if anyone had a divine mandate than we would be living in a much different world. Like our reality would be more sinful, or virtuous. Instead there is balance, which gives our choices meaning. It's the force of balance that gives our choices power.

    I think some of you need to read "The Art of War". If you did you would understand right away how North Korea's position is deceptively weak. But that's the whole point of war. It was reported that sometime last year North Korea hit their own city with a missle. And I've heard part of their underground nuclear testing site has collapsed. It's a poor nation, the fact that they can launch anything is testament to our collective advancement as a species.

    We can't keep every madman from getting weapons. And I'm still hoping some of you get off the whole good vs evil thing. You are not a judge. Nor are you the ultimate decider of what's good and evil. If it was that simple, people wouldn't of invented Gods. Wars are won or lost based on the meta games going on within any conflict. The struggle for resources, and equality. Keeping up with the will and spirit of any initiative. There's all sorts of different types of force that matter when you have a goal. Individually or collectively.

    Faith can be good or bad. But you need willpower. And more importantly than that, you to have vision. All the faith and willpower does squat if you can't see anything.
     
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  9. Serveto

    Serveto Veteran

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    Thank you for joining in. Concerning that part of your statement which I have placed in bold, would you say that, for instance, Bernard-Henri Lévy, Clausewitz and Machiavelli have gotten off the whole "good vs. evil" thing? Is this close to what you are suggesting?
     
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  10. Serveto

    Serveto Veteran

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    We are in agreement. To be clear, I make a distinction between "pacifism" and "passivism." I understand that Christians are not, nor do they claim to be, invariably passive, certainly not, but rather that the often very active principles of returning good for evil, turning the other cheek, and the rest famously taught by Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount are generally considered pacifistic in the sense that they are not conducive to, nor do they seem to permit war (as the term is usually understood).

    For instance, and this I think is in line with what you say above, when I read the New Testament, if this should be read alone, and I know that is a big if (hello @Thunderian :)), never do I see Jesus, either in his physical ministry or after his resurrection and prior to ascension, defending himself with a sword, and neither do I read of any of his disciples doing the same. Even the later Christian martyrs thrown to lions in the Coliseum reportedly were, as St. Paul wrote before them, "killed all the day long," and were "accounted as sheep for the slaughter." They did not lift a sword or defend themselves with "carnal" weapons of warfare (except in this case, which was corrected by Jesus).

    I say that to say that I understand that to actively repel evil with good is not mere passivism. Sorry it took me so long to respond. I finally got (something of) a winter break.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
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  11. Aero

    Aero Star

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    Not exactly. You might be conflating different philosophies. I think that there is some truth to these things though, that's why some of my words echo the same thoughts. And I'm not that familiar with where on the balance scale they fall. But they don't seem evil per say. Like there is something to be said for the promotion of vices. Ideas like that would never exist if vices weren't condemned.

    The cause and effect relationship of events in general is the centerpiece of any philosophy. It doesn't matter if it's war or social politics. And I disagree with Machiavelli about religion. I don't think the "Prince" needs a religious populace to thrive. I think that if you go to the average household in the developed world you will see plenty of religion displayed. A picture on a wall, a bible on the bookcase. A fancy floor mat that says Jesus welcomes you.

    At the center of those very same houses isn't a bible shrine though. It's a couch and a television set. And I'm not saying religion has been replaced. Jung said it for me, like 70 years ago. Because before it was a couch and T.V. It was opium, nicotine and alcohol. Or even an ideology gone off the rails. There's like no difference between a zealot and a drug fiend. Forgive my lazy science but, it probably is the same brain chemical driving both types insane.

    Like I said, cause and effect. Once you start making these connections, any hope for a simplistic life is gone. I've seen this first hand, because people hate when I make that connection. Like try informing all these protective parents cell phones, the internet, and videos games are like the equivalent of narcotics. Some turn into crusading zealots, but most parents just don't want to hear it. And to that I would say, every doctrine has flaws.

