Essays on Pacifism
The Old Testament
Any half-hearted attempt to see what the Old Testament says about killing and war will quickly reveal
that those are things that the Israelites did... A lot. God commanded the Israelites to go to war and kill
so many times, that I need not give you a specific reference here. Several questions must be brought up
and seriously considered before we move on to the New Testament.
"Because God told them to!"
I have heard the objection that it was right for the Israelites to go to war because God specifically
commanded them to. This objection should instantly make us stop and ask another question: “Is killing
a human being morally wrong???” If it is, it is sin. The pacifist must insist that killing is sin in order to
maintain their position, because if killing is not always sin, then there are times in which it is
permissible, even good, which the pacifist rejects.
So did God command His chosen people to sin? God does not tempt anyone to sin (James 1:13), how
much more so does He not command us to sin! Saying that the God who told His people how to live
righteously commanded them to sin is absurd at the very best.
Every true Christian is appalled at the thought of raping their neighbor’s wife. Do we serve a God that
would tell us to do so? Certainly not! Sin is sin, and I believe that every pacifist who is a sincere
Christian would agree with me that our God would never have us to sin!
What is Sin?
A reader of the original version of the "essay" made the point of asking "What is sin? If sin is
disobedience to God, then wouldn't not killing in the OT when God commanded the Israelites to be the
This is a good objection at first glance. The problem comes when we realize that the objection
essentially states that God is being inconsistent. He tells the Israelites not to kill because it is sin, then
tells them to kill and it's not sin. According to this objection, God is changing what is right and wrong.
But what is right and wrong are objective guidelines set by God that reflect His character and heart.
The character of God does not change, and therefore what is right and wrong does not change. Killing
in war and in self defense is either right or wrong. And that does not change.
The reason why God can not tell people to do something that He has specified as sin (contrary to His
character) and it not be sin (when He tells them to do it) is that God's character can not change. If it
could, we would be in big trouble today, as we would never know what He will be like the next day.
God would not be worthy of being God.
But He is, which is why this objection can't hold it's ground.
What about the Commandment, "Thou shall not kill"?
This objection does not make much sense, as most translations in modern English translate this
commandment “You shall not murder.” The meanings of words change over time, which is why we
need Bible translations that are understandable in our own language.
Did God ever tell His people to commit adultery, covet, steal, or break the Sabbath? Of course not.
Why? Because He commanded them never to do such things. It is the same with “Thou shall not kill.”
God would never tell His people to break His commandments. The Israelites going to war was
obviously not prohibited by this commandment.
Capital punishment certainly was not either, as God tells His people how to punish evildoers… Many
of those punishments are what we would call the death penalty.
The commandment means not to murder. Murder is the intentional shedding of innocent blood with evil
motives. Note how in the Proverbs, it says that “God hates the hands that shed innocent blood” (Prov.
6:17). Why does it specify innocent blood? Because God hates people that murder innocent people.
The person you kill who was trying to harm your wife and children was not innocent. The man you kill
wearing the Swastika on his shoulder who was trying to conquer the world for his Führer was not
innocent. God does not hate the hands that shed blood because they love their families too much to
watch them be slaughtered and oppressed. He hates the hands that shed the blood of the innocent and
Killing to Defend your Home is not Murder
Exodus 22:2-3 “If a thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt
for his bloodshed. If the sun has risen on him, there shall be guilt for his bloodshed. He should make
full restitution; if he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.”
This passage seems to imply that if a thief is found in your house in the day and you kill him, you are
guilty, but not if it happens at night. Why the difference?
The answer should be quite simple. If you realize that there is an intruder in your house during the
night, you will have difficulty discerning his intentions, whether they be to murder or simply to steal. In
the night you will likely be preparing for combat, because darkness is an evil man’s friend, and he
certainly has come with malicious intentions. During the day, it would be much easier to tell what he is
doing and to get assistance.
Note that the Bible specifically calls this man a thief. A thief comes to steal, not to murder. In the day, if
you can tell that his only intentions are to steal, killing him would seem unnecessary and treating
human life with carelessness. Killing someone should always be a last resort.
But in the dark of the night, when you are not sure if he is a thief, defending yourself and your family is
never the wrong thing to do… Even if it means killing him.
My favorite part
Nehemiah 4:14 is one of my favorite verses in the entire Bible: “And I looked, and arose and said to
the nobles, to the leaders, and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord,
great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your
It is interesting to note that Nehemiah was telling the people to “Remember the Lord, great and
awesome” to draw their strength for the battle. Why did he encourage the people to do this? Because
they were about to fight and kill people for an honorable cause – defending their families – and they
could not do it alone. But Nehemiah knew that the Lord, with His great and awesome strength, could
give them the victory. “For You have armed me with strength for the battle; You have subdued under
me those who rose up against me” Psalms 18:39
If killing is morally wrong, they could not have looked to God for their strength to do it. Will God give
us strength to kidnap and molest children? Certainly not! Yet Nehemiah and his men were trusting that
the Lord would give them strength to go into battle. And in battle, people get killed. Killing people is
not the reason why we want to go to battle, but it is the means by which you accomplish an end.
It is interesting to note that when the armies coming to attack the builders heard that Nehemiah had
prepared his men for battle that the Lord put fear in their hearts, and they called off their attack. Even
more important to note for this discussion is that from that time onward, half of the men worked on
rebuilding the wall, and the other half stood ready with spears, bow and arrows, and wearing armor
(verse 16). Also, even the men working wore swords at their sides (verse 18)! They were ready to fight,
to be the courageous men we read stories of that fought valiantly to defend their loved ones…
One common objection to fighting in self defense is that it is not trusting God. Trusting God would
mean believing that He will take care of you.
This is another very well meant and sincere “objection”, although I wouldn’t really call it that. Even
though it is used as an objection, I don’t consider it one, because I completely believe that we should
trust God and His sovereignty to protect us. I live a life without fear because I serve the God who holds
the universe in the palm of His hand. Every Christian should live knowing that God will protect them.
This is a major difference between us and the lost world.
But trusting God does not mean that we will not resort to physical violence in order to protect others.
Often we are what God uses to protect and bless others. We are His body. God uses means. And while
God certainly does not have to use us for anything, He often chooses to use us broken, helpless human
beings to accomplish His great purposes.
