“I cannot serve. I cannot do evil. I will not be a soldier of this world. I am a soldier of Christ”– St Maximillian
“You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven” (Mat 5:43-45) echoes through history – a different way of life, a completely different view of life, and an opposite manner and management of our most difficult relationship issues. This is also why some have named Matthew 5 and 6, as the new constitution and bill of rights of the Jesus movement.
Whether the taking up of weapons is ever biblically justified has been debated in contentious opposing ways for centuries. I’m not going to pretend to be the final answer on this, but everyone should examine the Word of God and accompanying reading material for themselves to gain insight and wisdom on exactly how to deal with the presence of evil in our lives.
May The Church Take Up Arms?
More directly. Who specifically may take up arms? From the following Scripture passages discussed in this chapter, we will see that it is NOT the church’s official role or function to take up arms and use military force. It is the role of the government to protect all its citizens.
Christians may feel called to serve in the military, like any other profession. Note in John the baptist’s sermon some soldiers got saved and baptized. Likewise the soldiers asked him, saying, “And what shall we do?” So he said to them, “Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.” (Luk 3:14) Surprisingly, they were not told to abandon their occupation.
The church as an divine institution becomes self-defeating to on the one hand proclaim new life to humanity, and on the other hand, be taking a life. I therefor believe the church as an institution should not ever engage in any activity that involves weapons. The church’s role is to be peacemakers (Matt. 5: 9), reconcilers (2 Cor. 5:18), people who are full of the Spirit (Acts 1: 8), and cast out demons the authority of Christ ( Luke 10:19), heal the sick and preach the gospel to the poor (Mark 16: 17-20). We obtain this authority from the Spirit and not the strong arm of the flesh. (Zech. 4: 6). The greatest atrocities of the church has occurred when it justified physical war against a proposed evil. For Example: the Crusades, various europian religious wars.
Does this then apply to the individuals who are members of the church? Certainly not, for as an individual we all have different occupations, jurisdictions and roles to play in society. If one does need to use a weapon for protection, a further deeper question is: Can we protect ourselves without taking another life? Why buy a weapon if you are not prepared to take a life? Criminals on the other hand are ruthless and particularly in the South African context, we have seen countless of the most cruel and debased kind of atrocities conducted against the defenceless. We must be sober about the evils of our time, and allow the Holy Spirit to lead us clearly.
What is interesting about the guns debate is that those who lobby for weapons sometimes displays a kind of arrogance, a “come-make-my-day” attitude. Those who have been in life-threatening engagements with criminals will tell you things happen too fast. The most trained soldier can be caught off guard. On this point, all community experts agree. We need to think and prepare more preventively: where we drive in terms of crime hotspots, what time of night we are on the roads, the safety of our homes, and do we have a contingency plan. According to SAPS, the best home protection is a security gate inside the house, which protects residents in their bedrooms should burglars enter the house at night.
My father was aware of the high crime rate at his workplace at SA Railways. As a result, his exposure to the railway police gave him experience with firearms. After retirement, he worked as the manager of a small butchery. In broad daylight, he was shot dead in his car in Langa in the Cape, while he held a loaded 35-Magnum revolver in his hand. A year earlier, he made a civil arrest at that very stop street when robbers tried to hijack him. This time, however, he didn’t come off so lightly. So I do not make any statements lightly.
If the church is not to take up arms, who is tasked to protect society against inherent danger? It is clear that it is the government’s responsibility to protect its citizens from lawlessness (Rom. 13: 1-4; 1 Pet. 2: 13-17; 1 Tim. 2: 1-2). After all, that’s why we pay taxes. Christians must also hold the government accountable for this duty. Furthermore, we must also support our law enforcers, pray for them, and try to assist them in every way possible.
God Uses Governments To Execute Punishment
“For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.” (Rom. 13:3-4).
“Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men— as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.” (1 Pet. 2:13-17).
“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.” (1 Tim. 2:1-2).
Early Christians’ Standard
Paul repeats Jesus’ sentiments very clearly to the Christians in Rome, at a time when they could not rely on the pagan government for their daily protection. Watch the recent movie, Apostle Paul. On the contrary, Christians have been persecuted in the cruellest ways imaginable. It just makes the verse even more meaningful.
“Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Rom. 12:17-21). This is the true power of the church!!
