The Bible sends mixed messages about war. The Lord is presented as the Prince of Peace; the Lord is also presented as a warrior, commanding the people in battle. How can a Christian decide about war, military service, violence, and self-defense?
There are many wars in the Bible, and God often serves as the Commander in Chief. But from a spiritual perspective, the real wars we face are the inner wars of good against evil: of love for God against lust for power, of love for others against greed and self-indulgence.
As long as we have selfish and materialistic desires in our hearts, we will come into conflict with others. It is the desire for power that drives our efforts to control others and conquer their lands. It is the desire for wealth beyond any usefulness that drives our efforts to acquire others’ possessions for ourselves through fair means or foul.
Even if we ourselves have no desire to rule others and gain their wealth by force, we may find ourselves up against others who wish to do so. How can we decide when, if ever, violence and war is justified? Why are there so many wars in the Bible? Why does God allow war in the first place?
For more insight on these difficult issues, please read on.