In the Nehemiah 4:14 passage, Nehemiah and His men were trusting God… To give them victory in the
combat that they were preparing to enter in to. The Nehemiah passage is especially devastating to
pacifism for more than one reason: 1) Men are preparing to defend their wives and children through
violent combat, 2) God did not order them to fight like He did the Israelites in the past, they were just
doing it because they knew it was the right thing to do, 3) Nehemiah and his men were trusting God.
In all His great and unfathomable wisdom God had chosen to place them in a situation where they were
in an immediate and ever-present threat of being attacked. And Nehemiah knew what would honor
God… Fighting to defend their families. As we will see when we reach our discussion on the New
Testament, a man defending his wife and family with violence is a beautiful representation of Christ
and the Church, and is fully expected of him if it is necessary.
We can trust God to protect us… He will. But sometimes He has us do things. We can trust that God’s
will will be done. But we don’t know what His will is. It very well may be that a family will live to see
another day… Only because a person with a good heart stepped up and took some wounds in order to
Fighting and killing has nothing to do with not trusting God. We know that we have responsibilities,
one of those is to defend the defenseless, and that God can use us. We are trusting that if God wants us
to be able to save someone from death, He will give us the victory in a fight. We are attempting to be
faithful with a precious gift God has given us… Life. We should never want to take life in order to save
it, but sometimes that is the only way.
God will Protect Us Until He Wants Us to Die
Some may say that God knows what day we shall die and He will keep us alive until that day, so
fighting to defend ourselves is pointless. The problem with this argument is that it assumes that we
know that God will never use us to keep ourselves alive. God will keep us alive until the day He has
chosen for us to die. But between here and then, He very possibly could use man-to-man violence in
order to keep us alive.
As I hope to show, violence to protect ourselves and others is justified… Even in the New Testament. If
it is, then there is no reason not to use it in order to preserve our lives. No sane person objects to going
to a hospital if you cut your hand off. Why? Because we are to preserve the invaluable gift of human
Also, according to this logic we can drive with our eyes closed, because God won’t let us die until He
wants us to. One may object. One actually did, by saying that we lock our doors and we don’t say
“Hey, there’s little kids over here [come and get ‘em].” There’s a difference between inviting death and
fighting it when it knocks… Or breaks down the door.
According to this logic, we should drive carefully, but if a drunk swerves onto our side of the road, we
should not try to avoid him. The pacifist will object that there is a difference between avoiding a drunk
driver and killing someone to save your family. There is… But the entire issue comes down to whether
or not it is wrong to kill in defense of others. Whether it be in the army, a dark alleyway, or your home.
Is it wrong to kill someone in defense of others now that we are under the New Covenant? The
consistent pacifist will say yes. Very soon we shall move onto our discussion of the New Testament…
And I will attempt to show that killing in defense of others is indeed permissible, dare I say…
Honorable? A last resort… But a resort indeed.
The Heart of God
Throughout the Old Testament, God’s heart toward the oppressed, rejected, poor and forgotten is
clearly seen. Through His Word, the Bible, God clearly shows us that He wants those who follow Him
to intervene and save those who can not save themselves from whatever evil is attempting to destroy
them. Here are several passages that show this aspect of God’s heart clearly:
“Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy;
Free them from the hand of the wicked.”Psalms 82:3-4
“Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor Will also cry himself and not be heard.”Prov. 21:13
“If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. Deliver those who are drawn toward death,
And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Surely we did not know this,” Does not He
who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not
render to each man according to his deeds?” Prov. 24:10-12
“Open your mouth for the speechless, In the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth,
judge righteously, And plead the cause of the poor and needy.”Prov. 31:8-9
It is good to stop now and note that none of these verses imply killing anyone, other than perhaps
Proverbs 24:10-11, and Psalms 82:3-4, which could reference situations in which it is necessary. Many
of these passages could have been applied to slavery and the slave trade in the days of the heroic, yet
humble, William Wilberforce, and today the Proverbs 24 & 31 seem to scream out “save the pre-born
from abortion!”And of course violence would not be justified in fighting abortion, from what I can
understand at least. I am simply bringing before us the fact that God wants us to intervene on behalf of
others who can not save themselves.
The WWII holocaust instantly comes to mind, with names such as Corrie Ten Boom, and the secret
resistance which she helped. I would believe that in situations such as the mass genocide of Jews (and
others) in WWII certainly justified violence to save the people “appointed to die” in the “hand of the
Before I move on, I would like to bring one more Scripture passage before us:
“Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke?”Isaiah 58:6
Sometimes, in some circumstances, we must take violent action against evildoers in order to save those
that have fallen victim to their wickedness. Should we ever want to kill people? Never! Should we ever
want to let the oppressed go free? Always! Do we ever have to use violence to accomplish this?
Sometimes it must be done.
If there is ever a way to accomplish things without using violence, we should take it. But sometimes
there is not another way.
There are Other Ways
In a conversation I had with a young lady in which we were discussing the topic at hand – Pacifism – I
asked her if she believed it to be wrong when America went to war against the Axis powers in WWII.
England could only hold out for so long. Millions were being slaughtered by Hitler’s command. Her
response was basically that she thought that something could have been done to keep the war from
happening in the first place.
Many pacifists would likely believe and say the same thing. But this response doesn’t work because the
idealistic world that the statement envisions where war can be avoided does not exist. It simply does
not and will not until Christ crushes the last rebel under His feet. And that has not happened as of the
time I am writing this sentence.
There will always be evil men who kill people and lead others to do it. Those who start wars, commit
public shootings, become tyrants… Often, the only way to stop these people, such as Hitler, is to use
violence or go to war to kill people.
God Raises Up Warriors
King David’s Psalms are beautiful poetry, showing the brokenness of this great man and his
dependence on the Lord to be his strength and fulfillment.
As everyone who has read the Bible knows, King David was a warrior. In fact, he rightly credited God
with giving him his skill in battle: “Blessed be the LORD my Rock, Who trains my hands for war, And
my fingers for battle-” (Psalm 144:1).
Praising God for training your hands for war? This certainly would not make sense if war is objectively
wrong all of the time. “He teaches my hands to make war, So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.”
(Psalm 18:34). God taught King David’s hands to make war. Would God teach a man to do something
that is wrong? Certainly not!
We are about to reach a bridge in this article. One that separates the Old Testament from the New. I say
“bridge” in that I mean this time being a major turning point in history… The major turning point.
