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Every person is unique, they think for themselves, feel for themselves, and have a right to be their self, life is extremely valuable, not to be thrown away not to be wasted not to be destroyed.In war whether intentional or not lives are lost.If we look at the bible closely we can actually see it doesn’t just support one theory on war. As times change so do the teachings in the bible, much of the Old Testament is supporting the view of war whereas the New Testament is supportive of pacifism.For centuries violence was used to support religions to spread faith, and it wasn’t frowned upon. However nowadays there is much controversy over what part war plays in people’s religion and there very varied opinions on war and fighting in general.Each and every Christian however will have there own views on whether we should be pro war or pacifism and what God would approve and disapprove of. If asked where Christians would take their advice from the most likely answer would be from the bible, but with its different views the bible can confused or put across messages that are interpreted differently by different people.Christian teachings on warHowever many pacifist teachings there are, there are still some supporting pro war and their messages are very clear.Many of the passages contain teachings which claim you will be rewarded for fighting out, if God didn’t want people to go to war then he wouldn’t be rewarding them for going and fighting. If God had wanted people to not fight then nothing would indicate that fighting can be justified.”If you call I will answer”And”If you put an end to oppression then the darkness around you will turn into the brightness of neon.”Isaiah 58Both of these are indicating that God will support people up in war, he will protect them and help them as long as they are going to war to free people from human rights.One of the most obvious and teachings supporting war found in the bible are from the book of Joel, it backs up theories that war was justified or teachings such as this would not have been taught.”Proclaim this among the nations:Prepare for war!Rouse the warriors!Let all the fighting men draw near and attack.Beat your ploughshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears”This is instructs man to turn all their ordinary machines and everyday work appliances and turn them into something that can be fought with and help during a war. This is leading Christians to believe that war is right or it wouldn’t be telling them to prepare and gather weapons and fighters.Such teachings as these,”My presence will with you on every side.”Lead Christians to believe they will be protected in war so they don’t have to fear fighting, and why would God protect them if they were going against his will.Even a small passage like this can put doubt in a Christians mind that war is wrong. Many will turn other teachings to reassure themselves war is wrong, as one of these is:”Thou shall not kill.”The holy wars* To spread the faith.* To retrieve countries that were once Christian, even though there are no Christians left there.* To rescue Christians in countries that were once Christian from ‘the servitude of the infidels’.* Recover and purify consecrated places that are presently being ‘polluted and profaned’.* Avenge blasphemous acts, or cruelties and killings of Christians (even if these took place long ago).These were the 5 causes for holy war defined by Frances Bacon (1561-1626)Holy wars normally have three elements.* The achievement of a religious goal.* Authorised by a religious leader.* A spiritual reward for those that take part.Some of the most famous examples are the holy wars started in 1095 by Pope Urban II.Pope Urban II was born around 1035, his family was of nobility living in northern France. We was educated at a religious orientated school associated with Reims Cathedral, he would eventually go on to become their canon and archdeacon.On march 12th 1088 he was elected pope however he was still in exile after trying to support the previous pope during the struggle with the Holy roman emperor, in 1094 he was able to enter Rome after gaining support. He was a member of the reform movement and was trying to remove the clergy from the worldly values and influences meaning that everything was much closer to life in general inside the monastery.The crusades he started were seen as attempts to realize his vision, being a well educated man he knew how to manipulate people. He called a meeting (the council of Clermont) purposely fixing it among the Franks, as he knew they were warm tempered people. The pope was a main speaker enchanting the people, he convinced them that the Turks were threatening Europe and that action needed to be taken.The crusades lasted from 1095 until 1291 CE. The aim was to capture the sacred places in the Holy Land from the Muslims who lived there, so it was intended as a war to right wrongs done against Christianity.Pope Urban raged at the capture of the holy places and the treatment given to Christians, and ordered a war to restore Christianity. He said that the war would have the support of God:”Let this be your war-cry in combats, because this word is given to you by God. When an armed attack is made upon the