Is it right to fight?

by Greg Quinn

March 11, 2004

I held my tongue when everyone else was hollering about the US going to war with Iraq.  I knew that right would triumph, and it has.  The United States and her allies have conquered an evil dictatorship within a suffering nation.  This military victory represents one of the swiftest in modern war history.  We successfully defeated, with few US and British casualties, an army of people who’d supposedly give their lives for their cause.  Through technology, superiority of mass and firepower, and brilliant tactics, our allied forces totally annihilated these foreign forces, delivering liberty to the captives of Iraq.  All this is very good.  Yet, when you read the papers today, all you hear are “Monday morning quarterbacks” exclaiming their better plans, how we should not have gone to war, how war is always evil and those that condone it are always bad and always wrong.  Some say we did the right thing; others say we did not.  I thought I would take this opportunity to pose a Biblical answer to the question, “Is it right to fight?”

I reflect back to when the war was heating up.  An evil man, who had destroyed even his own people, was holding hostage a country.  To most of us, it was an easy decision.  We have the power to do the right thing.  We can rescue a hostage people and make the world a safer place.  And, we did so, even though it was an unpopular decision to many, even many whom we rescued.

I am patriotic.  I still tear up when I hear the national anthem, or sing “God Bless America”, or see a military parade.  I think of all those who sacrificed much for our freedom.  I must look at others in different countries, without the freedoms we so take for granted, and say “there but by the grace of God go I”.  I am privileged to have been born an American, and I am very grateful that I live in a country that has the freedoms we enjoy.

I am proud of President Bush, who stood strong for what was right, even when it seemed the entire world, and many of his own countrymen, were against him.  He and his leadership stood up to the UN and other nations favoring a strategy of hopeful appeasement, gathered those that would stand with us, and made a commitment to do the “right” thing, instead of the “popular” thing.

There were then, and are today, a group of Americans that are outspoken against the war and against our leadership and our country’s decision to free a hostage people.  Some think we shouldn’t fight.  They don’t understand that oftentimes peace only comes through the sword. They never see a reason to fight.  Instead, they march through streets, give speeches in this country and others, wave their banners, and tout a political or liberal agenda against this war, or any war. 

So, who is right?  From this note so far, it is apparent which side I stand on.  But, before I decide on a decision as important as this one, I am not so concerned as what another man says, but what God says.  So, what does God say about war?  In other words, “is it right to fight?”

Wasn’t it Jesus that told his disciples to trade their cloaks for a sword?  Didn’t God lead his people to move to war on nations that were anti-God?  Didn’t God himself show victory time after time in war after war?  Are not the end times dictated by “wars and rumors of wars”?  Many that criticize anything they do not understand, such as war, also criticize the truth of the Bible, God’s holy word, because they do not understand it.  However, if they only read the Word as if it were a history book, they would discover that throughout the history of mankind that wars and fighting have taken place quite often, and many of these wars were led by a jealous God.  Since God directed his people to fight in order to stand for righteousness, in order to defeat forces of evil, in order to defend their freedoms, in order to promote God as the only true god, and since God is always holy and always just, this in itself emphasizes that oftentimes it is not only right to fight, but God-ordained.

Jehovah God of the Old Testament often showed his strength through the fighting of his people, and His victory over unrighteousness through war.  Where Jesus came to bring “not a sword but peace”, there is no contradiction in scripture, and as the Messiah (the coming Savior of the Old Testament) he came to fulfill scripture and show people that God can be found through peace among men.  If you’ve seen “The Passion of The Christ”, you have seen the “suffering servant” as talked about in Isaiah, where Jesus did nothing to defend himself as he took to the cross the full penalty for the sin of all mankind, then and forever.  Jesus didn’t back down or refuse to fight; his death and resurrection WAS his fight over sin, and He won!  Jesus opened the door to holiness with God for a sinful people like you and I only through His sacrifice and victory over death and sin.  It was a war only God could fight and win.

 God is a god of love, and of power.  God demands that we serve only him, is a jealous God, yet is so full of love for you and me (even in all our sins and inadequacies) that He sent his own son Jesus to pay the price of sin to bring us into a righteous relationship to a 100% holy and just God. 

So, God is a god of war, and a god of peace.  To redeem mankind in the Old Testament, war was required.  To redeem mankind in the New Testament, war was required, but a different kind of war.  The war against sin in the days prior to Jesus were largely physical wars with God’s righteousness on one side against the evil of man on the other.  God’s side always won.  The war against sin in Jesus’ day was a personal war that He alone was born to overcome.  You see, Jesus became sin, became the enemy in the biggest of all wars, to once and for all allow sinful men the opportunity win the war with Satan through the sacrifice of one man, Jesus.

So, is it right to fight?  It doesn’t matter to me what a presidential candidate or politician says.  It doesn’t matter to me which group is shouting the loudest.  What matters is what God says.  If I can paraphrase the entirety of the Word of God this way, please allow me.  .  If we are defending the little good remaining of mankind against the overcoming evil of man, then it is right to fight.  If we are defending those who cannot defend themselves against forces of evil, it is right to fight.  If we are defending our precious liberties of equality, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness by a Godly people, then it is right to fight.  If we are siding with holiness, righteousness, and doing the “right thing”, then it is right to fight if necessary.  If the alternative is to sit idly by and let the anti-God liberals continue to take away from us our freedoms, to continue to murder innocent babies, to tell us that what God says doesn’t matter and that what man says does matter, then by all means let’s arm ourselves and get up and fight! 

 God, for the generations of this world, led his people to fight and overcome the evil of their day.  God, as Jesus, fought for the eternal salvation of our souls.  Both won.  If we fight for the religious and civil liberties that are backed by God in his Holy Word (the only truth we will ever know), then we are fighting the good fight, and it is justified.  In this case, absolutely, it is right to fight.  God fought and won.  If we stay focused on God, we will also.

 We recognize that there are those out there that would deny us our rights as Americans and as Christians.  Let’s fight for what is right.  Sometimes, this fight involves men and women with guns and weapons.  Sometimes, this fight takes place at the polls.  Sometimes, this fight involves the outspokenness of you and me, touting the burdens that God put in our breast to defend what is right. 

 Let’s stand a bit taller as Americans, and stand for our mislead brethren.  Let’s protect our freedoms.  Let’s say the “pledge” with pride.  Let’s sing “God Bless America” more loudly.  Let’s fight for the unborn babies that cannot defend themselves.  Let’s fight for the protection of the beauty of a Godly marriage between a man and a woman.  Let’s fight for those downtrodden who are being taken advantage of.  Let’s proclaim our religious liberty and pride in our God-given freedoms louder than those who spit on the same.  Let’s recognize that “it is right to fight when the fight is right.”

We, my brothers and sisters, in an evil day when anything anti-God seems popular, must recognize that it is not only “right to fight for what is right”, but that this is something we are obligated to do. 

Greg Quinn

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