A powerful example is the Conventry Cathedral almost totally destroyed during the 2nd World War German air raid on Coventry Blitz, 14 November 1940. The idea for the cross came from Rev Arthur Philip Wales, who found several large hand-forged medieval carpenters nails as he walked through the ruins of the cathedral on the morning after the bombing. He used some wire to bind together three nails into the shape of a Latin cross, with one nail vertical and two head-to-tail as a cross-piece, and presented them to the Bishop of Coventry, Mervyn Haigh. The Cathedral’s Provost Richard Howard had the words “Father Forgive” carved into the wall behind the altar of the ruined building, and two charred beams fallen together into the shape of a cross were erected among the rubble. Today this church is still known and instrumental for its international work of reconciliation. footnote https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coventry_Cross_of_Nails
No book in the New Testament gives clearer guidelines than Peter. Christians should expect persecution. As members of a spiritual army, we do not fight with earthly weapons (2 Cor. 10:3-5). Nor is our wrestling against flesh and blood (Eph. 3:12).
“For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully.” (1 Pet. 2:19).
“For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.” (1 Pet. 2:20).
“not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.” (1 Pet. 3:9).
“But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.” (1 Pet. 3:14).
“For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.” (1 Pet. 3:17).
“but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.” (1 Pet. 4:13).
“If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.” (1 Pet. 4:14).
“Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.” (1 Pet. 4:16).
“Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.” (1 Pet. 4:19).
The early church also did not rely on armed self-defense (Acts 4: 29-31; 5: 40-41; 8: 1-3; 9: 1-2; 12: 1-5).
Some want to use the following verse to justify the purchase of weapons:
“…Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one…” (Luke 22:35-38). It is clear that Jesus is not commanding his disciples to arm themselves here. Two swords are enough, He answers. He later condemned the use of a sword when Peter cuts off the ear of the high priest’s servant (Luke 22: 49-51) “…“Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.” (Matt. 26:52). Jesus is hence very practical, two swords are enough, for self-protection, but do not prepare and go and make for war.
There is the extraordinary true story of the conscientious objector Desmond T. Doss who, without firing a single shot, rescued 75 men in Okinawa during the bloodiest battle of World War II. He believed that the war was justified, but also that killing was still wrong. He was the only American soldier in World War II who fought on the frontlines without a weapon. As a physician, Doss single-handedly evacuated the wounded near the enemy’s territory – he defied the enemy’s gunfire and risked his own life. He was the first conscientious objector ever to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. 
Jesus Preaches & Lives Pacifism Very Clearly
“But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” (Matt. 5:39).
“But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.” (Luke 6:35-36).
A situation arose in which a woman was unlawfully convicted according to her sin. She committed adultery and was caught red-handed. Jesus does not execute earthly judgment:“…He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” (John 8:1-11).
“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:17).
“ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Rom. 12:21).
Jesus compares someone who is angry with his brother to a murderer (Matt. 5:21-22).
The Golden Rule
The golden rule: “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matt. 7:12).
The church’s mission is clear: make disciples, do good, heal, teach, build, nurture, bless, empower, care for. The church cannot do the above and at the same time be the instrument of punishment.
This pacifism was not surrendered to weakness. By no means! Gandhi liberated India from British imperialism through pacifism. That’s why the spinning wheel is still on the flag today.
We only fight much smarter: See “Non-violent Communication. A language of life. Create your life, your relationships, and your world in harmony with your values ”- Marshal B Rosenberg PhD. Rosenberg is a well-known mediator who works especially in the West Bank, Israel in the Middle East. I believe that every child should already take a course in conflict management at school. Because conflict always starts verbally, and then it escalates to physical violence. Most people avoid conflict. In communication, there are rules and boundaries. We cannot just say what we want to say. We cannot keep quiet either. We need to learn to choose our words better so that we are better understood. Nor do we passively wait for evil to materialize. Every obedient believer demonstrates every day God’s love and goodness, wherever we go (Acts 10:38).
Jesus’ Future Military Righteous Judgment as Judge Of All Wrong
In contrast to Jesus’ earthly pacifism and identification with weakness, humility, grace and loving mercy, is the event of His return. Here He appears with a heavenly army to come and judge. (Matt. 26:53).
Although Jesus did not come to judge while on earth (John 3:17; John 5: 18-29), there is a very clear judgment in the hereafter. Future judgment (1 Cor. 3: 8-16; 2 Cor. 5:10) and White Throne judgment (Rev. 4: 10-11).
Jesus warns that there are definite consequences if man rejects Him: They will be cast into outer darkness (Matt. 8:12; 22:13; 25:30), as well as hell (Matt. 5:22; 29; 30; 10:28; 22:13; 23:33; 25:30; 2 Pet. 2:4).