enemy, let this one cry be raised by all the soldiers of God: It is the will of God! It is the will of God!..Whoever shall determine upon this holy pilgrimage and shall make his vow to God to that effect and shall offer himself to Him as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, shall wear the sign of the cross of the Lord on his forehead or on his breast.”The pope also absolved all who took part in the crusade of all their sins.Christians today are not proud at all of the holy wars/crusades and don’t regard them as behaviour to follow.Christian teachings on pacifismThe teachings founding the New Testament are primarily pacifist.Christians are taught first and foremost that to take revenge is wrong and that to stop evil from happening they must themselves not resort to evil and to keep the peace.”Do not let evil defeat you instead concur evil with good”Romans 12:17-19, 21Many Christians are anti war but wouldn’t call themselves pacifist; these are another group of Christians, they are entirely anti war anti violence and it is never acceptable to them in any way. Any conflict or disagreement must be dealt with in a non-violent way, and anyone who uses violence should be punished and should not be allowed to get away with it. They go by some of these teachings word for word.Taking revenge implies acting upon someone in an unkind or violent way, therefore turning the other cheek or to not take revenge are the only ways in which to avoid the violence and war, which would occur.”Do not take revenge”Romans 12:19Most Christians however use the bible as a guide as too how to act and live there life, this can prove tricky as the bible contradicts itself and Much of what is said does not apply to the 21st century as it wasn’t wrote considering modern day issues.”Swords should be turned into ploughs”Isaiah 2:4For example people neither use swords and not many people use ploughs today so this must be interpreted into situations if today, people should turn weapons and bombs etc into useful things which can be used to help not hurt. Doing good with our possessions would benefit the world more than trying to destroy it and ourselves. This implies that God does not want his people to suffer because of other people, other phrases then back up the belief that the persecutors will be persecuted.”All who take the sword die by the sword”Matthew 26:52Just warJust war is a theory devised many, many years ago. The ethics of war goes back to Greek and roman times to the philosophers Plato and Cicero, their theories were added and expanded by such people like St Augustine and Tomas Aquinas.Cicero started by saying that war was not acceptable just for vengeance or self-defense, this includes the defense of honor, and that the only way a war could be just is if it was publicly declared and compensation for the enemy’s offence had been demanded first.Then in the 4th century St Augustine came along, he believed that the desire for peace was the only reason to go to war. He tried to bring Jesus’ pacifist teachings and enforce them with the roman citizens so that when it came to wars they could fight in the right way and only when necessary.He knew that trying to fully stop wars would be pointless so he decided that because war was always the result of sin and that war was to be the remedy of sin then war could be justified but only if it was to be the remedy of a sin.His theory allowed the rulers of states to declare war if it was to maintain peace but not if it was for self-defense from violence.The reasoningThe just war theory was brought about in the hope that because the war had to pass several conditions before it was allowed to commence it would prove more difficult to go ahead and cut down the number of unneeded conflict saving many lives and making wars and fighting less frequent.It is not to excuse war, rather to prevent it,ConditionsJus ad bellum, when is a war just using the criteria of the just war theory?Before the use of force is used the war in question must meet these things and follow them.Just cause:This means that the reason of the war is punishing them who have done something wrong or recapturing taken things.In 1993 at the US catholic conference a contempary view of just cause was expressed,”Force may be used only to correct a grave, public evil, i.e., aggression or massive violation of the basic human rights of whole populations.”Self defense or assasination agaisnst a presedent/primeminister or a monarch.Attack on a national honour, an attack on state religion, an attack on a neighbour or ally are all just causes.Legitimate authority:Only constituted public authorities can declare the use of deadly force or start the war.The right intention:Only in a truly just cause and soley for the purpose that you are correcting a suffering wrong is considered the right intetion wheras going to war for personal or material gain is not.Probablility of success:Arms may not be wasted in a war if there is little chance of winning, you must have reasonable assuirty that you can win before going to war.Last resort:War must be the last resort and peacefull means must been thoroughly tried a few times and failed before war is even cocideredJus in bello, how to conduct a just war.Once a war is started you cant just fight there are more