Could you tell me what the Bible says about war? If it is wrong in the eyes of God for a man to take the life of another, isn't it sinful to participate in war? Each side in a war always claims that they're right and that they have God on their side, but I have yet to discover any war instigated by men for which God would have supported one side or the other. Most wars result from fear or desire -- fear of losing something (whether it be power, resources, way of life, loved ones, or one's life) or the desire to have something someone else has or wants (power, resources, etc). Why would God condone these wars, or any war, if: 1)he doesn't want men to kill, and 2) he doesn't want men to cling to the things of this earth (material things, even our very lives) because our treasure is in heaven? If men's desire for resources or to live a certain lifestyle on this earth pushes them to the point where they're ready to kill to obtain or preserve it, isn't that wrong (sinful)? ! Assuming it is sinful, wouldn't it also be sinful for the citizens of nations going to war to be passive and silent, allowing innocent people to die in their name, and often to their benefit?

Also, my father-in-law is in the military, and my wife is struggling with the issue of whether or not it is right for him to serve if it is wrong to kill. I mean, it is one thing to try and prevent others from harming you or someone else (if that's all the military did then fine), but when you take to the offensive, meaning the use of violence and the willingness to take another's life to preserve yours (or someone else's), isn't that disobeying God in order to cling to something of this earth? Militaries try to sell off offensive attacks as "defending ourselves," (often both sides say this) but no matter how much people kid themselves this doesn't seem like it would be acceptable according to God's word. We're supposed to follow Jesus' example, and I don't recall Jesus being violent.

If someone is in the military but is not a soldier (they help build the bombs or maintain the planes that drop the bombs), isn't this wrong as well? They do contribute to, and even benefit from (paycheck, preserving their way of life) violence that will cause the misfortune or death of thousands. How can that be ok?


War is always bad from some aspects but sometimes they have been necessary. God required the Israelites to go to war against the Canaanites so that they could occupy Canaan (the promised land). King Saul was told by Samuel to go down to Amalek and totally destroy the Amalekites. The army of Israel was in war against the Philistines when David met the challenge of Goliath and slew him. There were many other wars as well that the Israelites participated in with God's approval. All of this time they were living under the Law of Moses that had among its commandments, "Thou shalt not kill." We know that God did not command or endorse anything contrary to the Law, therefore, one needs to look at the commandment a bit more closely.

The commandment, "Thou shalt not kill" (Exodus 20:13) KJV really means one should not commit murder and it is so rendered in later translations. Not all killing is murder as murder is defined as follows: "The unlawful, malicious, and intentional killing of one human being by another." While war is going to result in loss of life it would not be considered murder. Capital punishment was utilized throughout Old Testament history even for violating the Sabbath. If one was found working on the Sabbath he was stoned to death (Numbers 15:30-36). Persons caught committing adultery were likewise stoned to death so you see all killing was not condemned.

In Romans chapter 13 the apostle Paul makes it plain that government is ordained of God and that to resist the government is resisting God. The government has the right to conscript its citizens to fight in wars when it deems war necessary. Had our nation not gone to war in 1941 the world would have fallen victim to tyranny.

Your father-in-law being in the military should be no problem as he stands ready to serve and protect his government and family. He is fulfilling a God ordained responsibility. Fortunately our government will allow its citizens to abstain from going to war if it violates one's conscience. As to supporting the war effort even civilians in almost any endeavor are in some ways supporting the war effort. The farmer is feeding the soldiers, miners, communications workers, bankers, teachers, etc all contribute to the war effort and according to Romans 13 they are required to do so.

What does the bible teach about fighting, and violence

The Bible teaches us as individuals to live peaceably with all men as much as is possible (Romans 12:18). The scriptures do have many examples of warfare that God commanded, and in Romans chapter 13 we are commanded to be obedient to the government and there are times when the government would call upon us to fight. We, however, are never to violate our conscience. In Romans 14:23 we are told that whatsoever is not of faith is sin. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). If the government were to command us to do something we sincerely believe to be wrong then we have the right to refuse and our United States Constitution guarantees us this freedom. When Peter and John were commanded by the Jewish authorities not to speak any more in the name of Jesus of Nazareth they replied, "Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard." (Acts 4:19,20).