Can There Really Be a Just War?
OVER the centuries, Christendom has done a lot of talking about the concept of the “just war.” Last year Time magazine published a list of six basic requirements that theologians feel a war should meet in order to be considered “just.” History bears out that none of the wars backed by Christendom have actually met these requirements.
But Har–Magedon, the war that God has promised to bring against this corrupt system of things, does meet all six of the theologians’ criteria.
“It pursues a ‘just cause,’ such as self-defense or the conquest of evil.” Har–Magedon will crush out of existence all parts of the evil world of which Satan the Devil is the god. Thus, it can be said of God’s “Faithful and True” Warrior at Har–Magedon, Christ Jesus, that “he judges and carries on war in righteousness.”—Revelation 19:11; 2 Corinthians 4:4.
“It is declared and directed by a ‘competent authority.’” Har–Magedon is unmistakably identified as being “the war of the great day of God the Almighty”—his war. Who could be a more competent authority than the Creator of the universe himself?—Revelation 16:14; see also 11:17, 18; compare Isaiah 36:10.
“It is a ‘last resort’ after peaceful means have failed.” For thousands of years now, the Creator has encouraged—even pleaded with—mankind to “become reconciled to God” and to “serve Jehovah with fear.” But by turning a deaf ear to peace initiatives and warnings from God for 6,000 years, man has left the Creator no alternative to war.—2 Corinthians 5:20; Psalm 2:2, 10-12.
“It carries at least a ‘probability’ of success.” Consider the opposing sides. On one side is the collective power of the nations of this world, with all their arsenals of awesome weaponry. On the other side is the Creator of the universe. One of his smaller creations, the sun, is a vast furnace of thermonuclear explosions so powerful that even if the nations were to detonate all their nuclear weapons in a single gigantic blast, that explosion would seem like the fizzle of a single match by comparison. Jehovah has at his disposal all the mighty forces of creation to ensure that his war will achieve sure success.—Isaiah 40:15; 54:17.
“It conforms to ‘proportionality’—the good to be achieved will outweigh the damage done.” Consider a future without God’s war of Har–Magedon. Mankind is bent inexorably on self-destruction. Left to his own devices, how long would man take to ruin this planet and shuffle off ignominiously down the road to extinction, the last in a grim parade of species he has sent that way? Will it be a single afternoon of nuclear holocaust? or a few decades of global pollution? Either way, mankind is doomed if God does not intervene in human affairs. On the other hand, consider the good Har–Magedon promises to achieve—godly humanity’s peaceful future on this planet, no more pollution, no more war, no more poverty, no more disease or even death. God promises: “Look! I am making all things new.”—Revelation 21:3-5.
“It is ‘discriminate,’ avoiding harm to noncombatants where possible.” Har–Magedon will be selective. “Evildoers themselves will be cut off, but those hoping in Jehovah are the ones that will possess the earth.”—Psalm 37:9.
All those interested in surviving this truly just war need to learn the basis for “hoping in Jehovah” by personal study of his Word.