conditions to follow.DiscriminationThe war is between the leaders of the countrys envoloved not between the innocent civilians who have nothing to do with the circumstances that have created this war so they should not be punished for others disagreements.Bombing civilian residental areas, weapons or mass distruction and any type of terrorism or anything where civilians are at risk.ProportionalityThe wrong commited by the other country has to be bared in mind whilst using force, and the good that may come all this must be taken into concideration.Minimum ForceThe war should go on the principle of the less force used the better. This is ment to limit the amount of force used, and stop excessive force altogether, this can cut down the number of deaths, and descruction, before any force is used you must think if less can be used and if so use the lesser amount.Examples of just or unjust warsExamples of just wars in US history are World War Two, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm.WW2 for example was a just war however it was then fought unjustly by the Americans, in the mass killings of many millions of people who were deliberately targeted and killed with a weapon which shouldn’t have been used in the first place, and was a highly excessive use of force in the use of the atomic bomb. However the rest of the war was fought justly. Another example of this is the Vietnam war which was a just war but was then at least on one occasion the war was fought unjustly.The desert storm however was a just war that was justly fought all the way through.Examples of unjust wars and invasions are Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo and potentially a new unprovoked US invasion of Iraq.The best example of a recent unjust full war is Kosovo, it was an unjust war from the start and went on to be fought unjustly, by both the US and NATO.many innocent civilians were killed by both sides, some by mistake but the majority were deliberately killed.Part BIf and when a war happens Christians have to decide how they are going to act, are they going to protest? Or join in certain parts, and look at what they cant join because of their religion. If they are not pacifist they would more than likely look at the type and cause of the war however if they are pacifist they will not join in at all.Pacifists will refrain from any violence whatsoever but other Christians in certain circumstances choose to fight.Donald Soper ; Walter Wright”The real essence of the Christian life is not in the success but in faithfulness”One of Donald Soper’s phrases.A famous pacifist who liked to contribute to the BBC’s “any questions” it was on this that the public would hear many of his views on war During the Second World War he was banned from broadcasting because of his pacifist views and ways of enchanting audiences to his way of thinking.Instead of violence Soper helped the charities throughout the war.Christian pacifist fellowship of reconciliation was Lord Soper’s gathering group joined many people together. In 1940 a member of the group Walter Wright, volunteered to join the Auxiliary fire service helping with the war efforts. He made this statement.”The only satisfactory thing was to make up your own mind what you’d be prepared to do, and stick to that. If I was diverted to do anything else, then I felt I was becoming party to the war. I’d go into the fire service full-time if I was wanted, but that was as far as I was willing to go.”As a pacifist he did not want to go to war but he wanted to help in any way he could that was non violent and did not compliment his religion.Bruce KentBruce Kent was born in 1929 and is a British political activist. He was known for many years as a highly active peace campaigner and was a member of the CND. He is now the vice president.From 1940 to 1943 he served as an officer in the royal tank regiment then moved on to be ordained as a Catholic priest in 1958, he was chair of the charity War on want from 1974 to 1976.In 1987 the late Cardinal Basil Hume had instructed him to detest from the involvement in that years UK general election, however he resigned rather than comply.The bible plays a big part in influencing Christians and how they choose to handle war.Taking the war in Iraq as an example, Christians have to look at both sides of the war, what is influencing and the outcome before deciding whether the war was appropriate or not. They compare what has happened with their beliefs and the views of the bible.The have to consider:That the USA has been attacked many times by terrorists and bombed two embassies in Africa, so the Americans aren’t starting a war over nothing.Thousands of civilians in America have died when they have done nothing wrong whereas it’s the leaders that should be suffering as its their choices that have lead to this.If they don’t go to war is it likely that they will be terrorized again? And the most likely answer is yes, they will which puts more civilians in danger.A Christian could take the view of it is the states responsibility of keeping its people safe, and to do that they must go to war as it is to over come an evil. It could be taken by some people as a bigger sin to sit back and do nothing whilst the people are being killed and the leaders know that they