    I think if Christians are passive it's a product of something else. I don't think people know what to fight for anymore. There's clearly a huge divide of knowledge that's taken place. It's trickle down education. Maybe produced by convenience alone. Why would I teach people things that are going to hurt them? The right thing to do is to teach them anyway. But I think we've been raised by generations who just said ehh. Someone else can teach them. Except like nobody ever did.
     
  12. Artful Revealer

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    Regardless of whether or not your statements are true, you or other countrymen aren't the judge of that and should even less feel entitled to justify actions upon that judgment in any way or form that would infringe upon the sovereignty and self-determination of the people who are more qualified to make that judgment, ie. the North-Koreans.
     
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  13. rainerann

    rainerann Star

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    Yes, I would agree with what you are saying very much. Jesus does not present himself as ever needing to defend himself with a sword. This has caused much of my study of scripture for where we are able to find our defense. How do I find the same defense as Daniel who survived the den of lions or the same defense that released Peter from prison? My conclusion is that the Sermon on the Mount is the way to find the same defense.

    So, I would say that it is possible to consider that the presence of pacifism or aggression in the church is the result of the inability to understand how our position does not mean that we are without defense.

    Revelation 11 has also been an inspiration towards my opinion on the subject as well. The witnesses are described with great abilities. These abilities create a defense that is unique and unseen by the witness of the church at the present time.

    "5 And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. 6 These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire." (Revelation 11:5-6).

    I think what the prophecy says about the witnesses does teach us something about who we are in Christ and that we are not without defense even if the description is something that is manifested in a particular time.

    Therefore, there is no reason to say that we should be passive or that turning the other cheek is a sign of weakness; and it is alternately not something that we should use to create the impression that we are permitted to be aggressive. What the witnesses are described as being able to do has nothing to do with the classic description of war.

    @Aero is talking about a balance and I think the witnesses work in this balance that is the true art of war.
     
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  14. Serveto

    Serveto Veteran

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    I quoted (or more paraphrased from memory) Lévy quoting Clausewitz on essentially ignoring, or disregarding, the distinction between good and evil; to not confuse war with metaphysics, or religion, but rather to view it as simply "politics by other means." Machiavelli, on the other hand, who lived well before Clausewitz's era, did recognize the distinction between the two, good and evil, but recommended that the Prince do either or both, as need be, in order to acquire and retain power. The philosophies contain that similarity, and I was reminded of them when you said this:
    That sounds, to me, like a suggestion, or, better yet, an invitation not necessarily to immorality, but to a sort of amorality. Is it? Should one ignore distinctions between good and evil in one's approach to life?

    I have read the rest of your post in full, and do appreciate it, but want to concentrate upon this issue, if I may, for now and to keep things brief.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
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  15. Serveto

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    Excellent connection. Although I have read, I never really noticed that.
     
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  16. Daciple

    Daciple Veteran

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    Why didnt Jesus fight? Why didnt He take up arms and free Israel from the occupation of the Romans? Why didnt He take on the Jews themselves and remove them from Power when they were clearly not following the Law of Moses correctly and executing Judgment as they should have been?

    If we are to take the commonly held ideals of justification for war as the solution to the problems then why didnt Jesus defend Himself, and His supposed Kingdom of the Nation of Israel from unjust occupation by both the Romans and the self appointed Pharisees?

    I truly dont think people understand this Kingdom thing Jesus keeps talking about, I think I have misunderstood it for years:

    John 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
     
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  17. Aero

    Aero Star

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    I think that Lévy is misrepresenting the book "On War". Because war isn't that simple. The philosophy describes a trinity of forces that are always at play. So it's wrong to say don't confuse metaphysics with war, when the war trinity is 100% metaphysical. Idk if I would describe those forces the same way though. Primal urges isn't the best way to describe the force of will. It's fine to do that, when you are an army commander. Or writing a book about something else. But it barely scratches the surface of actual human behavior.
    I meant to clarify that, but got distracted. Because that's not what I'm saying at all. It's an invitation to be truly neutral. That doesn't mean ignore bad things. It doesn't mean turn into Machiavelli. My point has been to caution against being consumed by the very idea of good and evil. I'm saying don't draw lines in the sand, and if you do. Be very careful you aren't on the wrong side.
     
