Sjolander Road Fellowship




Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

the law and righteous warfare

10/18/19

 

Famously Edmund Burke, a British politician, said that all it takes for evil to succeed is for good people to do nothing. The implication is clear- the trajectory of humanity is toward evil and the only deterrent is the opposition of good men. It all sounds indisputable because in every nation warfare against evil forces is the predominant theme in that nation’s history. Religiously we are accustomed to viewing every war as a conflict between the good us and the evil other. The endless recurrence of such wars reinforces the idea that evil is rampant and good people are all that stands in the way of its ill effect.

 

Jesus and Paul cast a skeptical light on the subject of wars and the conflict between good and evil. Jesus and Paul both declared that sinfulness or evil makes all men equal; there is no basis for identifying good and bad people. All have sinned and to break one law is the same as breaking them all. Two individuals who have broken every rule cannot be differentiated on the basis of good and evil.

 

In addition, Paul went to great lengths to stress the fact that righteousness could not be established by keeping the law, i.e. obeying all the religious rules. If the law cannot be used to judge righteousness, then any effort to enforce the law, especially warfare, cannot be the measure of righteousness. Law enforcement in the name of righteousness becomes just another failed effort to be justified by the law and a contradiction to Christ.

 

The only remaining function of the moral law is that of self guidance. Using it to judge, condemn, and punish one another is logically disallowed, if we look to Christ for guidance. Live and let live is the law of Christ.