There have been 400 years of silence, and now, the Son of God, Jesus Christ, has come to the earth as a
human in His mother’s womb.
Many pacifists believe that this “bridge” is why we today should not engage in violence and killing.
Pacifists would certainly agree that when the Israelites killed and went to war in the Old Testament it
was justified. But they believe that in the New Testament, things changed. Jesus taught a new way of
living. One of peace, loving thy enemies, and of not resisting evil people.
Before we continue, I must first bring up something very important. God does not change. “For I am
the LORD, I do not change;” Malachi 3:6. It is true that with the advent of Christ’s coming to the earth
to pay for the sins of the world, some things did change. Christ paid the final and ultimate sacrifice…
Himself… so we do not need to sacrifice animals anymore. The Holy Spirit dwells within each and
every born-again believer in Christ (1 Cor. 3:16). Hebrews 8:13 tells us that the Old Covenant has
ended and a New Covenant has been made.
Pacifists would insist that the situations which justify war and killing passed away with the Old
Covenant. Or some pacifists may say that there are extreme and super rare situations in which killing is
justified, because they can not deny what their conscience tells them (eg. men must defend women and
children)… But such a position is inconsistent and insists that killing and war are not objectively
wrong… Which the pacifist also insists.
It is time to closely examine this two thousand year old “bridge” and see if it was really built to keep
war and the honor of defending one’s loved ones (with lethal force when necessary) on the other side.
The New Testament
The New Testament Gospel’s record parts of Jesus’ life, His fulfillment of prophecy, the beginning of
the Church, and ultimately the final sacrifice for our sins. Jesus taught us to love one another, even our
enemies. His sermon on the mount in Matthew chapter five has several verses that are often pulled out
of their historical, cultural and Biblical context in order to make a case for pacifism. After one brief
question, we shall go straight there.
The supposed absence of commands justifying killing, war, and capital punishment in the New
Testament does not make those things wrong. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is
profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,” (2 Tim 3:16). Even
the Old Testament is still profitable for us and our spiritual growth and wisdom. To answer the original
question: If the question was true, it would be because God already said it. He didn’t need to again. But
this “absence” of passages justifying killing is strangely absent upon close examination of the New
The Sermon on the Mount
There are several verses in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) that pacifists claim teach
“pacifism.” We shall examine each of the following pacifist verses individually:
1) Blessed are the peacemakers. (Verse 9).
2) Do not resist an evil person. (Verse 39).
3) Turn the other cheek. (Verse 39).
4) Love your enemy. (Verse 44).
Blessed are the Peacemakers
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:9. If anything, this
verse is support against pacifism. Pacifism toward war and against evil men does not make peace, it
only allows evil to march on unchallenged. Peace was made in the World Wars only because “good”
men rose up and started killing “evil” men. When a tyrant is slaughtering a group of people, delaying
our (violent) intervention in saving those people will only result in more deaths of the oppressed people
group. And we will be responsible before God for our inaction. Sometimes violence and war is the only
way to make peace.
Do not Resist an Evil Person
“But I tell you not to resist an evil person...” Matthew 5:39. Applying this verse as an all-the-time,
across-the-board principle is absurd. We must not only take verses in context of the passage they are in,
but in the entirety of the Bible. It is worthy to note that in the following examples Jesus gives, there is
absolutely no indication that He is talking about you or those around you being in any physical harm or
danger. Saying that this command is to be applied literally all of the time makes no sense in light of
other verses, such as Romans 12:21: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Should we refrain from resisting a Hitler that is slaughtering millions of innocents? Should we refrain
from resisting the madman who is about to blow off everyone’s head in sight? I hardly think so, as such
notions go against everything we know to be true, that is our conscience. I would also remind us of the
passages above in which I attempted to show to you the heart of God toward those being oppressed and
Which is a greater command: That we do not resist a Hitler, or that we do resist him through every
means possible and save those whom his injustice is oppressing? These commands are not in
opposition to one another. They do not insist that we must choose a life lived by one or the other. They
do ask that we always do the right thing, no matter what the cost, and that we handle such situations
with wisdom and a heart for whomever the victims may be.
Another reason the pacifist interpretation falls short is over the issue of whether or not Jesus is
speaking literally here in this passage. Jesus speaks figuratively in many parts of His Sermon on the
Mount throughout Matthew 5-7. Do we really mutilate our bodies if they cause us to sin, as Jesus says
to in chapter 5 verses 29-30. Should Christian men who struggle with lust really gouge out their eyes?
Certainly not! Doing such would seem in contradiction with other passages in the Scripture. The
answer to the struggle of lust is not to mutilate ourselves, but to fight to guard our hearts better and
pray for God to give us self control. Jesus is obviously not speaking literally in this passage, so we
must question why pacifists so strongly insist that this is a no-exception rule, especially as I hope to
show you that there are no other verses that support the idea of pacifism at all.
Turn the Other Cheek
“But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” Matthew 5:39. If there was an
army of pacifist verses (irony intended) this one would be the champion, the Goliath, standing in front
of his army, daring his enemies to oppose him. Interestingly enough, it is this part of the verse that is
easiest to disprove. With a single stone slung from a little sling, the giant comes a’ tumblin’ down.
For a moment, let’s just apply the “give him another cheek principle” to several situations. Should the
Government give a terrorist another building to bomb? Should a father give a rapist another daughter?
Such examples sound crazy of course, but is that not the idea that a pacifist is promoting, whether they
themselves believe it or not? The problem is that even if Jesus was speaking of not defending yourself
against physical violence, He said your cheek. Jesus never said to turn a blind eye toward others who
are being attacked, killed, and abused.
The obvious question to ask is “What does turning the other cheek mean?” The answer is quite simple:
Don’t retaliate when someone harms you. For the pacifist blogs, websites, and speakers, they all stop
there. Don’t fight back. Point proven.
But they forgot to ask one other very important question: What does it mean to slap someone on their
right cheek? In modern day America, we take the phrase to literally mean if someone attacks you. This
interpretation doesn’t make very much sense at all, considering that a slap on the cheek could hardly
qualify as being attacked. At the best, slapping someone on their cheek would be a short-lived outburst
of anger. This makes much more sense, and Jesus’ command not to retaliate also makes much more
sense with this understanding.
But Jesus may not have even been speaking of a physical attack. In first-century Israel, slapping
someone across their right cheek (Jesus specifies right cheek in His command) was a way to insult a
person. By slapping one’s cheek, you were trying to inflict shame. You were not trying to kill that
person, or even inflict any lasting physical harm.
