(Romans 13:4 NIV) For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.
There is no government in power without the appointment of God. That is not to say that evil governments are what God wants in the world. It means that unless God had a reason to allow them to remain in power he would simply remove them from power.
In a Christian worldview where love is everything it can be hard to imagine how war fits into the eternal view of God. War is generally associated with hatred and selfish desires. Those who go to war are seen as violating a loving policy of political diplomacy.
As with all things in God’s word and his will balance is absolutely essential. When we reduce the situation from war between nations to war between people who do good and who do evil in our country we seem to have a different viewpoint. If someone breaks the law they are to be arrested and dealt with appropriately. God has empowered governments to deal with this unpleasant but inevitable reality.
Those who are given the task of reigning in these lawbreakers are referred to as God’s servants in the bible. They are serving us and therefore are doing God’s will. They are ministers of God’s justice. Granted human governments will install their own laws and sometimes these laws are for the government’s benefit rather than to bring about God’s will. Yet, just as it is good that Christ is preached by contention or out of a sincere heart, so law enforcement is a good thing.
Technology has made our world much small in one sense and much larger in another. It is smaller because we can pick up a phone and reach just about any spot on the planet. That makes everyone on the planet our neighbor. It makes our world much larger because we find that we cannot simply ignore that neighbor half a planet away any longer.
Sometimes war is unavoidable. When we do go to war it is important that we do so because we have tried peaceful, loving, tolerant options and they have failed. We cannot allow lawbreakers to take away the rights of others indefinitely. When tyrants do unthinkable things to our fellow humans it becomes each person’s responsibility to take action to correct this evil. By collectively working through our government and by working through a combination of governments we can accomplish this daunting task.
War is the last thing that we should try. Yet it is preferable to endless warnings that the evil doers know will not be enforced. War is horrible but sometimes it is God’s will.
(Matthew 24:6 NIV) You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.