Religion, Peace and Justice What attitudes are there to war? Key idea: Most Christians believe that war should be avoided. But many also believe that there are times when a Christian may have to go to war. This is because they believe that the result of not going to war will be much worse. Holy War Key idea: Christians would fight in the name of God by going on Crusades (Holy War) Christians did not retaliate when persecuted, they did not Join the army. Not all Christians followed the teachings from the Bible about forgiveness, living in piece, not retaliating.
Christians were inspired to go on Crusades (Holy Wars) from the Bible sausage in Samuel 15. 2-3 God commands ‘[l will) punish the people of Mammal because their ancestors opposed the Israelites… Now go and attack the Militates and completely destroy everything they have. ‘ The most famous Crusades were the Christian wars to recover Jerusalem from the Muslims in the Middle Ages. They were fighting a holy war on behalf of God. The crusades were a disaster. They did not achieve any military objective. Whole cities of people were slaughtered.
What are the attitudes of Christians to war? Some Christians believe that war is often the result of the sin, the evil choices people cake in contradiction to the will of God. However others think that on occasions war may be necessary in order to fight greater evil. Many Christians believe that the rejection of war and violence is what Jesus stressed in the Gospels. These Christians believe in pacifism-the belief that peace should be central value people pursue- war is unacceptable. For all who draw the sword will die by the sword'(Matthew 26:ebb) What is meant by Just War theory?
Key idea: Some people feel that the only Justification for war would be if they were defending their own country or another country. In the book Summary Theologian, the Christian thinker SST Thomas Aquinas (1225-74) wrote about the theory of Just War, a war that is better to be fought than not. To be a Just war it must follow a certain criteria. Here are six which are very important. 1. The war should be fought for a Just cause, such as defending their own country or fighting for another country under attack. 2. A war should be fought if it is believed that a greater evil will come out of it if it’s not fought. . There must be controlled violence. As little violence as possible should be used and any use of force that is more than necessary is seen as immoral. . In order for a war to be Just, the decisions should be taken by the politicians. The By Synthesize most important decisions. 5. The force used in the war should be proportional. By this is meant that the force should not be excessive and they should avoid injuring innocent people. 6. Only the military should be involved in the fighting, and they should also avoid the destruction of people’s property. What do Christians believe about violence and pacifism?
Attitudes to violence In the early parts of the Bible, the attitude to violence are quite stark. In the book of Exodus 1 5:3, there is a psalm that celebrates the defeat of the Egyptians. ‘The Lord is a warrior;the Lord his name. ‘ For many people the idea of God being a warrior is problematic. Some Christians believe that violence can be Justified at the national level by fighting in a war that they believe is Just. They might make a distinction between violence and force. Violence is destructive whereas force can be used to restrict the use of violence and someone behaving violently.
Individual Christians believe that Jesus’ teachings in the Sermon on the Mount tells them that they should to seek revenge, such as when Jesus tells them to his followers to offer the other cheek if they are struck (Matthew 5:39) In order of keeping order in society Christians should try to support the governments of the world. Many also say that when the government uses violence for torture (abuse of another human being) clearly contradicts the idea that all people are made in the image of God. Attitudes to pacifism Pacifism-is the belief that peace is the central value that Christians should pursue.
This usually involves the belief that violence should not be used in war or to defend nee self. When the emperor Constantine accepted Christianity, the Roman Empire began to convince Christians that it is necessary to fight in order to protect their faith and beliefs. A spiritual dimension has been added to fighting by adding a cross on their shields and by providing priests to support the troops. Some Christians believe in nuclear pacifism-the belief that the use of atomic weapons can never be Justified because the consequences of the use of such weapon will never be equal to the evil that needed to be defeated.
What is a Quaker approach to war? The Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers have been committed to pacifism from their origins, they believe that is what Jesus required. They refuse to fight in wars, however they may be willing to be involved in the medical care of those being injured. Some Christians believe that pacifism is naive in that it seems to assume that human beings can act in a selfish way. They believe that Christian pacifism do not think of the sin that pervades all human being and their politics. They do not believe that violence can ever be Justified.
Sometimes violence may be Justified, for example when Jesus threw the money- enders out of the Temple in Jerusalem (Matthew 21:10-17) he was acting in a violent manner. The concept of Justice Justice can be defined as ‘Just behavior or treatment’ Everyone is created in the image of God and therefore should be treated equally with dignity and respect Some Christians relate to the idea of Justice with the idea of love and action, that everyone should be cared for and protected. Justice is an important quality in a society Jesus’ emphasis on not seeking personal revenge is seen as a command by individual Christians but not to whole societies.