The Bava Kamma, the first in a series of three Talmudic tractates1, (the Talmud being the central text of
Rabbinic Judaism and their law2), states that when a man slaps another man, he must pay a fine. If he
slaps the man backhanded (to effectively slap a man’s right cheek with your right hand, you must use
the back of your hand) it is considered twice as great as an offense, and thus double the fine3. All this is
to say that in the Jewish culture that Jesus walked in, the phrase “slaps you on your right cheek” refers
to a great insult. That is how His audience would have understood it, and that is how we should.
His command to turn the other cheek is a command to except insults and shame with meekness and a
Christ-like spirit, rather than lashing back, which is natural to us sinful human beings.
The most shocking part of all this, is that what appears to be the champion of the pacifist mindset is
built on misinterpretation and a misunderstanding of the Jewish culture in Jesus day. It’s a mighty
looking castle made with paper walls sitting on sand. See the link of endnote 3 for more information on
“turning the other cheek” and what it would have meant.
Love Your Enemy
The theme of loving one’s enemy is clear throughout the New Testament, and pacifists will often point
to it. This is the easiest objection to handle though, because defending your family or country, even if it
means killing people, has nothing to do with hating the people you’re killing. It has everything to do
with loving your wife, your family, freedom, and justice. Every Christian man has a duty to love his
wife as Christ loves the Church (Ephesians 5:25). Christ protects the Church, and a husband has the
same duty toward his wife.
On Love and Killing Someone
I have heard the objection (from more than one pacifist) that it would be unloving to kill someone
trying to harm your family, because that person would go to hell, and it would be loving to let your
family die at this man’s hands, because they would go to Heaven. Also, you are playing God by taking
the murderer’s life.
The first time I heard a man bring up this argument, I was quite surprised, as I had never thought about
it before. It is certainly a strange argument, but I can not simply dismiss it, as they seriously make it. I
will address several aspects of it.
First, the argument relies on an extremely specific scenario, which is extremely unlikely to happen. It
pictures a family in which every single person is born-again and secured by Christ’s mercy. If they die,
they go to heaven and will “experience joy forever.” What if there is a rebel in the family, that refuses
to submit to Christ? This person will go to hell and experience torment for eternity. And you had the
chance to give this person life.
Essentially, the man who refuses to defend his family is playing God with his family’s life. He is
deciding that he will not try to save them when he could have. “Greater love has no one than this, than
to lay down one’s life for his friends.” John 15:13. You are not going to lay down your life unless you
give someone a pretty good reason to take it, e.g. “it’s your life or mine.”
1st Timothy 5:8 says that if a man does not provide for his own household, he has denied the faith and is
worse than a sinner! This verse is often (and correctly) applied to a man providing for his family by
working so they can eat, have clothes, and have a roof over their heads. But the verse actually never
specifies those things. Protecting one’s family has always been considered noble, and the idea comes
right out of Scripture, as evidenced by the Old Testament. There is no reason to believe that providing
protection is something that this verse is not implying that a man must do. Of course not all men are
physically able to fight to defend others.
But back to the scenario. What if it’s not your family? What if it’s unbelieving coworkers taking their
break with you when a mad man pulls a gun out? You know they will go to hell.
Is the idea of letting someone die who will go to Heaven loving even reasonable? I shall use the
example of a husband and wife. We shall take this logic progression step-by-step. In a situation where
your wife could be killed if you don’t fight back (with the chance of killing the attacker), what would
be the most loving thing to do? Is it loving to fight the attacker? You might kill him, but not necessarily.
Is it loving to let your wife die and go to Heaven? Isolating the last question, we begin to see it’s
absurdity when applied across the board. If that act is itself loving (isolate the idea from that of being
attacked), then we shouldn’t try to save her if she steps out in front of the car, or is hanging on to the
edge of a cliff, or was in an accident and is bleeding to death. Isn’t it loving to try to preserve your
wife’s life, even if she would go to Heaven? I can’t imagine a pacifist who is really born-again say
anything other than yes. Life is a gift that God has given us, and we must try to protect it. If the answer
to the isolated question is a firm “yes”, then must we not try to apply it across the board? Right is right
and wrong is wrong.
It’s loving to save your Christian wife from death. Is it loving to fight someone trying to take her life?
It would certainly seem so. What if you have to kill that person, sending him to hell? First of all, we do
not “send people to hell.” God punishes evil forever in hell. It would seem that if it is wrong to kill
unsaved people because they will go to hell, this principle is violated numerous times in Scripture,
including when Nehemiah and his men prepared to defend their families.
Moreover, the principle insists that war is morally wrong, and so a pacifist that holds to this idea must
insist that war is never justified, even when it is to save life. War sends countless souls over the line
that divides us from the other side of eternity. The other problem occurs when you rephrase the
question: “Is it loving to let your wife and yourself die at the hands of a madman so he can live another
day to kill more people and be a menace to society?”
The entire argument ultimately is shaky and has no real Biblical foundation. The closest it comes to
having one is the objection that in killing the person you are playing God with his life. But you are not
playing God at all. “Playing God” is an act is the deliberate rejection of God’s rule in an issue, such as
the recent atrocity of Alfie Evans and the evil Alder Hey hospital. You are simply attempting to be
faithful with what God has entrusted you, namely the life of your wife. Husbands are told to cherish
their wife in Scripture. You do not let someone take something you cherish without a fight.
If Christ laid down His life for His bride, what should we do for ours?
But the situation grows worse for the pacifist. What if someone was not trying to kill your family, but
rape your wife or daughter? What if you walk into the house and your wife or daughter is desperately
trying to resist the rapist? What if you stand back and do nothing, and the rapist escapes to rape another
woman another day, and what if your wife or daughter was not killed? She will have to live with the
deep emotional scars that she was raped... And that her husband/father did nothing to stop it when he
could have. Is that loving to her? She’s not in Heaven at the end of this day.
These are all hypothetical scenarios that most of us will never face. Hopefully we will never have to
face such traumatic experiences! But even if we never face them, we still live with the objective
guidelines of what the right action to do is in such circumstances.
