Through out Jesus’ teaching we see that justice, forgiveness and reconciliation are all the most important features of keeping the peace of the world. However war and conflict are two of the most significant issues in today’s world and will be for many years to come therefore it is hard for a Christian to ignore this and know what is right or wrong. A current example of this is the international conflict in Iraq between many of the western countries. “Blessed are peacemakers for they will be called the children of God.
(Mt 5:9)” This quotation is showing that a person who forgives and makes peace with any enemies will be rewarded by God although Christians have to live in a world where people often make war against each other. Therefore they have to develop an attitude to war campaigning against war and violence in various ways, using different examples from the scriptures to explain their position and different church teachings to help them through. Christians recognise that war is not compatible with the teachings of Jesus, as they believe in peace, and peace is essential for forgiveness to work.
Jesus taught his follower to always love and respect, no matter how hard it may be they should forgive their enemies, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. ” The principle being that although good does not come from evil, destroying evil allows us to repair the damage and do well. For example, the catastrophic bombs were dropped on Japan and killed thousands, the disaster will never be forgotten but we see that Japan is now one of the most powerful countries in the world and there is peace. Iraq and the Allies were and still are at war.
Christians are divided over this war; some believe that there is a moral case for war against Iraq to free the Iraqi people from evil whilst others feel that the people of Iraq are the most affected and something else could have been done to prevent war to reconcile the countries instead. The Pope declared that war is a “defeat for humanity” and no the way to solve the Iraqi situation, his diplomatic efforts accord with Catholic teachings as a war should be the last resort. However Gaudium et Spes contradicts the Pope, teaching that the war is just to protect the people of Iraq.
S and C Danes once stated that, “Peace is more than the absence of war. Peace is the effect of righteousness. ” A just war is one that must be fought but is conducted to certain conditions, they are designed to prevent a war and to limit its effect on people. Christians agree that anyone who engages in war should do so only after every other means have been worn out. In the past there have been many occasions when Christians have fought wars and when Christians countries have fought each other. We see this is wrong because Jesus taught this; “A new commandment I give you; to love one another. As I have loved you.
” Pacifists believe that all war is wrong and support that; for example, Jesus called “the Kingdom of God” the peaceful solution. Also Lord Donald Soper’s pacifism led him to being banned from broadcasting during the Second World War showing that his beliefs and feelings were very strong and he would stand up to what he believed was right, “Violence is always wrong and doesn’t always create new beginnings and solve problems. ” In 1980 there was a conflict that arose between Iraq and Iran, America and the West came to the aid of Saddam Hussein in this war, supporting a moderate bulwark against Islam.
This war lasted until 1988 and the Iraqi government expected the war debts to be written off as they had justifiably defended the entire Middle East against Islamic radicalism. The Christian response should have been to help aid CAFOD and other Catholic organisations. However, Bishop David Konstant argues “No war is just and reconciliation and justice are the only two grounds for true and lasting peace. ” To be reconciled with God , Christians must be able to forgive and to be reconciled with each other, as there is no peace with out justice and no justice without forgiveness.