Q: You teach that it is wrong for a Christian to participate in war. However, the Bible tells us that ancient Israel fought in war, and that on occasion, God ordered Israel to fight. How, then, can fighting in war be wrong?
A: We believe that the Bible is very clear and explicit in condemning Christian participation in war. You may want to reread our Editorial, titled, “War or Peace — Which?” (Update #81, February 21, 2003), and our Q&A, titled, “Christian Participation in War” (Update #67, November 15, 2002). How do we explain Israel’s fighting in the Old Testament? Did God, who does not change, condemn war in the New Testament, but approved of it in the Old?
You may want to listen to our three-part sermon series on Military Service and War for a thorough explanation. It is posted on the Audio page of our Website. In short, ancient Israel sinned when they went to war. For Biblical proof, we are quoting pertinent excerpts from Herbert W. Armstrong’s booklet, “Military Service and War,” Copyright 1967, beginning with page 23. The headline of that section reads, “WHY Israel Did Fight.” The booklet continues:
“Few, indeed, have ever understood WHY Israel went to war. They should never have done so — as we shall clearly demonstrate. So now understand WHY Israel did go to war! Understand how they SINNED in so doing! God did not intend that these people should ever need to go…