Aidan Morrison


Christians believe various things about conflict and war depending on the circumstances, different Christians believe different things based simply on their own opinion. Teachings of the bible conflict between that of new and old testament. Therefore it’s the persons own individual interpretation of the teachings that define their beliefs.

Some Christians believe in….


Pacifists believe all war and the use of violence is morally wrong. Nothing good can come out of the evil of violence. Jesus was a pacifist, we see this through many parables and speeches he made about war and conflict. Such as the sermon on the mount, the message of love taught by Jesus reflects upon he treatment of enemies ‘You have heard it said ‘love your friends, hate your enemies.’ ‘But now I tell you. Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that may become the sons of your father in heaven’ Matthew 5 : 43-45.

Jesus makes a plea for reconciliation between enemies. ‘Love your enemies’ suggests that reconciliation begins with the individual person. The reason for loving enemies is given as being because God treats the whole world equally.

   This is the thinking of pacifists, that god created everybody equally therefore nobody should be treat better or worse than anybody else, which means that nobody should be treat violently as the person carrying it out wouldn’t like it if the roles were reversed, they think that nothing can come out of this violence apart from pain. This is the thinking of the religious denomination called the Quakers, Quakers believe that violence is wrong no matter what circumstances and refuse to condone any acts of war.

Nuclear pacifism

The first two uses of nuclear weapons on other humans caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands innocent civilians, with more people in later years dying slowly from the effects of radiation. Many Christians are against nuclear weapons and believe they should never be used, they believe that the use or threat of nuclear weapons is morally wrong and could cause mass genocide and also the vast amounts of money spent on nuclear weapons and research into them ought to be spent on real needs on real people in this country and in the third world. However if one country decided to throw away their nuclear weapons, the country could be blackmailed into doing anything or could simply be destroyed. Nuclear pacisifts see past this and do want disarmaments to occur, the two ways disarmament can occur are..

Unilateral disarmament

This is one nation destroying all their nuclear weapons therefore withdrawing the threat of nuclear war to any other nation, the hope being that other countries would also follow suit. This would require a large amount of courage and carries a very high risk.

Multilateral disarmament

This would mean a gradual reduction of nuclear weapons in equal proportions by the most powerful nations. Such disarmament could only be achieved by agreement and special treaties.

Just War

Many Christians believe in the just war theory, that war is wrong except in certain circumstances.

  1. War can only be started and controlled by the authority of the state
  2. There has to be a just cause; those you are attacking much be attacked because they deserve it.
  3. The war must be fought to promote good and not evil.
  4. When it is over peace and justice must be restored.
  5. All other ways of solving the problem must be tried. War must be the last resort.
  6. You must use only enough force to achieve your goals innocent civilians must not be made to suffer.

War can never be good however it might be less wrong than refusing to go to war. The ‘just war’ idea is one Christian view of war, if war is said to be just it is on the side of justice which ultimately comes from god.

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The Old Testament has conflicting views on the war from the New Testament.

The Old Testament book of exodus tells the story of how Israel escaped from slavery in Egypt. ‘I will sing to the lord, because he has won a glorious victory; he has thrown the horses and riders into the sea. The lord is my strong defender; he is the one who has saved me. He is my God, and I will praise him, my fathers god, and I will sing about his greatness. The lord is a warrior; the lord is his name Exodus 15: 1-3

God is ...

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