Put your sword back into its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.” These words of Jesus apply to us today. The Old Testament prophecy that men will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks should be fulfilled where people take the way of Christ and his Spirit seriously.
The problem of the Christian and war cannot be viewed simply from the perspective of one’s responsibility to his nation. We are now a global community in which we face the question of what violence does to a total humanity. With the increase of population, the problem of getting enough food and other basic necessities of life has increased violence as a way of life.
Furthermore, in viewing war from the standpoint of one’s responsibility to his country, it appears impossible that there could be such a thing as a “just war” in a nuclear age with a world community. The arguments for a “just war” in history appear to be quite irrelevant in an age of mechanized and nuclear warfare. The Christian must also face the meaning of the biblical affirmation, “as he is, so are you in the world,” or again the words of Jesus, “as the Father has sent me, even so send I you.” Ours is a mission of announcing the good news of reconciliation to God, and through him to one another.
The problem of the Christian’s relation to the state has divided the thinking of Christians through the centuries. It now appears that the Holy Spirit has been teaching us something about history. Alan Walker, in his book Breakthrough, Rediscovery of the Holy Spirit, suggests that history may be dated pre-Viet Nam and post-Viet Nam on this issue, and that non-resistant, redemptive ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 63+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more