Down through the ages there has been this question debated by Christians of various denominations and doctrinal views: “Should Christians fight to defend their nation, their families, and their neighbors?”
I myself have pondered this question often; and have always been (as my son often pointed out) too pugilistic. This is partly due to my own personality, and partly due to where I was raised and lived growing up. In Overlook Homes Government Housing Project in the East End of Dayton, Ohio, you either fought, or lived a miserable existence. I neither picked fights, or enjoyed fighting; but, nevertheless, I would fight to defend myself, or my friends. Some of my friends and I would spend hours practicing defense; take downs; holds; and different attacks; sequences of punches, etc. Consequently, we became fairly adept at defending ourselves; and didn’t get picked on like the kids that wouldn’t, or couldn’t fight. If the old saying, “The end justifies the means,” is true, we were a success.
Later on, I served in the Army, and didn’t have a problem with the thought that, if placed in a combat situation, I might have to defend myself and others, possibly to the death.
It was later on, after I became a Christian, and read the teachings of Jesus in the “Sermon on the Mount” in Matthew 5-7, that I began to ponder whether taking a human life, or even fighting, was ever justified. I must confess that I hedged on this question quite a bit, and, as a result, read all of the New Testament many times, for the specific purpose of arriving at a position I could live with. In the Gospels, and the Epistles, and the Psalms, I believe I’ve arrived at something I can live with. Admittedly, the fact that, if I live until June 21st, I’ll be 80 years old, adds quite a bit of temper to my contemplation and conclusion. Following, I’ll share what I’ve come to believe is right:
- Never fight over words, or over a personal insult. Christ didn’t, and as His followers, neither should we.
- Never fight if it’s possible to walk away without endangering someone, i. e., if walking away won’t leave someone at a bully’s mercy.
- Whatever is right, true, just, and godly: We must fight for these things.
- It’s a husband’s duty to fight for his wife and children. At home or on a battlefield.
- If you must fight for the right reason, fight as “Unto the Lord,” with everything you have, and with winning in mind.
- If you think fighting’s fun, don’t fight, get help.
I hope this will be helpful to whomever reads it. By the way. If you’ve never believed in your heart that Jesus is Savior and Lord, do so today, because He truly is.
With love and prayers for all.