Romans 12: 9-21 ; thoughts on the Just War theory.

March 1, 2011

Romans 12:9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:9-21 (NIV)

War is never Just. I often wonder if the Just War Theory is just the Christianized version of Jihad…


  1. While I appreciate your thoughts, you are approaching this from the wrong direction. Even the passage in Romans you quote says "If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone." (verse 18, HCSB) It is not always possible to do God's will and live at peace: evil must be recognized and fought. The tools may be spiritual, but physical tools are sometimes necessary. Paul also wrote: "Now if anyone does not provide for his own relatives, and especially for his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." (1 Timothy 5:8) This clearly applies to more than just shelter and food and clothing: it includes providing for their protection from evil – which sometimes requires violence and yes, war. It also disturbs me that you call the "Just War" theory "christianized Jihad." For one thing, the Just War Theory (which I do not necessarily agree with) was first proposed by Augustine of Hippo in the early AD 400s – Mohammed started preaching Jihad (Holy War) in the early 600s: TWO CENTURIES LATER. You are mixing cause and effect: more possible is that Mohammed took the concept and made it into Jihad. But worse, the two concepts: Just War and Holy War, are totally different: one was devised to use to determine if/when it was morally proper to fight a war; the second is a command to wage physical and spiritual war for certain supposedly spiritual purposes.

  2. The "Just War" theory was develop as a salve to ease the conscience of the Christian who went to war against another. We should approach evil as Jesus did, and by Him overcome it with love not return evil with evil and hatred with hatred. Up until Aquinas the Christians did not join the military. They were thought of as anti-government for that stance. When Aquinas developed this theory we began a decline and developed it to justify the Holy Wars, Inquisition and now bombing other countries. If you must have a standard as to when to go to war… just ask yourself, "Who would Jesus bomb?" and go forth as Jesus would.

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