Bible Will I Find:
No Personal Vengence, But National Defense?
By: Gary Colley
A great outpouring of love for America has been shown in the past few days. The horrors of war have already been seen on our soil. Many wonder what is right and what is wrong about us taking a stand for our nation and the Lord's church. It is important to follow the teaching of Jesus at all times, as it is revealed in the New Testament (II Pet.1 :3). To be right in the sight of God, we must follow the authority of Christ (Matt.28: 18-20; Col.3:16-17). For sure we are commanded to pray for our President and our nation. Paul by inspiration wrote, "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty" (I Tim.2:1-2). We are now, in our nation, in a struggle with the forces of evil. The church is to "fight the good fight of faith" and put on the whole armor ofGod (I Tim.6:10-l2). But the warfare of the Lord's church is a spiritual warfare, while the warfare of our nation is a physical battle. Concerning the spiritual warfare Paul wrote, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Eph.6:12). Christians are not to take personal vengeance toward our enemies, but our government is to protect the innocent and uphold the freedom of those doing good. In the letter to the Roman Christians this is explained, "Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. ..Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God...For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil . . . For he is a minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; FOR HE BEARETH NOT THE SWORD IN VAIN : FOR HE IS A MINISTER OF GOD, A REVENGER TO EXECUTE WRATH UPON HIM THAT DOETH EVIL" (Rom.12:9-13:4). Capitol punishment is God's will, and so is the defense of our nation against wrong doers.