are and will be killed. The Iraq war could be counted as a just war therefore they are right to go to war.”God will protect you so that you do not need to go to war”However there is also the view from many Christians that the Iraq war was unjust. They as a country have never as a country attacked America, so how can it be self defence? Some also believe that this is murder and believe they share this view not only with the rest of the world but also with God, and if this is murder anyone involved or helping is therefore is a murderer.How a Christian would react and play there part cant be answered because even though everyone has access to the same information, the same teachings, the same news, peoples opinions are totally different they think and feel differently its part of being human, so no one can say for sure how another human would react in any situation.However there will more than likely be a time when a Christian knows that they must defend themselves, their family, their friends, their freedom and the freedom of the country. They can have no shame in going to war if it is thrust upon them.”Do not take revenge on someone who wrongs you. If anybody strikes you on your left cheek, let him slap your left cheek too”Mathew 5:39There is the opinion that not all of Jesus’ teachings were talking about the government as some of them were, he means within singular people, not between countries, but then again people can take it as it is between countries.This is where personal opinion matters a lot, the bible can be a huge influence on a Christian for either way, it depends on how you interpret it and what you choose to ignore.If a Christian is pro pacifism there are many non-violent things they can do to protest against war or join the war efforts but in non-violent ways.Advertising campaigns can try and persuade people that war is wrong and there are other ways, banners, hand outs and public speeches show this way well.Marches //Demonstrations such as the ones CND did to really express how much their opinions mean and to try and show how war would cost so much more than just weapons, but lives as well.Many religious leaders gathered and fasted to show how strongly the objected to the Iraq war.If Christians are against the war but can not, not help they often raise money for charities or help with voluntary services that can aid and assist but not contribute to the violence.Today’s methods of persuasion may seem drastic when people do marches etc, however they are nothing compared to what it would have been like during ww2.Many Christians are extremely devoted to their faith and this is shown in their anti war efforts however before deciding to be anti the current war they must view the situation from different point of view and totally understand the reasons behind the war before deciding that its unjust, as the leaders could be acting on behalf of the oppressed in which case the war could be just, and lead to peace.Part CKilling is wrong, war is killing therefore war is wrong.As in most faiths not everyone’s opinions are all the same, people support different feelings and thoughts. Some believe war is sometimes unavoidable but others believe that war should be avoided at all costs, they follow such teachings as:”Blessed are the peacemakers”This shows that people that avoid war will be blessed and looked after.Whether intentional or not death is a natural product of war so some Christians are pro pacifist because they are against the loss of life in an un-natural form as it is messing with Gods plans. They sometimes believe the view of war to be hypocritical for example in the UK you kill someone you get sent to prison and are punished however if you are fighting at war for the armed forces and you kill people in the attempt to win the war you come home are receive medals and are rewarded.No Christians whether they are totally against war or view war as a last resort can view war as not being killing, however they can take the view that killing is not wrong.Pacifist Christians will always agree that war wrong because they believe that war is killing and killing is wrong. They take pacifist teachings from the bible and use them to back up their view that they will be rewarded for not fighting and trying to keep the peace and not sacrificing human life.Life is sacred and a gift from God so should not be damaged or taken for granted and letting people die is damaging the temple which is not supported by pacifist Christians.”The body is Gods temple”This is one of the teachings they go by.However some Christians disagree with “war is killing”. When war is defending the country, defending the people of the country they believe that war is right. We were given free will, free will implies we have the right to make our own choices if God had not wanted us to go to war then we would not have free will to choose too. If war is the lesser of two evils some Christians view it right to go too war as they are saving more lives than if they just sat back and did nothing.I believe the statement to be wrong, yes killing is wrong in any situation not just war but in war you are not victimising people, you are fighting for freedom, for justice, and ironic as it is, for peace.

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