A greater issue must be addressed. What would every man’s conscience and soul compel him to do in
such situations? Fight! Defend women! Courage and honor! Chivalry! Love! Perhaps these virtues
come more naturally to some than to others, but the facts remain the same. Every man knows that he is
to defend women... Deep inside. Even in our hearts, so resistant to God and dirtied by the world, such
noble ideals somehow still radiate to the surface, even in some non-Christians.
If Christ fought so hard in a spiritual battle and slayed His spiritual enemy so that He could have His
spiritual bride, how can one find fault in or even not fight in a physical battle and slay a physical
enemy so that he can have his physical wife???
Why should we deny what we know to be true, especially when we see such Truth in action in the Old
Testament? The Old Testament may be in the past, but Truth never is.
This argument is tenuous at best, and only works in one exact scenario. Even if it was true for that one
scenario, it does little to nothing to make a case for pacifism in any other scenario, even one that differs
only by a minuscule amount. Remember, the Lord does not hate the hands that shed blood, He hates the
hands that shed innocent blood.
Jesus Did Not Resist
Jesus did not resist the evil men who came to arrest Him. In fact, He willingly went to His death, and
even rebuked Peter for attempting to save Him with his sword.
There are several problems with using Jesus’ life as an example to prove that we shouldn’t protect
ourselves. First of all, when crowds tried to attack and Jesus, He just slipped away. He was God, and
didn’t at all need to use the weapons of men like ourselves to protect Himself. Of course the Gospels
only record small parts of Jesus’ life, so we really don’t know how Him and His disciples handled
threats. Considering that Jesus can heal demon-possessed people and escape from crowds, the thought
of Jesus having using physical violence is crazy.
What about the passage in Matthew 26, verses 52-54: But Jesus said to him “Put your sword in its
place, for all who take up the sword will perish by the sword. “Or do you think that I cannot now pray
to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? “How then could the
Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?”
There are some obvious problems with using this passage as a justification for pacifism. First off, the
first verse, which is commonly quoted as “Those who live by the sword will die by the sword”, does
nothing to prove that fighting in the New Testament is wrong, as in the next section I will show you
that in the New Testament soldiers are told to live godly lives in the army... Not to leave the army. The
idea is not that fighting with a sword is wrong, but rather that those who use weapons for evil will get
justice. You reap what you sow. If you sow violence, you will likely die violently. The common phrase
“live by the sword” makes this more clear for us. To live by the sword is to live by dishonesty and
violence and malice... Such as thieves and murderers do.
The larger and main problem with using this example of Jesus’ “non-resistance” is the reason He gave
for why He couldn’t resist. Jesus said that if He had let Peter and the disciples fight, or if He was to call
“twelve legions of angels” to His aid, that the Scriptures could not be fulfilled (verse 54). Jesus had to
die for our sins. Fighting back would be to fight back against the reason that He had come to earth... To
be the spotless lamb and final sacrifice for our sins.
This is why using Jesus’ life as an example doesn’t work well. Being the Son of God, He could easily
handle any situation without ever having to shed blood, and more importantly, He came to die. We can
not die to pay the ransom for the souls of the world.
Soldiers, Honor God... in the Army
Now we turn our attention to an obscure passage in the Gospel of Luke. In Luke chapter three, John the
baptist is traveling in the region around the Jordan, preaching repentance (verses 2-3). John tells the
people who come to be baptized by him to bear good fruit and live godly lives now that they have
repented of their sins (verses 8-9). He tells the people to give to those who have less than them (verse
11). He even gives some specific examples to specific groups of people on how to live godly lives: For
instance, tax collectors come to him and he tells them to be honest and not take any more money from
people than there are supposed to (verse 13).
Then soldiers come to John. They ask “And what shall we do?” (verse 14). What would John say to
men in the Roman army who have repented of their sins and want to live lives that will honor God? If
the pacifists are right in that they insist that war and killing are morally wrong, then we should expect
John to reply with something like “Leave the army, stop killing, live lives of peace and shed no more
blood.” But John’s answer is surprisingly short and simple: “Do not intimidate or accuse falsely, and be
content with your wages.”
John told “Christian” soldiers (the term Christian won’t be used until Acts 11:26 in Antioch) two
things. One: Do not use your position to intimidate others. That is something that a soldier in the
Roman army could do very easily. Two: Be content with what you are being paid for your job... Of
defending the empire through very brutal force. If killing people while being in the army was a sin,
John would have told them to stop killing people, because if you’re in the Roman army, you’re going to
kill people. Clearly, being in the army and killing people is not a sin... Even in the New Testament.
Another striking example is that of the centurion in Matthew chapter 8. He seeks out Jesus and pleads
with Him to heal his servant. Jesus tells the centurion that He will, but then in the conversation that
follows, Jesus makes an interesting comment, (or it is interesting if one believes that it is wrong to be in
the army). In verse ten Jesus says (in reference to the centurion), “Assuredly I say to you, I have not
found such great faith, not even in Israel!” This (unnamed) centurion has such great faith in Jesus
Christ; He is head of 80 men skilled at killing; and even with his great faith he sees no reason to leave
his position in the army.
Verse 13 goes on to record that Jesus sent the centurion home, telling him that his servant had been
healed. Jesus saw absolutely no need to tell this man to leave the army and stop killing people. When
Jesus encountered others, He would tell them to stop sinning and follow Him. Apparently this man’s
way of living was not sinful like that of the prostitutes and dishonest tax collectors Jesus met.
We can, and must, glorify God in whatever we do. Whether we are a politician, a soldier, a
businessman, or anything else; Those are all places that we can serve Christ through what we are doing.
We are not called to escape the world. We are called to be in it... But not to adopt the worldviews that
the devil has used to enslave those that don’t know Christ.
A pacifist may be tempted to stop here and say that killing is justified if you are in the army and
fighting in a just war that could not be avoided. I would completely agree with that statement, because
it acknowledges that there is a time when killing is justified. To say such a thing is certainly a betrayal
of the pacifist credo. Did you just say that killing people is not objectively a moral evil? Pacifism is
loosing it’s foundation awfully quick.
The Hard but Real Parts of Life
I was once talking to friend about why we don’t believe in the pacifist “credo”, and he brought up a
very interesting idea that I have never considered before. He pointed out that in the New Testament the
Christian life is described as a battle, a war, a fight (along with a race and some other things). I said “So
what? That’s just an analogy that Paul used. He wasn’t telling us to fight in war and prepare for battle
in the real and literal sense of chopping off heads.” (Okay, so I didn’t say it exactly like that).