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  18. Serveto

    Serveto Veteran

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    Why would you say that is? What is it about Christianity, taken as a whole, including its variants, Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, Eastern Orthodoxy, etc., which, generally speaking, lends itself to being the official, state religion of empires, ranging from the so called "Holy Roman" to that of Queen Victoria and on to Tsar Nicholas? Even in this thread, one can sense that, on an individual level, Christians are doves, but, historically (and even now), when they coalesced into nation states, they became at times rapacious hawks.
    Amen, sister! Throughout both Bush Aministrations, I waited for Evangelical Christians, whose job it should be, it seems to me, to call "wolf in sheep's clothing," but for the most part I waited in vain (until I was finally blessed to catch up with @Karlysymon and others). What is more, and though I wasn't in a Christian bookstore, which is often filled with things published by Zondervan, a house owned by Rupert Murdoch, of all people, I puked a lot (speaking metaphorically).

    What monstrous irony that a man, Bush Jr., an initiated member of Skull & Bones, would see "Gog and Magog at work" in his brutal crusade against Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries when his own father's name, when inducted into the same secret society, was reportedly Magog! Gog and Magog were indeed at work, that I don't doubt, and they still are, for that matter, under a different guise, with our tax dollars and many peoples' at least tacit if not expressed consent.

    "The name Magog is traditionally assigned to the incoming Bonesman deemed to have had the most sexual experience, and Gog goes to the new member with the least sexual experience. William Howard Taft and Robert Taft were Magogs. So, interestingly, was George {H.W. ?} Bush."
    Alexandra Robbins, The Atlantic
    It's good to hear from you! I wonder. How do you not only read but also interpret the verse from Romans to which Robert Jeffress, Evangelical adviser to Trump (in the op), referred when he said this:

    "When it comes to how we should deal with evildoers, the Bible, in the book of Romans, is very clear: God has endowed rulers full power to use whatever means necessary — including war — to stop evil, ... In the case of North Korea, God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong Un.”

    Although he doesn't specify, I think he is clearly referring to these verses, and I can see, from more a logical than theological standpoint, how he has arrived at his conclusion and understanding:

    "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil."
    (Romans 13:1-4)
    Is it sort of like "all things in moderation," even good and evil? Aim for something in between, say, Teresa of Calcutta and Charlie Manson :D?
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
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  19. Etagloc

    Etagloc Star

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    Leave it to Serveto to create such an interesting thread. Clauzewitz, Sun Tzu, Napoleon, North Korea.... interesting stuff being discussed here.

    Life is dynamic. Life is in constant motion. The essence of life is struggle, not peace. This is why Islam is such a great religion. I am not a Muslim but... part of what makes the Quran so great is that it accepts that life is a struggle... as a basic premise. A lot of the Quran is based on that premise.

    The attempt to avoid lines on the sand.... that's an attempt at peace. I am all for peace but peace cannot mean what is has been taken to mean, as Rafael Correa has discussed. Rousseau was correct.... man is innately good but is in chains. Life is struggle. If you embrace that it's struggle, then it's easier. If you simply want to retreat into a corner..... you'll never acquire peace that way. Broken-spiritness, defeatism..... those represent a lack of character- not virtue.

    Kim Jong Un is not a madman. What we're told about North Korea is a bunch of nonsense. But I made a thread about North Korea. I don't feel like repeating all that.

    What our media is showing us is completely one-dimensional and idiotic. People should be embarrassed for believing in the one-dimensional picture. Have people forgotten about Iraq, Libya, etc. already?