Jesus warns about this eternal punishment. There will be terrible suffering (Matt. 13:42, 13:50; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30).
“But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matt. 8:12).
“Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Matt. 13:40-43).
“So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” (Matt.13:49-50).
“But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’.” (Matt. 22:11-13).
“The master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matt. 24:50-51).
“‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’.” (Matt. 25:29-30).
“Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matt. 25:45-46).
According to Luke 17: 1-3, Jesus told his disciples: “Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him”.
It is once again clear that there is a very certain judgment waiting for those who are too close to others. However, the end of the verse is even more significant: “Pay attention to yourselves. If your brother continues to sin, correct him.” How much wrong do we allow, that we do not confront Biblically? (Matt. 18). How much crime is due to lack of proper restorative justice and discipline during upbringing?
Jane Mc Gregor – “The Epiphany Trap: Understanding Anti-Social Personalities”, quotes Rifkin’s study on young elephants’ violence in the Kruger National Park. When they brought the two older adult elephants back into the herd, the anti-social behaviour disappeared. We need more fathers, who lead and rebuke the young with example and wisdom.
Discipline & Order Begins At Home
Judge those who are inside. You cannot clean a fish until you have caught it. We can warn, but we can not punish those who are outside. Punishment is for educational purposes for those who are inside. In Iceland, there has been a dramatic decrease in teenage drug and alcohol abuse, where there is stricter legislation and punishment for children who are on the streets after 11:00. Children are also kept busy on a national scale from 15:00 – 18:00 with sports and the arts.
The Bible does not teach that we should not judge, but that we should beware of wrongdoing (Matt. 7: 1; Luke 6:37, 38, 41, 42). “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.” (Gal. 6: 1). See also: 1 Cor. 4:21; 2 Tim. 2:25.
Judgment without direct confrontation: “Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. ” (Jas. 4:11).
Here are some ways of BAD Judgment!
- You who judge others do the same things: Rom. 2: 1-8. “You become what you judge.”
- Judge others without acknowledging the wrong in yourself (Matt. 7: 1).
- Moralization and generalization
- Labelling (Matt. 5: 21-24).
- Comparisons: Nobody can win the test.
- Judging too quickly: Not having all the information (Eccl. 7: 9).
- Judge someone without interrogating both sides (Matt. 5:22).
- Demonize: Just make someone bad, angry.
- Blaming: Excuse myself while blaming others.
- Force and control: Each person has the right to make own decision and face the consequences.
- Tone of voice: heart attitude.
- Dirty or faul language (Col. 3: 8).
The NT incident of a man living with his stepmother as husband and wife is judged by Paul: “Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore [purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person. For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.” (1 Cor. 5:6-13).
The outcome of this harsh punishment is later balanced when Paul writes his next letter. “But if anyone has caused grief, he has not grieved me, but all of you to some extent—not to be too severe. This punishment which was inflicted by the majority is sufficient for such a man, so that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow. Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him.” (2 Cor. 2: 5-8).
Here the culprit is forgiven and encouraged, otherwise he may become so sad that he completely loses heart. It is with this in mind that the person confessed his sin, and stopped it. Yet I believe that it is also a measure for us, that the church’s earthly discipline is temporary. The punishment and discipline that the church applies is to move someone from point A to point B. This discipline is not just applied randomly to everyone. Punishment always happens directly within a relationship. Hence the wise counsel in Judas: “And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh. ” (Jude 22, 23).
Protecting Communities Without Judgement
The NT is very clear about the fact that we must remove people who are guilty of the following transgressions from our community, treat them like Gentiles, not visit or eat with them. Just like in the OT, these people’s behaviors made them guilty of disregarding the family, the family.
The Bible’s definition of right and wrong, those who are righteous and those who are condemned, extends beyond mere deeds and lifestyle. There is a definite INSIDE and OUTSIDE narrative when it comes to God’s plan of redemption with man. The Garden of Eden, the Ark, the Red Sea, the circumcision, the wedding, the virgins, the sheep versus the goats, are all part of the inner and decided outer narrative. Obedience from the faith and, according to the NT, the definite question: Are you “clothed with Jesus’ righteousness?” is the clear condition for inclusion? Those who are INSIDE form one family, body, church, bride, Zion and new Jerusalem. The inclusion happens through rebirth, through faith in Christ’s perfect atoning work on the cross.
