Scriptural Scrutiny: Seeks to examine any topic of interest by Scripture, reason, and respectful discussion in the pursuit of truth for God’s glory and the good of mankind.
Scriptural Scrutiny: Is willing to discuss how to interpret and apply Scripture to correctly evaluate ideas and actions.
Rob Bjerk has a B.A. in English from Wartburg College, an M. Div. (New Testament) from Lincoln Christian University, and a Nutrition Educator Certificate from Bauman College. He has served as an orthopedic technician, a homeschool father, a deacon, an elder, a minister of education, a principal and teacher in a small Christian school, an after-school teacher in the Boys and Girls Club 21st Century program, and a special education aide in the public schools. He has a lovely wife, children, and grandchildren.
Cool blog Rob! I’ve got a philosopshical/theological question I’m struggling with that maybe you can help me sort out. I’m not sure if it is something you want to tackle in the blog but I’ll throw it out there.
I’m becoming more and more convinced that the “libertarian” theory of justifiable violence/war (as laid out by Murray Rothbard: see today’s article on Lewrockwell.com http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard26.html) is morrally correct. In short, violence is only justified in defense of aggression against you or your property and then only against the original perpetrator of the violence and not innocent third parties. As it applies to war, this would mean that bombing innocent, non-combatants (women, children or anyone who by accident of geography lives within the “national boundaries” of the “enemy”) for example would be immoral. This seems morally just, right and “true” and, as a christian, I believe it does not conflict with the teachings of Jesus.
Now for the part I am having difficulty with. The bible teaches us that, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Heb. 13:8 and “I the Lord do not change.” Malachi 3:6 so we cannot separate the God of the Old Testament from the God of the New Testament. And while the teachings of the New Testament seem to have no conflict with libertarian theory, in the old testament we see on several occasions God commanding the Isrealites to attack and destroy entire people groups specifically INCLUDING non-combatant women and children. In fact, he punishes Saul for not adequately pursuing these instructions against the Amalekites (1 Samuel 15).
So, how do we (or can we) argue for a “chrisitan moral” justification for the libertarian theory of non-aggression in light of the examples of the bible? Historically, the strategy of the State has been to villify the enemy (they’re all evil and therfore guilty) in order to assuage the consciences and raise the blood of young men sent to war to kill and destroy the “enemy”. So the simple explanation that these people were all “evil” (incl. women and children) and God being omniscient new this and therefore called for their destruction falls flat for me. How is this an example for us today? What if our leaders claim a supernatural command from God against another Nation State (the evil muslims for example)?
I understand this is a pretty big question, but any insight you might offer would be appreciated.