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Re: [LutheransLookingEast] Re: Just War

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  • Christopher Orr
    Just a reminder to keep this discussion focused on understanding Orthodoxy or to take this conversation off-list. I don t want it to turn into a critique
    Message 1 of 8 , Nov 18, 2009
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      Just a reminder to keep this discussion focused on understanding Orthodoxy
      or to take this conversation off-list. I don't want it to turn into a
      critique session on Lutheranism.

      Christopher



      On Wed, Nov 18, 2009 at 1:32 PM, jmueller_87 <timothy.jackson87@...>wrote:

      >
      >
      > Richard & Christopher,
      >
      > Thanks for your replies.
      >
      > My follow up question at the moment is for Richard.
      >
      > Ultimately, how can a Christian know if he is fighting in a Just War? In
      > the Old Testament, the Children of Israel had direct revelation from the
      > Triune God before they went to war against the peoples already living in
      > Palestine. Today, we have no such definitive revelation, that I am aware of
      > at least, to give us that same sort of clarity.
      >
      > For simplicity's sake, let's just stick to the American military context. I
      > do think that most of the men and women in our military join it for noble
      > reasons. However, they are ultimately fighting for monetary interests that
      > our government has here and around the world. If necessary, I can go into
      > those details at a later time but for the sake of brevity I'll not go
      > further at the moment. I don't see how any of our wars can be classified as
      > "Just" when we are fighting for the interests of mammon. There lies part of
      > my struggle with the teaching of the Lutheran Church on Just War and
      > government.
      >
      > Secondly, I'm not convinced of the argument for a "necessary evil". What do
      > we as Christians do with the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:13 when he
      > writes "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God
      > is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But
      > when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand
      > up under it." (NIV) Additionally, in the American military all of the
      > soldiers are volunteers nowadays. They signed up for the business of warfare
      > and killing people. They made a conscious choice to get involved in an
      > enterprise that takes the lives of many people, not just evildoers (I'm
      > thinking of the supposedly "smart" bombs dropped on Iraq that killed
      > innocent civilians).
      >
      > I know we live in a fallen world and that the struggle with sin is a
      > lifelong endeavor, however, in our current context I don't see how we can
      > ever know that a war is "Just". Subsequently, my struggle with the Lutheran
      > position on just war and the appropriateness of the soldierly vocation for a
      > Christian is great. I'm deeply bothered by the Lutheran "stamp of approval"
      > for such vocations as soldier in secular armies for Christians.
      >
      > Soldiers can also be forgiven, like all other sinners, except my counsel
      > would be "Go, and sin no more" rather than providing them with forgiveness
      > in order to go commit that sin again. I'm thinking again of Paul's words
      > when he says "What then, are we to sin so that grace may abound? By No
      > Means!"
      >
      > Looking forward to your thoughts and constructive replies about my concern.
      >
      >
      > --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com<LutheransLookingEast%40yahoogroups.com>,
      > "Richard K. Futrell" <PastorFutrell@...> wrote:
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Doesn't every Christian, regardless of confession, see war as a
      > > sometimes-needed but necessary evil to prevent an even worse evil from
      > > having its way in the world? A "just" war does not mean that it is a
      > > good thing, but that the government, as God's agent, is justified in
      > > bearing the sword not it vain, ala Romans 13. It is only "good" in
      > > that it is better than the alternative.
      > >
      > > The 5th commandment says do not kill; it doesn't say do not murder
      > > (and some translations take that liberty). We'd like it to say murder,
      > > but the text says kill. Even killing in war is bad--but it is done to
      > > prevent worse evil from happening. That's the same premise used for
      > > self-defense and defending the life of another.
      > >
      > > And so, a soldier, although bearing the sword to fight against great
      > > evil, still commits evil in the process. So also someone who kills in
      > > self-defense; he still commits evil, all the while preventing evil from
      > > happening. It's called living in a fallen world.
      > >
      > > What then? So in the healing process, even with the recognized
      > > "good" that a soldier did by preventing a worse evil, he still needs
      > > confession and absolution. So also for the one who prevents a killing
      > > of another by taking the life of the murderer. For he still killed and
      > > his conscience will still needs to receive the healing, forgiving Word
      > > of Christ from the pastor.
      > >
      > > That's what I preach and teach as a Lutheran pastor who holds to the
      > > Lutheran Confessions. As to what Eastern Orthodoxy holds, I'm
      > > clueless. But I'd like to know.
      > >
      > > --
      > > RF
      > >
      > > As a Lutheran, I have struggled in recent years with the Lutheran
      > > teaching on such things as "Just War". I'm curious, what does the
      > > Orthodox Church teach pertaining to this matter?
      > >
      > > For reference sake, I'm including article 16 of the Augsburg Confession
      > > because the Lutheran teaching comes from this article.
      > >
      > > "Concerning public order and secular government it is taught that all
      > > political authority, orderly government, laws, and good order in the
      > > world are created and instituted by God and that Christians may without
      > > sin exercise political authority; be princes and judges; pass sentences
      > > and administer justice according to imperial and other existing laws;
      > > punish evildoers with the sword; wage just wars; serve as soldiers; buy
      > > and sell; take required oaths; possess property; be married; etc." --
      > > German Text XVI. Concerning Public Order and Secular Government;
      > > Kolb-Wengert Edition,2000.
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > >
      >
      >
      >


