[Disclaimer: The quote below is taken from the Dictionary of Doctrine website. When I originally posted the excerpt below I purposely did not include a link to the source. The reason for this is that I recognized the materials to be taken from the work of R.B. Thieme, Jr. The Dictionary of Doctrine site provides no attribution that I know of and, knowing that R.B. Thieme, Jr., Bible Ministries is very vigilant in protecting their copyrights, I didn’t want the site to “go away.” I ended out discovering that the owner of the Dictionary of Doctrine site had modified some of Colonel Thieme’s teaching in a way that would have made him apoplectic. I notified some people who are associated with R. B. Thieme, Jr., Bible Ministries of the existence of the Dictionary of Doctrine site. The site is still there and I have no idea if any action will ever be taken by R. B. Thieme, Jr., Bible Ministries against it.]
This week’s post is another in a series about the Laws of Divine Establishment and deals with a believer’s responsibility in a time of war. I have heard R.B. Thieme, Jr. (a.k.a. Colonel Thieme) teach this subject many times and it is one that makes Christians of a pacifist bent angry. I don’t think that other people’s irritation proves a point one way or another. However, whether people agree or disagree with what is said here they do need to grapple with the scriptures regarding war.
Two points come to mind here. First, notice that many of the scriptures in this excerpt are from the Old Testament. I have read many Christians who claim that everything changed with Christ’s first advent and that such warlike rhetoric is not appropriate for the Christian. I agree that some things changed with the first advent but I won’t agree that everything did. We are no longer bound by the Law of Moses but by the Law of Christ. I don’t see where the passages quoted are part and parcel of the Mosaic Law.
No nation on the earth today has a purpose like that of ancient Israel. When I think about it I can’t help but conclude that Israel was commanded to follow commands from a perfect God who is perfectly righteous. How can a proper, biblical, approach to war and peace change without God’s righteousness also changing? I just cannot see that happening.
The other thing that comes to mind is I have read a lot of chatter about Roman Catholic “Just War Theory” in the last ten years. From what little I know of it I believe that it is very different from what I am providing below. Without knowing the premises that Just War Theory is built on I cannot make a definitive statement about it but I believe that it does not take much of the Old Testament into account or somehow says that it isn’t relevant. This is a question I have thought about reading up on but I have finally decided that it isn’t worth my time if it takes me away from studying the scripture directly.
Here is this week’s lesson: (more…)