Thursday, December 11, 2008

Is there really such a thing as an "Interesting" paper on just war theory?

America has just been nuked!!! Thousands are dead. Within hours it is discoverd that Britain did it. They were angerd that we didn't send teh Queen a birthday present. According to the Just War Theory, we would attack them. But what is teh Just War Theory?

A commonly followed principle among many Christians is the Just War Theory. This theory states that one can only go to War if they have the proper authority, they have a just cause , and they have the right intentions. In addition it states that in war, moderation must be followed. Total war is not allowed.

Yet throughout the ages a few more principles have been added to this theory in order to clear up any confusion. For the most part these are pretty good principles. Yet there is one that I definitely disagree with. This principle states that there must be reasonable probability of success. This means that if it is likely that one will lose a war because the other nation is unbearably stronger they should not wage a war. The words "reasonable probability" imply that the judgement of the probability of success should be based on the human faculty of "reason." And so I can by no means agree with this principle, although I agree with the main idea of the Just War theory.

I see no reason why one shouldn't fight in many cases even if it is unreasonable to expect them to win. Did not David fight Goliath. Some would say, he knew he was going to win. But this is irrelevant. Nowhere does it say that God came unto David and said, “Hey buddy you’re gonna win this fight.” No, David trusted in the Lord. Even though all the odds were against him, he knew that since he was on the right side the Lord would defend him. So, we should not look at a war and say, “They have a lotta nukes, they got big guns, and some other pretty sweet weapons. Sorry guys, we can’t beat em.” No, instead we look and see if we are on the right side, if we are doing what is just. And then, even if it seems obvious that we will lose, we know that God will help us, since we are fighting for his cause.

Not fighting because we might lose shows a lack of trust in God. Making sure that we have a better chance of winning by the standards of men, betrays a fear that maybe we aren’t on the right side and maybe we just better make sure we win just in case we are doing something wrong. In addition to this, we should not be intimidated from doing what is right, even when faced with a loss. God didn’t tell Christians, “Go preach the Gospel unless you start getting killed.” No way, he said something a whole lot more like this, “Sure as day, you’re going to die. But that’s the beauty of it, when they kill you go to a better place and it spreads the gospel. It’s a two for one.”

So why don’t I give you some examples. Gideon was outnumbered and definitely didn’t have the weapons his enemies had. But God allowed him to win with just some jars and a little bit of music. The Israelites didn’t surrender to the Egyptians who were following them, even though it probably meant death for them to keep up with the Exodus. In the end all they had to do was say, “watch out for that really big wave.”

Also God has seemed to grant his people some really stupid enemies. I mean, if I were an Egyptian I probably wouldn’t say, “Hey look, there’s a narrow path through two really high walls of water that look as if they might fall at any minute. Let’s take it.” Or if I were Gideon’s enemies I probably wouldn’t kill my fellow soldiers and run away just because I heard a really bad jazz band who used clay jars for percussion instruments. There are many more of examples of stupid enemies in the Bible, but another favorite of mine are the people who said, “Let’s go insult that prophet Elisha so we get eaten by bears.”

But there is one really stupid thing that unites all of God’s enemies. They all seem to have had a discussion along these lines. “Hey you know those Israelites”, “Ya, they’re the people with the God who destroyed all the other nations that stood in their way.” “Uh-uh, and I also heard that he does all these really terrifying miracles.” “Really, well I guess that’s obvious since He‘s the guy that made the world.” “Hey, I have an idea, let’s attack his people and get destroyed by him.”

So the conclusion is, let’s try trusting God, and even if we know we are going to lose, let’s try obeying him even if we die. And let’s just try to remember how God has constantly saved his people and promised to guide and protect them. And just for fun let’s remember all of the stupid enemies that have challenged us in the past.


Sheila said...

I like the humorous tones. I assume you are not just referring to wars fought between nations. It would be interesting to see you expand this. You gave great examples from the Bible, but do you see any more recent examples in either direction?

Andrew said...

perhaps it was not that the Israelites enemies where stupid. I mean, Pharaohs troops where just obeying orders, and how where they supposed to know that the waves would collapse as soon as they went in there, they probably looked stable enough.

Isaiah McPeak said...

See? There Andrew got you in trouble for saying "stupid". Tsk tsk

Anonymous said...

Well, I don't know you, but I stumbled across your blog while surfing around on the web tonight and I just have to say that reading this was...refreshing. It's encouraging to see another young person whose trust has solidly been placed in Christ, when it seems like so many teens today have gotten stuck in the "I'll-turn-to-God-later" trap because they want to live for themselves for the time being. Thank you for writing this!

Bradley said...

Thank you for commenting Amy Haley, and sorry to take so long to respond, I haven't been on my blog in a while with all of the work I've had at school.