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • jmueller_87
      Thanks for your replies. I wasn t intending to do that but thanks for reminding me. In anycase it is interesting to me that there is no Just War Theory in
      Message 2 of 8 , Nov 19, 2009
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        Thanks for your replies. I wasn't intending to do that but thanks for reminding me.

        In anycase it is interesting to me that there is no "Just War Theory" in Orthodox teaching. Thanks again!
        --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, Christopher Orr <xcjorr@...> wrote:
        >
        > Just a reminder to keep this discussion focused on understanding Orthodoxy
        > or to take this conversation off-list. I don't want it to turn into a
        > critique session on Lutheranism.
        >
        > Christopher
        >
        >
        >
        > On Wed, Nov 18, 2009 at 1:32 PM, jmueller_87 <timothy.jackson87@...>wrote:
        >
        > >
        > >
        > > Richard & Christopher,
        > >
        > > Thanks for your replies.
        > >
        > > My follow up question at the moment is for Richard.
        > >
        > > Ultimately, how can a Christian know if he is fighting in a Just War? In
        > > the Old Testament, the Children of Israel had direct revelation from the
        > > Triune God before they went to war against the peoples already living in
        > > Palestine. Today, we have no such definitive revelation, that I am aware of
        > > at least, to give us that same sort of clarity.
        > >
        > > For simplicity's sake, let's just stick to the American military context. I
        > > do think that most of the men and women in our military join it for noble
        > > reasons. However, they are ultimately fighting for monetary interests that
        > > our government has here and around the world. If necessary, I can go into
        > > those details at a later time but for the sake of brevity I'll not go
        > > further at the moment. I don't see how any of our wars can be classified as
        > > "Just" when we are fighting for the interests of mammon. There lies part of
        > > my struggle with the teaching of the Lutheran Church on Just War and
        > > government.
        > >
        > > Secondly, I'm not convinced of the argument for a "necessary evil". What do
        > > we as Christians do with the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:13 when he
        > > writes "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God
        > > is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But
        > > when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand
        > > up under it." (NIV) Additionally, in the American military all of the
        > > soldiers are volunteers nowadays. They signed up for the business of warfare
        > > and killing people. They made a conscious choice to get involved in an
        > > enterprise that takes the lives of many people, not just evildoers (I'm
        > > thinking of the supposedly "smart" bombs dropped on Iraq that killed
        > > innocent civilians).
        > >
        > > I know we live in a fallen world and that the struggle with sin is a
        > > lifelong endeavor, however, in our current context I don't see how we can
        > > ever know that a war is "Just". Subsequently, my struggle with the Lutheran
        > > position on just war and the appropriateness of the soldierly vocation for a
        > > Christian is great. I'm deeply bothered by the Lutheran "stamp of approval"
        > > for such vocations as soldier in secular armies for Christians.
        > >
        > > Soldiers can also be forgiven, like all other sinners, except my counsel
        > > would be "Go, and sin no more" rather than providing them with forgiveness
        > > in order to go commit that sin again. I'm thinking again of Paul's words
        > > when he says "What then, are we to sin so that grace may abound? By No
        > > Means!"
        > >
        > > Looking forward to your thoughts and constructive replies about my concern.
        > >
        > >
        > > --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com<LutheransLookingEast%40yahoogroups.com>,
        > > "Richard K. Futrell" <PastorFutrell@> wrote:
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Doesn't every Christian, regardless of confession, see war as a
