King's Business - 1968-03

filling a divinely ordained function, which is to en­ force and maintain social order and righteousness through justice and police power (Rom. 13 :l-7 ). 3. Obey governmental leaders and representa­ tives with attitudes of honor and loyalty, motivated by a reverent following of God’s will (I Peter 2:13-17). 4. Prime allegiance and obedience always belong to God, when it comes to the proclamation and the practice of the Gospel (Acts 5:29). Therefore, the Christian is to desire the peaceful life made possible by justice in human relation­ ships. To that end, the Christian is duty-bound to support government in the championing o f justice. This justice may well go beyond jurisprudence, to include justice in the moral inter-relationships of men, such as in cases of welfare; disaster relief; equality of opportunity toward life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, etc. Indeed this concept o f peace emanating from justice is rooted in our salvation. It was not until Christ made peace with God on the basis o f justice, that we redeemed can have peace with God. Salva­ tion is biblically enunciated using legal terms such as “ penalty,” “ payment,” “ justification,” etc. When He paid the legal penalty for our divine law-break­ ing, justice was satisfied; and we are at peace with God through trust in Him. Furthermore, one cannot read about the fall of Satan, the pressure o f his evil forces on our lives, the growth in Christian maturity, and the exhorta­ tions to withstand persecution, etc., without an im­ mediate awareness of the Bible’s repeated use of the vocabulary of war and violence. This would be, admittedly, a weak supporting argument for sanc­ tifying war; but one cannot dismiss the obvious existence of conflict between the spiritual forces of “the god o f this world” (of sin) and the God of righteousness. Conflict, at best, is often described as tumultuous and cataclysmic. Therefore, there are applicable principles and eventualities here with regard to the lesser realms o f human, govern­ mental, and international dealings. And do we not see the effect of spiritual forces produced in human relationships, whether individual or national? So battles do go on, spiritually and politically. Now in today’s world, few nations can live in iso­ lation from others because of economic and produc­ tive interdependence. Yet nationalisms and totali­ tarian ideologies rear their heads in ways that bring strife to international affairs. Thus alliances of force have arisen for defense, or offense, among nations. Upon the role of a world power, such as the United States, has been forced—or the respon­ sibility assumed o f — the role of an international policeman, as well as the role o f helper o f the underdeveloped nation, etc. There is also international crime—not by syndi­ cates, but by nations. There are nations that are criminal in their intent or programs, as promul-

And, many youths and older members don’t know which side to take. The question of international law and an undeclared war are not o f paramount importance in this article, either. Whether right or wrong, American history cites approximately 142 precedents for the present administration’s ac­ tions ; and historically, we have accepted those vic­ torious results as in our national interest. But what this leads to is further questions about bearing arms, war, and conscientious objec­ tion. That is where the involvement becomes per­ sonal with our young men, and with the wives, families, and sweethearts they leave behind. What is under discussion is the Christian attitude and position on war. From there, other proprieties can be questioned. First, to ask is : do we have the mind of Christ, and are we being guided by His Holy Spirit? As a basis and for authoritative reference, it is necessary to st^rt with God’s Word. The Old Tes­ tament provides several pertinent passages regard­ ing war and killing. 1. “Thou shalt not kill” (Ex. 20:13) refers to murder or homicide, the word kill coming from the Hebrew root to dash in pieces, indicating premedi­ tated violence. Few have applied this to include the insect and bacteriological worlds, except Hindus, for example, who regard most life forms o f sacred significance. The verse concerns man’s treatment of man. 2. Prior to the giving of the Ten Command­ ments, God had a direct hand in the taking of life. I refer to Sodom and Gomorrah, and the last plague against Pharaoh, as examples. 3. In Deuteronomy, Moses recounted bloody vic­ tories in the wilderness, and states that God directed the annihilation of the resident population of the Promised Land upon Israel’s entry. Also, laws for warfare are given in Chapter 20. From these then, it would be obvious that Israel regarded that “ just war” not only existed, but also in some cases was divinely ordained. From the divine perspective, the Bible tells us that God per­ mits war to fulfill judgments on nations. Such explicit directions are not found in the New Testament, however. One reason would be seen in the different relationship between God and man, which was brought about through the New Cove­ nant (Testament), or dispensation. To contrast: CHURCH A spiritual people Universal A spiritual kingdom A separation of religion and politics per se. Instead this New Agreement directs us to: 1. Render appropriate and loyal obedience to both Caesar and God (att. 22:21). 2. Regard political governments as agencies ful­ ISRAEL An ethnic people Nationalistic A political kingdom A theocracy



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