The relationship between warfare and Christianity is one that is complicated and, I suppose, open to interpretation. The Bible’s take on war, especially the Old Testament, is less of an argument or philosophical viewpoint, and more of a grim reality, which is why I think it is somewhat of a moot point to use the Old Testament as proof that Christianity “promotes war”; if one would take a look at the time that the books were written, and the various situations and conditions that surrounded the communities for whom the books were written for, one would understand that there was a need for a God and religion that was strong in those types of scenarios. War wasn’t something that happened to people far away; these were people who lived under the constant threat of being attacked on a regular basis. Putting that aside, however, what interest me the most about this reading is the fact that it acknowledges that just as Christianity is diverse in its denominations, it is also diverse in its opinions on warfare in general. Some Christians are extremely pacifist in their stances in this area, but others are far more inclined to be not necessarily “pro-war”, but pro-military. I just find it all fascinating, considering that people in general have a complicated relationship with war and its effects; when is it necessary? Is it necessary at all? The question only gets more profound when one takes into account the idea of modern warfare and terrorism. Of course, it is in humanity’s nature to have a knee-jerk reaction when one is attacked; however, the question of whether our side is the “good side” sometimes appears. Again, as a religion, Christianity is diverse, which means the opinions that appear within it will be diverse as well; but I think that those who tend to see morality as black and white may have an easier time actively supporting a war effort, while those who aren’t may be more inclined to see war as strictly a grim necessity, or unnecessary period. This is a generalized assumption, of course, but I think it also goes with whether a certain branch is associated with certain political ideals and/or parties.
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