    If you want to understand what the North Korea stuff is about, read this if you haven't http://www.invent-the-future.org/2013/11/understanding-north-korea/

    Regardless of your opinion, you should at least understand their side of the story.

    But like I said... I already made a thread about North Korea.

    I wanted to post because I wanted to clear this very annoying misconception about Clauzewitz, Sun Tzu, etc.

    There is this completely absurd theory that a person can understand strategy and that this will allow them to go against the natural harmony of the universe, that a person through understanding strategy- IE through cleverness.... can simply violate the most basic principles of natural law and get away with it.

    That was Tupac's stance. Tupac decided he wanted to diss basically every rapper alive.

    He was gonna get into this gangbanging stuff, get into all this violence, diss every rapper ever....... claimed "I know the secret to war, so cowards fear me"..... all that was pure delusion. He didn't attain some sort of ultimate knowledge. All he did was end up getting himself killed.

    I've read the Art of War and Tupac wasn't remotely following it. Sun Tzu's work was based on Taoism. So to really follow Sun Tzu.... it would be that you only engage in things when the moral law is on your side. If the moral law is not on your side and you are not in line with the natural, innate harmony and balance of things... then you are not really following Sun Tzu. And I think Sun Tzu himself would have told someone they were in danger if they were to go against the Tao, the natural harmony, etc.

    So to understand Sun Tzu you actually need to understand Taoism as The Art of War was based on Taoism.

    And so this fragmented understanding is very misleading... you can't simply strip his ideas from their Taoist roots and then try to apply them.... it goes totally against what Sun Tzu actually was teaching.

    And it's the same whether you read Machiavelli, Clauzewitz, etc.

    Before you read those thinkers you should read the Tao Te Ching. Are you in line with the natural harmony? Are you in line with justice? Is your cause just?

    Now Sun Tzu was very different than Machiavelli..... Sun Tzu was Taoist whereas Machiavelli.... I've read the Prince, I thought it was sewage and I still think it's sewage. His stuff totally lacks the transcendentality of Sun Tzu's Taoist approach..... unless you are a ruler in Medieval Italy and you have the vast resources that would be associated with that, The Prince is not all that relevant. The other thing of The Prince... and I guess this is why it is famous.... is because he basically decided it's more effective to be evil than good. If success is the only criteria- then Machiavelli failed by his own criteria. He himself was not at all successful. Machiavelli even failed at being Machiavellian. If you are going to become totally amoral and decide that it's better to be evil than good...... then you should at least keep your mouth shut about it. If you're an evil villain who tells people you're an evil villain... you're not very good at the evil villain thing.
     
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  20. Etagloc

    Etagloc Star

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    God has not given the US justification to yet again invade Korea. Nor did he give the US justification to invade Iraq, Vietnam, Libya or Afghanistan.

    If the US wants to be a macho man of action..... then let the US start by taking action towards helping the homeless people on its own streets.

    And that is another thing that is so absurd.... war is just when it is in self-defense. When you are defending yourself against an aggressor- that is when violence is justified. Going and bombing people just to feed your ego...... is something absolutely disgusting and there is nothing dignified or honorable about that. That is just being a barbarian, a brute, a savage. And a person who has to be civilized. The fact is if people want to engage in imperialism and dehumanize themselves and turn themselves progressively more brutish and refuse to civilize themselves..... I think it opens the doors for the universe to send outsiders who will civilize the out-of-control brute.

    The more violence the US engages in..... the more it puts itself in danger. This country would be much safer and in so much better condition if the country simply minded its business and simply contented itself with being a friendly neighbor. Unless you're a very young child or you've been seriously deprived of opportunities to research basic facts..... I don't think a person has an excuse for still believing the childish myth that the US bombs people for humanitarian reasons. It wouldn't even be accurate to say that its wars are for the US interest. They don't serve the interests of the US citizens. They are fought for the narrow interests of some small group of elites.
     
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