My friend continued his train of thought, which went something like this (I have expanded upon it
since then): In the Bible, God always uses analogies of evil things to describe evil things, and good
things to describe good things. In the Old Testament, Israel’s unfaithfulness to her God (a bad thing) is
compared to a prostitute (a bad thing). Then, we see the picture of Christ’s relationship with His
Church (a beautiful thing) described as as marriage between a man and a woman (a beautiful thing).
And then we have this picture of the Christian life. It’s one of putting your armor on, battling with a
sword against your foe, and fighting against the kingdom of darkness. It’s a picture of war, endurance,
and battle! Is this analogy representing a good or bad thing? Well, we are told to “Fight the good fight”
(1 Tim. 6:12), but as for the fight being a good thing?... It’s a reality of life. We might not like it, but
we’re part of it, so we gotta learn to deal with it.
If this is to be consistent with logic and the rest of (numerous) analogies in Scripture, we should apply
that to war and fighting in the physical world: Going to war and fighting to defend your family is not something enjoyable or a situation in which you would want to be, but sometimes is is necessary, no
matter how much we dislike it. Fight the good fight!
On Capital Punishment
We will take a brief detour to take a look at another topic which will be brought up in any lengthy and
serious conversation about pacifism: Capital punishment. This will not take long, as it is a pretty
straight forward and simple discussion.
It is obvious that in the Old Testament that capital punishment was something that God instituted to
punish evildoers. The problem arises when pacifists question whether or not the legitimacy of such an
act is carried over into the New Testament. The same exact reason to question whether or not we should
go to war and defend our families with violence. The question of capital punishment is even easier to
deal with than that of fighting and killing.
While I was discussing pacifism with a friend we came across the topic of capital punishment. She
objected by pointing out that the WWII holocaust was essentially capital punishment carried out by
Hitler. Such an objection falls apart for two reasons though: The New Testament does indeed justify
capital punishment carried out by the government. But secondly, only by just governments that uphold
justice and punish evildoers. This clearly disqualifies Hitler and justifies rebellion against him4.
Let’s take a look at Romans 13:1-4: “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is
no authority except from God, and the authority that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever
resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgement on
themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the
authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you
for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; For he does not bear the sword in vain; For he is God’s minister,
and avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.”
In these verses we see several things: In verse four Paul tells us that the government is God’s minister
when it punishes evil. This is clearly speaking of capital punishment against those who commit crimes.
But in verse three Paul tells us that the government he is talking about is not a terror to good works but
to evil. Hitler clearly was a perpetrator to evil works, and was certainly a terror to good works. Hitler
did not measure up to this “minister of God” authority position, and so the WWII holocaust was not at
all capital punishment, but rather a breach of justice and something to fight strongly against.
This is why capital punishment is something that governments must uphold, and why Hitler shouldn’t
be qualified to to be part of that government. One may object that sometimes those we punish are really
innocent and have been wrongfully convicted. Of course that is true, but I would caution us against
believing Hollywood... All those poor, poor mistreated and innocent prisoners. It is very sad when
someone is wrongfully convicted, but the possibility of making a mistake should not at all deter us
from attempting to make the right choice.
Even though we are fallen, we are still created in the image of God, and therefore even as fallen human
beings politicians still try to punish crime. Capital punishment is certainly something that governments
must do in order to fulfill their God-created role.
War is Not Part of Paradise
The same girl I referenced in the last section had another objection about war: It’s not something that
would have been in the perfect world before the fall and it won’t be in the perfect world that is to come.
She then turned around and rightly pointed out that Jesus will come back and make war against His
This objection is interesting, but is not at all a good one. Hospitals would not have been in paradise
past, nor will they be in paradise future. Yet no pacifist would argue against having hospitals (despite
how messed up our medical system is). Hospitals are able to save people when they are injured in an
accident. That is a very good thing that we need in this sin-cursed earth that we won’t have in the
perfect earth to come.
Would a pacifist want us to get rid of our police force in light of all we have been studying about
capital punishment and killing and upholding justice? A police force is a necessary part of this life and
is a good thing, but it won’t be in the perfect earth either. In fact, in paradise we won’t even be
proclaiming the Gospel to the lost, which is something we must do as Christians in this life.
Clearly, just because something was not and will not be part of paradise does not make that thing
something we should not have or participate in during this part of eternity.
Pacifism Is Harmful
What ideology has taken more lives than any other? You could toss around names of tyrants like Nero
and Stalin and religions such as Islam and MacroEvolution. One that no one would consider is
pacifism. Pacifism is responsible for the deaths of countless millions, whether we are talking about
cultural pacifism and the fight against abortion, or pacifism toward war and killing.
Imagine how many more people would have died in the WWII holocaust if America hadn’t joined the
war and her warriors hadn’t started blowing heads off. Imagine how many more deaths will come if a
tyrant’s army remains unchallenged. To shed the blood of his army is to save the blood of countless
others. Pacifism kills. Without drawing a sword, she cuts down a thousand mighty men.
Christians should not find any pride in pacifism or calling themselves pacifists. Many pacifists who are
still attempting to hold up the bloodstained flag will now object: Pacifism is not doing nothing, it’s just
not doing something through the means of violence.
Pacifism is Not Doing Nothing
Pacifists who are sincerely concerned for society will try to help... In other ways. Violence is not the
answer to every problem. But there are problems that require it in order to be able to be solved.
When a pacifist tells me that pacifism is not doing nothing, I will simply ask another question in return:
Is it doing enough? Could more be done?
At the end of your life when you stand before Christ’s awesome throne and He asks you to give
account of your life, will you be able to tell Him that you did absolutely everything that you could have
done to help your fellow man who was being led away to death? Or will He who keeps your soul tell
you that you could have done more, and that in failing to give your all for others, you failed to give
your all for Him?
Could you have done something to help save the lives of the Jews being taken to their deaths, but
didn’t, only because you didn’t want to see blood on your hands?
Pacifism may not be doing nothing, but is it doing enough, or could we have done more?
Armies and Governments are Not Individuals
Many pacifists will likely concur that it may be alright for the government and armies to kill in some
extreme circumstances, but not individuals. Trying to take such a position is like trying to place one
foot on each side of the grand canyon... It’s impossible. Saying such is an attempt to hold the holy grail
of pacifism high when in fact it has been cast into the dirt and dust.