        > > > sometimes-needed but necessary evil to prevent an even worse evil from
        > > > having its way in the world? A "just" war does not mean that it is a
        > > > good thing, but that the government, as God's agent, is justified in
        > > > bearing the sword not it vain, ala Romans 13. It is only "good" in
        > > > that it is better than the alternative.
        > > >
        > > > The 5th commandment says do not kill; it doesn't say do not murder
        > > > (and some translations take that liberty). We'd like it to say murder,
        > > > but the text says kill. Even killing in war is bad--but it is done to
        > > > prevent worse evil from happening. That's the same premise used for
        > > > self-defense and defending the life of another.
        > > >
        > > > And so, a soldier, although bearing the sword to fight against great
        > > > evil, still commits evil in the process. So also someone who kills in
        > > > self-defense; he still commits evil, all the while preventing evil from
        > > > happening. It's called living in a fallen world.
        > > >
        > > > What then? So in the healing process, even with the recognized
        > > > "good" that a soldier did by preventing a worse evil, he still needs
        > > > confession and absolution. So also for the one who prevents a killing
        > > > of another by taking the life of the murderer. For he still killed and
        > > > his conscience will still needs to receive the healing, forgiving Word
        > > > of Christ from the pastor.
        > > >
        > > > That's what I preach and teach as a Lutheran pastor who holds to the
        > > > Lutheran Confessions. As to what Eastern Orthodoxy holds, I'm
        > > > clueless. But I'd like to know.
        > > >
        > > > --
        > > > RF
        > > >
        > > > As a Lutheran, I have struggled in recent years with the Lutheran
        > > > teaching on such things as "Just War". I'm curious, what does the
        > > > Orthodox Church teach pertaining to this matter?
        > > >
        > > > For reference sake, I'm including article 16 of the Augsburg Confession
        > > > because the Lutheran teaching comes from this article.
        > > >
        > > > "Concerning public order and secular government it is taught that all
        > > > political authority, orderly government, laws, and good order in the
        > > > world are created and instituted by God and that Christians may without
        > > > sin exercise political authority; be princes and judges; pass sentences
        > > > and administer justice according to imperial and other existing laws;
        > > > punish evildoers with the sword; wage just wars; serve as soldiers; buy
        > > > and sell; take required oaths; possess property; be married; etc." --
        > > > German Text XVI. Concerning Public Order and Secular Government;
        > > > Kolb-Wengert Edition,2000.
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        > > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
      • randall hay
        I m wrting from a public computer from a hotel in Southern California after 8 minutes of time, which means two are left for my session; but I will point out
        Message 3 of 8 , Nov 20, 2009
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          I'm wrting from a public computer from a hotel in Southern California after 8 minutes of time, which means two are left for my session; but I will point out that St Constantine, Equal-to-the-Apostles, was converted when he saw a symbol of the cross in the sky, which signaled him to begin a military offensive at which God blessed him.   St Nikolia Velimirovic points out in his hagiography of St Sava that many soldiers are deeply pious....it would be hard not to be.   There have been other saints who fought for Roman or other non-Christian armies (as well as soldiers of Orthodox nations) and are praised by the Church for their prowess; but I don't have my notes here to name some, and at any rate time is up.  (Of course there are measures in the canons requiring abstinence from Eucharist for a time for soldiers who have had to kill, as people have mentioned; but this is to heal, not to be punished.  One may even be a saint and still need
          healing....in fact, all of us on this earth do.)
          R.