Therefore, there are definite disciplinary and punitive measures when insiders are guilty of the following sins and transgressions:
1 Cor. 5: 11-13 – fornicators, greedy people, robbers or idolaters
Rom. 16:17 – causing strife and offending against the doctrine which ye have learned
Tit. 3: 10-11 – a man who causes strife
2 Thess. 3: 6 – who walk disorderly and not according to the tradition he received from us
2 Thess. 3: 14-15 – someone who does not obey our word in this letter
1 Tim. 6: 3 – if anyone teaches anything else and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the teaching that is according to godliness
Tit. 1: 10-11 – who are disciplined, who talk nonsense and are deceivers.
Biblical Forms of Punishment
Part of the problem is that even though we have the best plans and laws in the world, man has a tendency toward sin, brokenness, and self-destruction. While we are still living in this dispensation, we love the person but we reject the evil that lurks in every human being.
As Billy Graham says, “Man with all his modern inventions has not yet been able to solve man’s moral sin problem.” “The depravity of mankind is the most undeniable empirical fact, but intellectually most resisted” – Ravi Zacharias.
Even the self-confessed atheist and former president of American Psychology, Hobart Mowrer (January 23, 1907 – June 20, 1982), acknowledges that, by attributing human depravity as a disease, we profoundly absolve man of responsibility. People who are not accountable or accountable feel entitled, “entitled”, to continue on the sinful path of destruction.
Attitude Towards Prisoners
Are prisons the biblical way to bring about behavioural change? Are prisons necessary if the biblical route of punishment is applied? There is currently a worldwide debate on the functioning and effectiveness of prisons. 2017 Federal Judge Prosecutor and Deputy Commonwealth Attorney Alejandra Rueda decided in 2017 to sentence vandalistic, racist, aggressive juveniles in a different way than sending them to a juvenile detention center. It was clear from the graffiti on the wall that they had no idea what the swastika and other racist symbols meant. She saw an educational opportunity. The offenders had to read twelve books a year and write a comprehensive essay on each. Books on slavery, the Jewish Holocaust and violence against humanity, for example, My Names Are Asher Lev by Chaim Potok, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hoseini, The Color Purple by Alice Walker, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, and Cry The Beloved Country by Alan Paton. This type of punishment follows a restorative approach.
Attitude Towards Offenders
The victim is directly involved in the punishment: The biblical way of acting against offenders within the circle of family, kin and tribe. This is exactly what restorative justice is trying to accomplish. To cause the offender to look the victims directly in the eye (Matt. 18:1-31; Luke 17:1-5). “Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.” (Luke 17: 3).
Sin is communal, and communal punishment: The defeat against Ai and the punishment of Akan (Josh. 7: 1-5). His whole family was condemned together (Josh. 7: 22-26). Sin was passed down to the third and fourth generations (Ex. 20: 5; 34: 7; Deut. 5: 9-10). The greatest motivator for violence or war is for the sake of the safety of the family and relatives. On the contrary, the possible punishment and suffering of my family, because of what I did wrong, is a very strong deterrent to ongoing transgressions. Thus, a certain company obtained better results when they started posting photos of children suffering due to the parents smoking habits.
Each one accountable for his own sin: Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall children be put to death for their fathers; a person shall be put to death for his own sin. (Deut. 24:16) See also: 2 Kings 14: 6; Jer. 31: 29-30; Ezek. 18: 1-4; Ezek. 18:20. For each one shall bear his own load. (Gal 6:5)
Restitution: Furthermore, the offender must correct the wrong according to the agreement reached with the victim. If you have stolen something from someone, you must repay it (Ex. 22: 1-4; Ex. 22: 7; Lev. 6: 4-5). If you could not pay, the person was sold as a slave to pay the debt (Ex. 22: 1).
No One Will Escape Punishment
Without exception, those who do wrong will be punished (Col. 3:25).
Death penalty: Death penalty is seen in the light of the fact that someone’s deeds deserve death.
Sin against God:
- Deception to worship false gods (Deut. 13: 6-10),
- God’s name used in vain, blasphemy (Lev. 24: 13-16, 23),
- Witchcraft (Lev. 20:27),
- The Sabbath breaks (Ex. 31: 14-15; Num. 15: 32-36).
Violations against each other:
- Murder (Gen. 9: 6; Ex. 21:12),
- Kidnapping (Ex. 21:16; Deut. 24: 7),
- Rebellion against parents (Ex. 21: 15,17; Deut. 21: 18-21; Lev. 20: 9-21; Matt. 15: 4),
- Rebellion (Deut. 17:12; 21: 18-21).