The pacifist may admit that it is logical for the government to kill people because of Romans 13. The
interesting part in saying armies may be justified in killing because the government gives them the right
to kill is that in America the government gives us the right to kill in self-defense. To be consistent then,
one must say that whoever the government gives the right to kill is well... Right in killing. Clearly this
can not be the case, as in America, the government has given us the right to kill our own pre-born
children, which has become the most barbaric genocide in history.
What is right and wrong is not dependent on the government at all... It’s dependent on what God says.
And God has said that killing in order to love, uphold justice, and protect the defenseless is right.
Another interesting note about the “armies-only” objection is that the Israelites who went to war were
not part of any official army... They were just normal men who knew how to use swords. In the
example of the Nehemiah passage, they weren’t even going to war, in fact, they wanted to avoid it. But
they were ready to defend their families. They weren’t an army.
Also, in saying that armies can kill, we must remember that armies are made up of individuals. The
logic behind this line of thinking is scattered and nearly impossible to make any sense of. It is very
inconsistent and honestly has no Biblical basis whatsoever, as only some of the passages and ideas we
have covered in this essay apply to armies.
Then why do some pacifists attempt to believe the “army-only” exception? Because the Biblical
evidence against pacifism is so overwhelming that every pacifist who is at least somewhat
intellectually honest must find some way to explain the evidence away while still being able to remain
But that is not being honest with what we know to be true.
Buy a Sword?
A very controversial passage is found in Luke 22, starting at verse 35. The meaning of Jesus’ words at
the Last Supper are very debatable, but are certainly worth looking at.
“And He said to them, “When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack
anything? So they said, “Nothing.” Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him
take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one. “For
I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: ‘And He was numbered with
the transgressors.’ For the things concerning Me have an end.”” - Luke 22:35-37
This passage comes right before Jesus goes to the Mount of Olives and is arrested. Pacifists often bring
up several objections to using this passage as an argument for owning weapons to defend ourself. One
interesting objection I have read is that Jesus was telling them to buy swords so that He would be
“numbered among the transgressors” when He was arrested. They point out that in the next verse (36),
the disciples tell Jesus they have two swords and He says “It is enough.” They say that because the
disciples had swords, the men who came to arrest Jesus could call Him a criminal. There are several
problems with this interpretation though.
One is that Jesus was not arrested and “numbered among the transgressors” because the disciples had
swords and Peter used his. In fact, cutting off someone’s ear was never brought up at the trial... And for
one reason: The disciples were completely out of the picture when it came to Jesus’ arrest and trial. As
my friend pointed out, “Jesus wouldn’t have been guilty of Peter’s actions.” Jesus was “numbered
among the transgressors” because of what He did. Of what He taught. Jesus was not a “transgressor”
because His disciples had swords. This should become even more clear when we remember that Jesus
healed the servant who’s ear Peter cut off. If anything, the disciples act of bringing swords made Peter
a transgressor and Jesus not one. After all, Jesus seemingly reversed this “transgressing” act of earchopping.
It is completely illogical to believe that the reason Jesus told the disciples to buy swords was
so He would be counted as a transgressor.
This second objection is very closely tied to the first. It is that when Peter used his sword to defend
Jesus, Jesus rebuked him. Therefore, we shouldn’t fight in self-defense, right? One side of this
objection is silly, and the other just plain crazy. The silly side is what we explored already: Jesus did
not resist because He had to die. Peter’s motives for defending Jesus were certainly good ones, but he
obviously still did not get that Jesus’ destiny was to be arrested and crucified. If Jesus was to let Peter
defend Him, He would be letting Peter try to step in the way of Him being crucified for our sins... Not
to mention, Jesus could defend Himself with His angels. The crazy side of the objection is that it
basically implies that Jesus set up Peter to “sin” (according to the pacifist) by telling him to buy a
sword to use and then rebuking him for using it. Jesus setting up Peter to do something wrong? Such an
act is certainly underhanded and is completely contrary to the character of God. Clearly, Jesus was not
setting Peter up. These objections find no ground when they are followed thorough to their end,
something which I have not seen even one pacifist article on the passage do, and I have read several.
So if the objections fall short, then what does this passage mean?
And He said to them, “When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack
anything? So they said, “Nothing.” Jesus asks them a question referring to the prevenient experiences
His disciples have had following Him. Did the life I led you on fail to bring fulfillment?
Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and
he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one. At the Last Supper Jesus tells His disciples
that they are to start living differently. If a pacifist insists that Jesus was only telling them this so He
would be a transgressor (an idea which we refuted above), then they must insist that carrying a money
bag and knapsack somehow added to this “transgressorness.” You must begin to live differently.
“For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: ‘And He was numbered
with the transgressors.’ For the things concerning Me have an end.” According to the Pharisees and
religious leaders of the day, Jesus was a transgressor of their law. He failed to live up to the laws and
traditions of men. He claimed to be God. This was His great transgression... Blasphemy. Jesus tells His
disciples that He is going to be numbered among the transgressors... Nailed to a cross like a criminal
(and it had nothing to do with ear-chopping). Why must you begin to live differently? Because I shall be
nailed to the cross as a transgressor.
When considering everything and following through with the logic, it certainly seems that Jesus is
telling them to be preparing to live without Him. Of course He would come back from the grave, and
them leave them one last time, sending the Hoy Spirit in His place. Be prepared to carry money and
supplies that you will need to live on, including a means to defend yourself against thieves on the road.
There is a Time to Slit Throats
Forgive my graphic choice of a title for this section. We are coming to the end of this journey that we
have ventured to go on together. It turned out to be a little longer than I expected... I will begin to wrap
up this “essay” by bringing before us a verse that I have been alluding to; One that ties the ends
together and presents us with the mindset that we as Christians should take toward killing.
“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: ... A time to kill, And a time to
heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; ... A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war,
And a time of peace.” - Ecclesiastes 3:1&3&8
We shouldn’t want to go to war. We shouldn’t want to have to kill someone to defend someone else.
But there is a time when that is what we must do. This verse presents a perfect balance. While pacifism
goes off the road on one side, and it would be equally wrong to call killing a good thing that we should
enjoy, Solomon, the wisest man to walk the earth tells us that there is a time to kill, and a time to heal.
There is a time of peace, but there is also a time of war.
To make the case for pacifism is to be obsessed with and fighting for something that can not be found
in the Bible, Old or New Testament. It is reductionistic and unfair with the Scriptures. Pacifism is a
castle built on a sand of Bible verses pulled enormously out of context.