          ________________________________
          From: jmueller_87 <timothy.jackson87@...>
          To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Thu, November 19, 2009 10:56:08 AM
          Subject: [LutheransLookingEast] Re: Just War

           
          Thanks for your replies. I wasn't intending to do that but thanks for reminding me.

          In anycase it is interesting to me that there is no "Just War Theory" in Orthodox teaching. Thanks again!
          --- In LutheransLookingEas t@yahoogroups. com, Christopher Orr <xcjorr@...> wrote:
          >
          > Just a reminder to keep this discussion focused on understanding Orthodoxy
          > or to take this conversation off-list. I don't want it to turn into a
          > critique session on Lutheranism.
          >
          > Christopher
          >
          >
          >
          > On Wed, Nov 18, 2009 at 1:32 PM, jmueller_87 <timothy.jackson87@ ...>wrote:
          >
          > >
          > >
          > > Richard & Christopher,
          > >
          > > Thanks for your replies.
          > >
          > > My follow up question at the moment is for Richard.
          > >
          > > Ultimately, how can a Christian know if he is fighting in a Just War? In
          > > the Old Testament, the Children of Israel had direct revelation from the
          > > Triune God before they went to war against the peoples already living in
          > > Palestine. Today, we have no such definitive revelation, that I am aware of
          > > at least, to give us that same sort of clarity.
          > >
          > > For simplicity's sake, let's just stick to the American military context. I
          > > do think that most of the men and women in our military join it for noble
          > > reasons. However, they are ultimately fighting for monetary interests that
          > > our government has here and around the world. If necessary, I can go into
          > > those details at a later time but for the sake of brevity I'll not go
          > > further at the moment. I don't see how any of our wars can be classified as
          > > "Just" when we are fighting for the interests of mammon. There lies part of
          > > my struggle with the teaching of the Lutheran Church on Just War and
          > > government.
          > >
          > > Secondly, I'm not convinced of the argument for a "necessary evil". What do
          > > we as Christians do with the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:13 when he
          > > writes "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God
          > > is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But
          > > when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand
          > > up under it." (NIV) Additionally, in the American military all of the
          > > soldiers are volunteers nowadays. They signed up for the business of warfare
          > > and killing people. They made a conscious choice to get involved in an
          > > enterprise that takes the lives of many people, not just evildoers (I'm
          > > thinking of the supposedly "smart" bombs dropped on Iraq that killed
          > > innocent civilians).
          > >
          > > I know we live in a fallen world and that the struggle with sin is a
          > > lifelong endeavor, however, in our current context I don't see how we can
          > > ever know that a war is "Just". Subsequently, my struggle with the Lutheran
          > > position on just war and the appropriateness of the soldierly vocation for a
          > > Christian is great. I'm deeply bothered by the Lutheran "stamp of approval"
          > > for such vocations as soldier in secular armies for Christians.
          > >
          > > Soldiers can also be forgiven, like all other sinners, except my counsel
          > > would be "Go, and sin no more" rather than providing them with forgiveness
          > > in order to go commit that sin again. I'm thinking again of Paul's words
          > > when he says "What then, are we to sin so that grace may abound? By No
          > > Means!"
          > >
          > > Looking forward to your thoughts and constructive replies about my concern.
          > >
          > >
          > > --- In LutheransLookingEas t@yahoogroups. com<LutheransLookingEa st%40yahoogroups .com>,
          > > "Richard K. Futrell" <PastorFutrell@ > wrote:
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > Doesn't every Christian, regardless of confession, see war as a
          > > > sometimes-needed but necessary evil to prevent an even worse evil from
          > > > having its way in the world? A "just" war does not mean that it is a
          > > > good thing, but that the government, as God's agent, is justified in
          > > > bearing the sword not it vain, ala Romans 13. It is only "good" in
          > > > that it is better than the alternative.
          > > >
          > > > The 5th commandment says do not kill; it doesn't say do not murder
          > > > (and some translations take that liberty). We'd like it to say murder,
          > > > but the text says kill. Even killing in war is bad--but it is done to
          > > > prevent worse evil from happening. That's the same premise used for
          > > > self-defense and defending the life of another.
          > > >
          > > > And so, a soldier, although bearing the sword to fight against great
          > > > evil, still commits evil in the process. So also someone who kills in
          > > > self-defense; he still commits evil, all the while preventing evil from
          > > > happening. It's called living in a fallen world.
          > > >
          > > > What then? So in the healing process, even with the recognized
          > > > "good" that a soldier did by preventing a worse evil, he still needs
          > > > confession and absolution. So also for the one who prevents a killing
          > > > of another by taking the life of the murderer. For he still killed and
          > > > his conscience will still needs to receive the healing, forgiving Word
          > > > of Christ from the pastor.
          > > >
          > > > That's what I preach and teach as a Lutheran pastor who holds to the
          > > > Lutheran Confessions. As to what Eastern Orthodoxy holds, I'm
          > > > clueless. But I'd like to know.
          > > >
          > > > --
          > > > RF
          > > >
          > > > As a Lutheran, I have struggled in recent years with the Lutheran
          > > > teaching on such things as "Just War". I'm curious, what does the
          > > > Orthodox Church teach pertaining to this matter?
          > > >
          > > > For reference sake, I'm including article 16 of the Augsburg Confession
          > > > because the Lutheran teaching comes from this article.
          > > >
          > > > "Concerning public order and secular government it is taught that all
          > > > political authority, orderly government, laws, and good order in the
          > > > world are created and instituted by God and that Christians may without
          > > > sin exercise political authority; be princes and judges; pass sentences
          > > > and administer justice according to imperial and other existing laws;
          > > > punish evildoers with the sword; wage just wars; serve as soldiers; buy
          > > > and sell; take required oaths; possess property; be married; etc." --
          > > > German Text XVI. Concerning Public Order and Secular Government;
          > > > Kolb-Wengert Edition,2000.
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          > > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >




          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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