- Adultery (Lev. 20:10; Deut. 22:22),
- Incest (Lev. 20: 10-17),
- Rape (Deut. 22: 25-27),
- Homosexuality (Lev. 20:13).
Behind all the transgressions is a total disregard for the well-being, peace, prosperity and togetherness of the local community. The life of the ONE stands in contrast to the life of the FAMILY / PEOPLE / COMMUNITY. Offenders put their own needs above those of the group. They raised themselves as more important than the family. This selfish individual self-centeredness is severely punished!
It is important to note that the method of punishment, namely stoning, was very personal. The victim is directly involved in the punishment. We can not pass punishment or judgment on others. Sin implies a direct transgression against someone and must be repaired immediately. The face-to-face principle is therefore crucial.
Authority Stemming From Evil (below)
The rule of evil runs through the Bible – a bloody line of violence, destruction, murder, lust for power and oppression. The call for peaceful solutions has been opposed from the beginning of time by a satanic trinity: (1) Lucifer, satan, the dragon, spiritual evil, demons (2) national self-determination at the expense of others, the animal from the sea (3) the beast from the earth, religious false worldviews, the anti-christ, false prophet.
Adam and Eve’s disobedience to God leads to the first murder and self-determination of man towards others and the establishment of a false worship of false gods.
“Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord.” And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. “ (Gen. 10: 8-10).
The climax of self-determination is told through the story of the Tower of Babel: “And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” (Gen. 11: 4). This satanic quest for dominion over man is repeated many times in the Bible: The book of Judges illustrates this point beautifully: seven cycles of sin, slavery, petition, salvation, and silence.
When the Jewish nation was established, God used various wicked kingdoms to judge His children: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greeks, Romans.
This judgment brings us over ourselves because God’s children turn away from the Lord and consequently become disobedient to His commandments. Blessing is when we live out His commandments, and punishment is if we turn away. Blessings and Punishments (Deut. 28).
Authority Stemming From God (Above)
In other words: There is a power and authority that comes from God: “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” (Phil. 4: 8)
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” (Gal. 5: 22-23).
“Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Col. 3: 2-3).
“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. ” (Jas. 3: 17-18).
The challenge of our time is to live in the fullness of this divine wisdom and insight. Some make the inference that pacifism is passive, but that’s by no means! It costs more energy, effort and inconvenience to live the RIGHT way!
Martin Luther King said: Hate is a cancerous disease which distorts the personality and scars the soul. To return hate for hate only intensifies the existence of hate in the universe. Hate seeks to annihilate rather than convert. It destroys the community and makes brotherhood impossible. We must learn that it is possible to stand up courageously and positively against an evil system and yet not resist it with physical weapons and inner feelings of hatred. ”
“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to ALL THE PEOPLE you can, as long as ever you can. ” – Unknown.
Feel free to read more on this topic and follow the following source: 
 Zimbardo, Phillip. The Lucifer Effect – How good people turn evil.
Marshal B Rosenberg PhD. “Nonviolent Communication” A language of life. Create your life, your relationships, and your world in harmony with your values.
Jamin Goggin and Kyle Strobel, The Way of the Dragon or the Way of the Lamb: Searching for Jesus’ Path of Power in a Church that Has Abandoned It.
Walter Rauschenbusch (1861- 1918) A Theology for the Social Gospel (1917).
Howard Thurman (1899-1981) Jesus and the Disinherited (1949).
André and Magda Trocmé (1901- 1971, 1901-1996) Jesus and the Non-violent Revolution (1961)
Hélder Câmara (1909- 1999) Spiral of Violence (1971).
William Stringfellow (1928-1985) An Ethic for Christians and Other Aliens in a Strange Land (1973).
Dorothee Sölle (1929- 2003) The Silent Cry: Mysticism and Resistance (1997).
Lisa Sowle Cahill (1948- ) Love Your Enemies: Discipleship, Pacifism, and Just War Theory (1994).
Traci C. West (1959- ) Wounds of the Spirit: Black Women, Violence, and Resistance Ethics (1999).
George Kalantzis, Caesar and the Lamb: Early Christian Attitudes on War and Military Service.
SIM, David C.. The pacifist Jesus and the violent Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew. HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies, [S.l.], v. 67, n. 1, p. 6 pages, apr. 2011. ISSN 2072-8050. Available at: <https://hts.org.za/index.php/hts/article/view/860/1416>. Date accessed: 20 apr. 2019. doi:https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v67i1.860.