In the first several sections we looked at objections pacifists give when confronted of the reality of war
and killing in the Old Testament such as God told them to kill and Thou shall not kill. Next we looked
at the validity of killing to defend your household and Nehemiah and his men’s readiness to fight to
defend their families.
We then looked at God’s heart toward the oppressed and defenseless and what He would have us to do,
along with the inadequacy of the common pacifist loophole escape There are other ways. We then
remembered that God trains warriors’ hands to fight, and as we crossed into the New Testament, we
were reminded that God never changes.
We asked the question If Christians are supposed to kill, why doesn’t the NT say so? And we dove into
the Sermon on the Mount and showed why verses such as Do Not Resist, Turn the Other Cheek, and
Love Your Enemy must be pulled insanely out of context and applied very illogically to make a case for
We asked hard and difficult questions and attempted to find hard and fast answers on the issue of
killing and love. We reasoned why Jesus’ non-resistance toward His enemies that sought to kill Him
can not apply to every situation that we face.
We looked at passages that showed that soldiers who kill people can honor God in the army, and we
thought about analogies and the “hard but real parts of life”. We also took a brief detour to examine
why governments should carry out capital punishment.
We thought about why the fact that war is not part of paradise does not discredit it as something we
should engage in today, and we brought up why pacifism actually kills many lives, and considered the
objection “Pacifism is not doing nothing”, in turn asking, “Is it doing enough?”
We then touched on the (very inconsistent) pacifist give-in that killing is okay if an organized army
does it, but not individuals.
We looked in great depth at the Last Supper when Jesus tells His disciples to buy a sword, and then
ended with an appeal to fairness and to accept the words of Solomon: There is a time to kill.
Do we really want to know what the Bible says on such important issues such as pacifism? And if we
really want to know, are we really willing to admit we’re wrong and do an about-face if we find that
Scriptures say we are? In light of so much and such compelling evidence, how can we, who claim to
know Christ, call ourselves by a term so unbiblical?... Pacifist.
What I Am Not Asking
I wrote this “essay” for a friend with whom I had been discussing pacifism toward war and killing. You
may have noticed, it became a little longer than an essay... An essay is supposed to be around 500
words, and this one turned out to be 11,424 words5. In many words there is much folly. I pray that the
Lord has inspired my pen as I wrote these words, and that there is not much folly. But even if I have
wrote with clarity and in truth, my “many words” could still be misunderstood.
What I am not asking of my dear readers is that you all pack up your bags and head for the army. One
topic we have not explored in great depth is what exactly makes a just war. If a war is not for a just
cause, we ought not to be involved. Certainly there are some whom God would have not to join the
army even if such a war broke out. These individuals must honor God’s will for their life, but should
not decry war and killing as evil and tell others not to engage in it, and they should certainly refrain
from using the term pacifist, which implies the individual believes war is morally wrong for everyone.
In our conversation my friend made the comment that she doesn’t believe that God wants her in an
“army family”, married to a soldier. I have no doubt this it true, and that there are others of whom it is
true of as well. But these people should not identify or promote pacifism. God may call certain
individuals to, or not to, many things that He does not expect of everyone, or does.
Someone may felt called to be a missionary over seas, but they should not try to teach others (including
their children) that being a missionary overseas is the only way to live a life honoring to God. It is how
God would have a certain individual or couple live, but not everybody, or anybody else.
What I am not asking is that we enjoy killing. Sure, we all love a thrilling fight scene in a movie when
the hero faces off against the menacing villain, swords flying. We may even cheer when the villain
finally rests with a sword through his chest. There is nothing wrong with that. There is something in
most people that loves seeing good face off with evil... And if the stakes in a battle are not the lives of
the participants (or others), why should we care about it? (Okay, I’m not going to write an essay
defending fiction and storytelling right now!)
But we should never want to kill or like killing. But if we imagine such a situation happening to us, we
should certainly want to stop the madman with the gun in the mall or our house, even if it means killing
him. This is not because we want to end his life, but rather we want to save others. And I am certainly
not promoting war. War is a sad reality of life, and many wars are likely unnecessary, but a military is
certainly necessary to protect the people of a country from those who would seek to harm them, and to
be ready to fight in defense of their own country or an ally in need, such as America joining WWII.
What I Am Asking
So what am I asking? I am asking that we reject pacifism, and that the watchers become warriors6, men
of courage, men of God, who would rather loose their own life trying to save others than stand back
and do nothing when they could have done more. Christ has not asked us to live an easy life. He
doesn’t want half measures. I am speaking about more than pacifism here. There will be times we fail,
when our finger on the trigger freezes when it should have pulled... Whether the bullet it would have
fired would have been hot lead or a loving word.
Please, do not be reductionistic with your view of the Christian life! Do not cherry-pick your evidence
like a macro-evolutionist and pretend that you have proven your argument! Do not shut your eyes to
the evidence, that there really is a time to go to war, even if it only be between two men in an alleyway,
or a dark house. There is a time to kill.
I am asking that the men of our day become warriors that will defend their wives and children, and
even strangers. Such a virtue is fading away in our post-modern American culture. Today is one in
which we look out for me, myself, and I. We no longer see killing to protect others as a noble action,
and yet we see killing our children as a right! The only way to change this is to change ourselves first.
I am asking men to become knights. Not every man is physically able to defend his wife and children.
But he could show no greater love than to die trying.
I am asking for honesty with the Scriptures. I sincerely hope and pray that someone may read my
rambling words here and have an open heart to receive them. That maybe that person will save
someone’s life because of it. That that person he saved lives to be a great person who leads others to
Christ, or maybe becomes the next Wilberforce. If such a story were to happen, I would never know.
But I hope it does.
What I am asking is for boys and men to become Knights.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.
I can take little credit for what I have written here. The little knowledge I have is by the Grace of God
Almighty. I owe much credit to my parents, who taught me what it means to fight with courage and for
justice. I owe many ideas I present in this “essay” to others: The wisdom of Joshua is invaluable,
along with the many points he helped me to understand. I thank Garon for his mind on the issue of
pacifism. To God be the glory.
4 – Read my article on the issue of whether or not we should disobey evil authority here:
5- Original essay. The 2nd edition is now 13,396 words.
6 – A reference to Casting Crown’s song “Courageous”.